Mitchell-­‐Yancey Habitat for Humanity Celebrates Its 20th Year

 Habitat 2012

The 2012 Newsletter in pdf format


The Mitchell-­‐Yancey Habitat for Humanity celebrated its 20th year building homes for local families in need. “Friends of Habitat” gathered at the Higgins Methodist Church Family Living Center in Burnsville on Friday, May 18th to reGlect and reconGirm their commitment, which since 1992 has provided 19 homes. Construction will begin on the 20th home to be located in Yancey County in 2013. Plans are also underway between Habitat and Pillars, INC. and the Mt. Heritage Construction Trades Program, which is building modular homes to donate to Habitat, to place their Girst home in Yancey County.

During the 20th Anniversary Breakfast, The Habitat Board of Directors President, Ed Bowers, honored individuals and groups from area organizations, churches, and businesses. He thanked the “Friends of Habitat” for over 2500 hours of volunteer work and for the difference each person made in our local Gight against poverty and homelessness.

To date, this afGiliate has invested over $1,000,000 in home construction and helped 23 families realize the dream of owning their own home. Several partner families were present and photo images of their homes and families were displayed throughout the breakfast event. Over $700,000 of this investment has been received from donations. The staff and volunteers of the afGiliate ReStore, located in Spruce Pine, were applauded for their hard work providing discounted building materials and home goods to the community. ReStore sales have totaled approximately $665,000 and $246,000 of this revenue has been directed toward building efforts.

Many special groups were also recognized. The “Wednesday Crew”, originating from Higgins Church, has steadily provided a weekly construction team and played a critical role in every home built. Three women’s craft groups were honored. “Stitch and Chat”, created and sold potholders and donated over $25,000 of their sales proceeds to Habitat for the past 20 years. The “Higgins Quilting Group” provided handmade quilts for each member of Habitat families at their home dedications. The women of “Purls of Wisdom” have donated over $2,500 from their knitted items sold at the Toe River Craft Shop in Celo.

Numerous area churches have supported the afGiliate with donations and work crews, as well as hosted and fed many visiting crews. Several area business partners including Summit Lumber, Tri-­‐County Lumber, Grassy Creek Hardware, People’s Furniture, and the Habitat ReStore provided gift certiGicates or merchandise for a rafGle.

Randy Hembree, co-­‐founder of M-­‐Y Habitat for Humanity and President of the Girst Board of Directors, reminisced with Habitat friends at the event. He honored the vision and energy of Habitat’s co-­‐founder, the late Carol Henry. The breakfast event was dedicated to her. Many board members, from over the 20 years, were in attendance; and, Bowers honored their leadership to create and sustain Habitat’s mission and manage and coordinate the multitude of functions that have allowed the afGiliate to thrive.

Dedication of Nicklaw

Family Home

A very special event for every Habitat afGiliate is the dedication of a new home for a partner family. These events allow families and crews to celebrate their dreams and hard work and represent the heart of Habitat’s mission. Chad and Pam Nicklaw and their daughters Sonya and Trista were the special guests at the breakfast for the dedication of their three bedroom Habitat home on Smith –Johnson Road in Burnsville. A media scrapbook highlighted pictures of the family and their home and yard. Chad, who is employed by Celo Mountain, has beautifully landscaped the property creating a waterfall and many habitats for birds.

Pastor Wes Sharpe, of Higgins United Methodist Church, presided over the candle ceremony blessing their home. The Nicklaw Family received the keys to their home and a family bible. The Higgins Quilt Group presented handmade quilts for each of them, including their son Jeremy, who was unable to attend. The Habitat community extends their congratulations and best wishes to the Nicklaw’s in their new home.

Welcome to the Emmett Family

 The Habitat home built at 159 Balsam in Spruce Pine in 2009 now has a new partner family. Sonja Emmett and her three children Doug, Joel, and Hannah lived next door to the house with Sonja’s parents for the past 14 years. As a single parent, she dreamed of her own home but found it impossible to afford renting or owning a home on her own. The family was approved last year for a Habitat home and moved in late this summer to their well maintained, 4 bedroom, energy efGicient house. They have been busy repainting, doing yard work and planting trees and berry bushes.

Sonja shares, “Everyone feels a great sense of accomplishment and increased conGidence and independence. Our identity is now about a family who owns their own home. We all feel a strong sense of added pride and interest in taking on responsibilities around the house. Sonja works in medical transcription at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine. Doug is a student at Mayland College and Hannah is enrolled in Mayland’s Early College Program. Three generations of the family now reside as neighbors in their own homes. Sonja feels blessed to know they will be able to spend the rest of their lives here.

