While wearing a hardhat, Mandy Davis used a crowbar to remove wooden boards from a porch on McKoy Street.
“It’s a new experience for me,” Davis said while sweating. “I never tore down a house. I learned some stuff and now I can build my own porch, as far as I know and I’m having fun, even though it’s hot.”
Davis was one of several volunteers working in the heat to help Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity’s mission to build home and improve neighborhoods in Sampson and Cumberland counties. With the home being demolished in the future, the Habitat team led a group of volunteers who assisted with the removal of salvageable house furnishing such as light fixtures, porch wood and ceilings fans. The items are being sent to the Habitat ReStore in Fayetteville. Proceeds go back to the organization to help families.
Soon, Davis will receive a home of her own, thanks to Habitat. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in 2017 for the property on Williams Street. After it’s finished, she’s going to live there with her husband Jeremy and their four children. A “Home for Good” Wall Raising Day is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 14. Davis showed gratitude and appreciation for the nonprofit Christian ministry.
“It’s helping people get a start and I think they’re really nice people,” she said.
The materials from the home are being donated by property owner Anne Faircloth.
“It’s a very small lot as you can see, so our hope is that we can make it into a community garden, plant some trees, and add to the beauty of this neighborhood,” Faircloth said.
Along with the house on McKoy Street, Faircloth is allowing Habitat to take away items from another location on Faison Street. She’s been a supporter of the organization since her college days in Durham and said it’s a wonderful organization. Faircloth hopes more volunteers become involved in the organization for additional progress.
“I think it’s very important to welcome Habitat to Sampson County,” she said.
Inside, the Rev. Daniel Cenci of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, removed several light fixtures while standing on a ladder. He was joined by a few others from the congregation.
“We love our community and we want to see it thrive, so we’re going to help in any way that we can,” Cenci said.
Tammy L. Laurence, chief executive officer for Fayetteville Habitat, said the organization is expanding its geographical footprint into Sampson County. In communities they serve, Laurence expressed how goals are made to use assets to make improvements in a certain location.
“We go in and we invest in the assets in the community to help develop it,” Laurence said. “We believe that when you invest in your assets, it grows the community in a real positive way. It’s making it stronger.
“When Anne reached out and said she had these two houses and that she wanted to donate some of the materials to our Habitat ReStore in Fayetteville, we were delighted,” Laurence added.
Laurence said some of the future ideas include involving more residents in the area and building additional Habitat homes.
“This morning I’ve been out and I’ve met a couple of the residents that live in the area,” she said. “They’re real excited about the prospect of having either a community garden or some pretty green space here.”
Anna Chott, community engagement coordinator for Fayetteville’s Habitat, is encouraging others to get involved and participate in the Wall Raising Day, set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14 at 400 Williams St. She also participated in the demo project on McKoy Street.
“We’re just really grateful to Mrs. Faircloth for thinking of us and donating these items to the ReStore,” Chott said. “We just want to get the word out that Habitat is working in Clinton and we’re excited to be building.”
The Fayetteville Area Habitat received a great response from churches in the community. Like other officials, Chott would like to see their volunteer numbers increase. Additional information regarding the organization and volunteers opportunities are available online at www.fayettevillenchabitat.org.
“We like for people to get involved and support our homeowners,” Chott said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.