A public Raise the Wall Ceremony for The University of Findlay’s Oiler Build, the first Habitat for Humanity home sponsored by UF, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 22 at 1820 Payne Avenue. This project represents the 34th home build and the second one built locally this year that involves Habitat for Humanity of Findlay/Hancock County, which is partnering with the University on the project.
Saturday’s brief, but exciting ceremony will celebrate the first wall of the home being built and raised. The selected partner family, along with representatives from both UF and Habitat, will be on hand to celebrate the milestone.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity not only to build a home for a beautiful family, but to bridge Habitat for Humanity and The University of Findlay in this act of service,” said UF’s Habitat Chapter President Rachel Lane.
“The University of Findlay is helping Findlay/Hancock County Habitat increase the number of families served in our community,” said Wendy McCormick, executive director of the Findlay/Hancock County chapter. “We are so grateful for their support of our efforts to provide decent, affordable homes in partnership with families in need.”
The partner family includes single mother Julie Merrin and her nine-year-old daughter, Rachel, who were selected this spring to be the beneficiaries. Habitat builds and repairs simple, decent houses alongside homeowner (partner) families. The organization is not a giveaway program; Merrin will pay a down payment and a monthly mortgage payment at zero percent interest, which will cycle back into Habitat programs to serve more families in the future.
Merrin, a Findlay City School District administrative assistant, is investing 400 hours of her own labor (sweat equity) and volunteer hours from her friends, family and church family into building their Habitat house and working with ReStore.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the students,” said Merrin, who was at the site Saturday. “The kids I worked with in Indonesia were about the same age as these students,” she said, referring to her missionary work, “so this is very, very special to me.”
UF has led its Oiler Build fundraising effort for the past six years. A total of $75,000 has been raised and awarded to construct the home; on-campus fundraising efforts and $20,000 in three matching grants from State Farm Insurance are contributing toward that total. The funds are providing 100 percent of the material costs of construction.
Campus chapter members, students, alumni, faculty and staff will be working on the initial construction phase September, every Tuesday and Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and all day each Saturday. The local Habitat is providing the land and a paid construction manager to supervise, coach and teach the students.
Weather permitting, construction is expected to conclude this fall, with the home dedication ceremony slated for Oct. 10 at 11 a.m. along with a home tour.
To volunteer for this event call 419-429-1400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.