Habitat for Humanity, local churches join forces to build house for family

September 26, 1999|By Rosalie Falter | Rosalie Falter,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

"WHEN WE first learned of Arundel Habitat for Humanity, we didn't think we'd have a chance at a home. Then we were approved and our wait went by so very quickly. Now four wonderful congregations have made it possible for our beautiful home. How can we possibly say thank you to each and every one of you?"

The heartfelt message, which appeared in recent bulletins of four churches, was signed by Brian and Sandie Adams and their children, Candice, Hunter and Andrew.

The Adamses will see the dedication today of their new home -- one built through Habitat with help from the four congregations. Two of the sponsoring churches are in Linthicum -- St. John's Lutheran Church and Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church. Harundale Presbyterian in Glen Burnie and Woods Memorial Presbyterian in Severna Park are the others.

The family has also begun visiting each church for services -- wanting, they said, "to make a personal thank-you" rather than just appearing as a "picture on a bulletin board."

Habitat projects are "built with families," the organization notes, "not for families" -- earning "sweat equity" toward eventual purchase.

Bob Abel, a member of Linthicum Heights Methodist and family liaison with Anne Arundel Habitat for Humanity, said each work day started with devotions, and the churches rotated the responsibility of providing lunches for participants.

Members from the four congregations worked side by side. "People from all faiths and backgrounds came to work together with the family," he said. "It is something Habitat does so well, bringing people together."

The dedication of the Adams home is to take place at 2 p.m. It is on Parkway Drive, next to another Habitat house also being dedicated. Representatives from the churches who sponsored and helped build the house will be there to celebrate, and a Bible and keys to the new house will be presented to the family.

Anyone interested in seeing how the Habitat concept works is also welcome to attend.

A joint effort

An old-fashioned barn-raising isn't something you often see around here. But some 70 volunteers made it happen -- well, not quite around here, but in the Charles County community of Nanjemoy.

For three days during the last weekend of August, Tom Durkin, Walt Eger and Don Fox joined about 70 volunteers to haul lumber, hammer and raise the walls and roof of a 42-by-60-foot building on the grounds of Lions Camp Merrick, a summer residential camp for sight- and hearing-impaired children.

Beth Sandifer, past president of the Linthicum Lions, said her husband, Randy -- a Pikesville-Randallstown Lions member -- came up with the idea about two years ago when they were both board members of Camp Merrick.

"The first thing Randy noticed at the camp was the lack of storage space and any type of area to repair equipment or build items needed at the camp," she said. "Since that time it has been his dream to build this building."

Planning too big a project for any one club, husband and wife traveled throughout Maryland speaking to Lion and Lioness clubs to raise money. They were also asked to be guest speakers at the Linthicum Rotary Club, Chesapeake Woman's Club and Exchange Club.

Donations totaled $18,000 from speaking engagements, various individuals, funds in memory of three deceased members and many corporations. It includes $5,000 raised by Marlene Stivers, president of the Linthicum Lions, who made and raffled off two quilts for the cause. Also, several businesses donated materials and labor for the construction.

Organizers were also grateful to Trump Construction, which donated labor for the weekend and coordinated the effort.

Still, there is a long way to go. With the $18,000 depleted, and the building only a shell, the Sandifers will continue their search for funds -- about $10,000 is needed -- to complete this project before winter.

"We still need three large garage doors and wood siding for the outside of the building. Once the outside is complete, work can continue throughout the winter," Beth Sandifer said.

To make a donation to the Lions project, call the Sandifers at 410-521-0756.

Support group meets

The Heart to Heart Cardiac Support Group will meet at 7: 30 p.m. Tuesday in Room 116 of the Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church, 200 School Lane.

Guest speaker will be Deborah Van Orden, a nurse from the cardiac catheterization lab of North Arundel Hospital. Her topic will be diagnostic tests for heart disease. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Information: Nan Duerling at 410-987-0494 or nanduerling@jhu.edu.

Garden round-up

"Pressed in Time" is the program for the Ferndale Garden Club's meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday. in the Ferndale-Linthicum Senior Center, 7205 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd.

Member Connie Pumphrey will demonstrate how to make a pressed flower project. Participants should bring pressed flowers, a small picture frame or glass jar, tweezers, and glue. Guests are welcome.

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