 Newest Home in

Mitchell County

This summer a partner family moved into their new home on Sullins Branch Road in Mitchell County. This three bedroom home is the second house built in Michell County’s Girst Habitat neighborhood. The afGiliate is currently preparing surveys for two additional home sites on this 11 acre parcel of land donated by the Unimin Corporation of Spruce Pine. Construction on the next home will begin in 2014. The home dedication ceremonies for the current house will take place in the Fall.


M-Y Habitat Partners with Pillars to Create Yancey County Neighborhood

Habitat is excited to announce the purchase of new land in the Town of Burnsville and the new site of the Girst Yancey County Habitat neighborhood. The site is approved for 3 homes; two stick-­‐built homes facing Celo Street will be built by Mitchell-­‐Yancey Habitat for Humanity and the third house will be a modular home facing Longview Street cooperatively built by Pillars, Inc. and Habitat. The Yancey County Habitat neighborhood will be similar to the Habitat neighborhood in Mitchell County on Sullins Branch Road with 2 completed homes and 2 more projected over the next 5 years.

Pillars, Inc, works with the Mt. Heritage High School Building Trades Program teaching high school students to build modular homes for potential Habitat partner families living in Yancey County. The new Yancey Habitat neighborhood will house their Girst cooperative venture. The modular home is 1000 square feet (28’ x 36”) with two bedrooms and one bath. The Pillars program has been constructing the rough framing of the house and making the roof trusses at the Mt. Heritage High School site and plans to move the house to Longview Street in late November. Meanwhile, Habitat has cleared and prepared the site and is constructing the foundation. Once the house is moved, students will work on site to construct the roof and Ginish the house, working alongside Habitat volunteer crews. Construction for the second Habitat home on the Yancey site is projected for 2013 and will be certiGied to System Vision Program standards for energy efGiciency. Local architect, Armin Wessel, will also work with Pillars and Habitat to help design a color palate and exterior architectural features for the homes in the neighborhood. Two partner families have already been selected for these homes.


Thank you to our 2012


This March, Mitchell-­‐Yancey Habitat for Humanity welcomed three collegiate teams from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Millersville University in Milersville, Pennsylvania, and a returning team from St Olaf College in NorthGield, Minnesota. These teams spent their spring breaks working on our latest Mitchell County home on Sullins Branch Road and building the storage shed for our next home in Yancey County.

While in the area they worked under the direction and supervision of Tom Perrin, our Construction Manager and board member Gred Gross. Again we thank Higgins United Memorial Methodist and St. Thomas Episcopal churches in Burnsville for providing lodging and assisting with meals for the collegiate challenge groups.

We extend our appreciation as well to the Hope Lutheran Church adult and youth groups from Wake Forest, NC. Their teams helped organize and create furniture displays at the ReStore, worked on the Sullins Branch house and assisted with several projects in elementary and high schools in Mitchell and Yancey counties.


Mitchell-­‐Yancey Habitat for Humanity honors our friend and partner, Ed Bowers, who passed away on August 12, 2012. Ed served the afGiliate providing leadership as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors and the President since 2010. Ed’s commitment to the afGiliate included

working as a member of the “Wednesday Crew”, a group from Higgins United Memorial Methodist Church in Burnsville, who helped to build many Habitat homes in Mitchell

and Yancey counties. In April, Ed presided over the 20th Year Anniversary celebration of our Habitat afGiliate honoring our partner families, volunteers, and donors. We honor and thank him for his many contributions.

Ed and his wife Joan, moved from Florida to the area and resided in Burnsville. He served four years with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and retired as a Major in The Florida Army National Guard. His service was rendered as a Physician’s Assistant in a medical unit in Clearwater, Florida. He also had a lifelong career in pharmaceuticals with Hoffmann La Roche and Schering Plough.

Ed was a devoted member of Higgins United Memorial Methodist Church. Throughout his years, Ed served God, his family, his country and his fellow man with love.

Carol Henry Habitat Co - Founder

Carol Henry’s strong, loving heart stopped beating at dawn on Sunday, March 4, 2012. Her spirit offers a Girm foundation for hundreds of people in Mitchell and Yancey County—she was a founder of Mitchell-­‐Yancey Habitat for Humanity, and the “Stitch and Chat” group that gathered around her table raised more than $25,000 by selling colorful patchwork potholders.

