DIXON – Habitat for Humanity is gearing up to celebrate its 25th year of building new futures for families in the community and has named this year’s soon-to-be homeowner.
The board welcomed Dixon resident Jennifer Groll on Saturday at its annual organizational meeting and began planning for the construction of her new home.
Groll, a single mother of three children, is the office manager for optometrist Kurt Nelson and was chosen from a pool of about eight or nine applicants.
“I’m excited and really grateful,” she said.
The project will be the second of six homes scheduled to be built in the former trailer park in the 1900 block of Clark Street, land the organization acquired in October 2015.
To celebrate the anniversary, board members plan to reach out to habitat families to see whether they want to ride in the Petunia Festival parade.
The group also is upping its spring donation goal from $25,000 to $30,000. The annual campaign raised about $32,000 last year.
Habitat President James Dixon said the organization has had a good success record since its inception, with only three failures in the past 25 years.
More than 2,000 volunteers have helped build the homes since the local chapter of the organization was formed in 1992, including a core group of about a dozen volunteers known as the Band of Brothers.
Clara Harris, board member and co-chairwoman for the family support committee, has been with Habitat for Humanity for about 20 years and said the projects are like seeds that have been planted for local families to nurture and grow, and gives them the opportunity to change for the better.
“We’ve seen that with a lot of our families over the years,” she said. “Just listening to them and the joy they have, it’s something that helps them hold their head higher.”
Since 1993, the organization also has helped fund new homes being built in other countries – such as Bangladesh and Lesotho – which has benefited 32 families during the past 2 decades.
Bob Augustine, board member and construction committee chairman, said they hope to begin construction work shortly after Memorial Day.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the home will take place at 10 a.m. on May 6.
Call 815-288-4957, go to dixonhabitat.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on Dixon Habitat for Humanity.
Donations can be sent to Dixon Habitat For Humanity Inc., P.O. Box 11, Dixon, IL 61021.
Habitat for Humanity’s roots stretch back to the 1960s, when the seeds of the idea were planted at Koinonia Farm, a small, interracial, Christian community outside of Americus, Georgia. The parent organization was founded in Americus in 1976 and since then, has helped put a roof over the heads of almost 7 million people through its chapters in nearly 1,400 communities across the U.S. and in more than 70 countries around the world. Go to habitat.org for information on Habitat for Humanity International.