Habitat for Humanity visits Belmont County

BELLAIRE – Members of a Monroeville, Pa.-based Habitat for Humanity recently visited Belmont County to lend a helping hand to area families. More than 60 people made the trip to Bellaire, including 45 young men and women between the ages of 16-18. Representing the parishes of St. Bernadette’s and North American Martyrs, the group made its annual trip to another Habitat affiliate, just as they have done for the past 10 summers.

For someone not familiar with Habitat, the non-profit international organization’s vision statement should sum things up fairly well – “a world where everyone has a decent place to live.” With over 500,000 homes built, providing shelter for over 2.5 million people, it would be safe to say they do just that.

The team began work helping on the construction of a home on Harrison Street, painting another house on Walnut Alley, and spending some time prepping offices for the HFHBC, or Habitat for Humanity of Belmont County. Many of the tasks Habitat completes entails much needed face lift projects to various parts of each city.

While in the Valley, hospitality was provided for the volunteers by the St. John Central Schools. Housing arrangements included both sides of Guernsey Street at the grade school and high school, with meals being served in the St. John Catholic Church basement. “Special thanks goes out to St. John Church, grade school and high school for providing breakfast, along with Gulla’s for a lunch for the group,” said HFHBC Board Treasurer Theresa Young.

One young volunteer even came knowing he would be leaving prematurely to attend soccer practice midway through the week. After attending that soccer practice, volunteer John Sigg convinced his coach of the importance of his absence, and made the return trek to Belmont County that evening. “What an inspiring, selfless way for these kids to spend a week of their summer vacation. Many adults could learn a lesson from these kids,” added Young.

Both groups were pleased with the week’s success and say they look forward to a return trip next summer.

Muklewicz can be reached at mmuklewicz@timesleaderonline.com