Her spirit lingers in the mind’s eyes of hundreds of now-­‐grown Spruce Pine Montessori kids. With Ms. Carol’s gentle guidance they learned to sound out words, recognize trees, sing songs, and make new friends.

Her spirit sings with the Celo Sacred Harpers. Her title is clear and she’s homeward bound.

Celebrating her loving spirit are her four daughters (Linda Henry, Nancy Raskin, Janet Henry, and Cindy McMahon) and their families (Bob and Emma Snope; Randy, Lane, and Evan Raskin; Matt Revis; and John, Caleb, and Katie McMahon) as well as her brother Walter Moore, Jr., his wife Marian Moore and their children and grandchildren. Her spirit Gills the hearts of her family and a multitude of friends. 

Mountain Air Residents Help Sponsor New "Green" Habitat Home 

Mitchell-­‐Yancey Habitat for Humanity’s vision is to build safer, more durable, comfortable and attractive, and energy efGicient homes. Mountain Air residents helped to make this vision more attainable through grant sponsorship for Habitat ‘s Girst home in Yancey County certiGied to System Vision Program standards.

Construction on the home will begin in late 2013. M-­‐Y Habitat, in partnership with Advanced Energy and the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA), has received the training and support to design, construct and certify this home as energy efGicient.

The Mountain Air grant will assist in material costs to build a study, durable, simple, wood-­‐framed house. System Vision standard’s guarantee that the average monthly heating and cooling costs for the homeowner will be less than $33 a month. Air tightness and framing techniques will reduce energy bills by 15%, control for comfort and air pollutants, require less dependence on other utilities and produce fewer greenhouse gases. Most importantly, the features will offer the new homeowner peace of mind that they will always be able to afford the home they dreamed about.

House features will include low-­‐E windows and complete and continuous insulation contact with the building shell. These features will ensure no gaps, voids, misalignment, compression, or wind intrusion.

delivered to each room to increase comfort. Both spot ventilation in baths and kitchen and a whole house ventilation system will help to preserve dry conditions and eliminate mold and reduce insects and unwanted pollutants. The furnace and appliances will be ENERGY STAR certiGied to insure efGiciency and safety.

The Mountain Air Community Fund contribution will help M-­‐Y Habitat play a part in ensuring that North Carolina’s affordable housing stock is actually affordable to live in. In addition, Mt. Air residents have helped to support both Habitat partner families and the general community through individual donations and continual contributions of furniture, appliances and other household goods to the Mitchell-­‐Yancey Habitat ReStore. 

 Arthur Morgan School Students Design Habitat's Dr. Seuss Playhouse


Thanks to the many Mitchell and Yancey County festivals during the summer and fall for supporting rafGle ticket sales for the Habitat for Humanity Dr. Seuss Playhouse. The whimsical 5’ x 7’ wooden house was hard to miss with its red tin roof

and bright multi-­‐ colored slanted walls and unusual shaped door and window openings.
A student team from

Arthur Morgan School in Celo created the playhouse to help raise money to support Habitat’s mission to build affordable homes for families in need in our communities. The team included Sam Wilson and Shogo Ohta-­‐Weir from Celo, Mitchell Offe of Morgantown, Gavin Henry of Burnsville, and Reginn Ramsey from New York. They learned the many small steps involved in designing and engineering the playhouse, as well as, the many lessons that are a part of working together. Now they also share the joy and pride that comes with their accomplishment.

The design process began with exploring a host of crazy and fun ideas for the playhouse. Eventually, their planning led them to the more practical realities. Over a period of 5 weeks, the team studied drafting learning vantage points, perspective, measuring processes, and pitches and angles of roofs. They created scaled drawings and blueprints on graph paper. Before planning their materials list, they visited Heritage Lumber in Burnsville to study dimensions and suitable types of lumber for framing and siding.

Next they created scaled wooden models gluing walls together. The models pointed out the design Glaws in the house and sent them back to the drawing board 3 times to make sure their walls could accommodate their roof design. Bogy Patton, their art instructor, was continually impressed with the collaboration the team developed and their excitement and growing investment in making their design work. The team built the house for approximately $65-­‐70 a square foot bringing the total estimated cost to be $1,600 in materials and labor.

 Thanks to all thefestivals and businesses partnering in our efforts:

Rhododendron Festival

Rotary BBQ & Blue Grass Festival Mt Mitchell Craft Fair
Dig In Community Garden Bowls Event

Mineral City Heritage Festival

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Dry County Pizza Shop
Monkey Business Toy Store

Ice Cream Deck