Habitat for Humanity looks to the future

Fayetteville Area Habitat For Humanity will host its Framing the Future event at Sweet Valley Ranch on Sunday, June 26 from 4-7 p.m.

The “Kool in Khaki” themed event will feature live musical performances from the collaboration band Throwback, a barbecue chicken dinner provided by Mountaire Farms and door prizes from local businesses.
While the primary purpose of the event is to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity’s current and future projects in the Fayetteville area, current CEO Ron Gunter views it as a celebration. A celebration of all things accomplished and accomplishments to come.

Gunter also sees in this event the opportunity to say goodbye before his retirement at the end of June.

Gunter, who came out of retirement to serve as CEO in 2019, reflects fondly on his time with the organization and is very excited about things to come.

“I love what we do here, our mission and what we do,” he told Up & Coming Weekly. “We have a great, passionate staff and are very team-oriented. Together we’ve built over 55 homes, done over 100 repairs, and we’re thrilled with what we’ve done and the possibilities. of the future.”

Gunter is stepping down at a time of tremendous transition within the organization. Brandon Price, current head of advocacy and compliance and recent law school graduate, is set to take over as CEO effective July 1.

Additionally, Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity’s geographic service area has expanded to include Cumberland, Robeson, Columbus, Sampson, and Bladen counties, making it the largest landmass affiliate in North Carolina. Gunter is especially excited about the inclusion of Robeson and Columbus counties, as neither has had support from a Habitat for Humanity affiliate before.

In addition to recognizing the exciting new developments on the horizon, Framing the Future will look at one of the organization’s most significant accomplishments, the completion of Oakridge Estates.

Oakridge Estates, located near Old Bunce Road in Fayetteville, includes 47 homes, nine of which have veteran owners, and 15 will house those displaced by hurricanes. The project, which began in the summer of 2019, is expected to be completed by the end of June. Currently, all of the housing units in the subdivision are occupied, with the exception of four that are still under construction.

For Gunter, the immense pride he has in the project and the people who made it possible is immeasurable.

“We did this in remarkable time. Before 2019, with hurricanes Sandy and Matthew, almost all of our work was repair work. We’ve built three homes in Cumberland, Sampson and Bladen County in the last three years – no more new homes were built during this time.To reverse the trend and build 55 homes in three years, we are very happy to maintain this pace and build more homes for families in need.

To that end, Gunter spoke of the need for greater community outreach as the need for safe and affordable housing becomes more important.

“The single-family home is our specialty,” he explained. “The City of Fayetteville has been a great partner and we work with churches, several Pan-Hellenic organizations and service groups.”

Despite high visibility globally, reliable and consistent help is still sometimes hard to come by and is vital to bringing these projects to fruition, according to Gunter.

“We want people to know and realize that Habitat is here and in it, and it can’t do what it does alone. We need the community to volunteer, donate, and understand that building a whole house takes a lot of time,” he explained. “As a brand, we are very well known, but we still need help to create change and bring change to the lives of people in the community. We need more people to come and work alongside us – many people are needed to help make the changes we need to make, and together we can make a difference.”

The Framing the Future event is free and open to the public. Still, April De Leon, director of marketing for Fayetteville Area Habitat For Humanity, hopes to attract people who want to get involved with the organization.

“We hope to see county leaders and build potential volunteer partnerships. All of our staff will be there to answer questions about donations, volunteering and any available avenues to get involved,” she said.

Gunter also hopes the fundraiser will raise awareness of exactly what Habitat for Humanity is and isn’t.

“There is a lot of misinformation about Habitat for Humanity,” he said. “We don’t just donate homes. Our homeowners have mortgages, and we are the underwriters, builders, and mortgage holders. Habitat owners have put 300 hours of work into their homes. first-time homeowners, so 50 of those hours are spent on classes on budget building, property tax, insurance, and the ins and outs of owning a home. the front we build the homes, but we do everything we can on the back to keep the families in that home.Our goal is to help create generational wealth by putting them in a safe, high energy efficient and that will last a lifetime – something to leave to their children.

For those wishing to donate, there are several ways to do so outlined on the event website. People can donate items to the silent auction, sponsor a table or become an FAHFH partner.

From Friday, June 24 through Sunday, June 26, a portion of all Sweet Valley Farm sales will be donated to Fayetteville Area Habitat For Humanity.

Another way to support the organization’s efforts is to shop at the Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Proceeds from all sales go towards underwriting new homes.

Framing the Future is an opportunity for people to get outside, eat good food, listen to good music, and start a conversation about what it means to be a good neighbor.

Sweet Valley Ranch is located at 2990 Sunnyside School Road in Fayetteville.

This event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required. To RSVP, visit the FAHFH website at www.fayettevillenchabitat.org/.

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