The Sedalia Area Habitat for Humanity had two reasons to celebrate Sunday afternoon. Amanda Fischer and her family became the 32nd family to receive a home from the organization.
The second reason will help make it possible for even more families to benefit from the work of organization.
President of the organization, Dr. David Limbaugh announced a donation of over $500,000 to the organization during the dedication reception from the estate of Ethel and Jim Hall.
“This is a most exciting day, and a day we have been looking forward to for months,” Limbaugh told the audience of more than 50 Habitat volunteers, family, and friends who had gathered at Fischer’s new home located at 410 Tower Street. “Today we are able to give a gift not only to Amanda and her family, but also to society.
“Because while the house is cool, it’s not about the house,” Limbaugh added. “It’s about changing lives.”
Fisher agreed completely with Limbaugh’s words.
“Six years ago I never would have believed this would be possible,” Fisher said. “I was divorced and had been in an abusive relationship.
“I had three children, and had lost my job, I had no car, no money and no hope,” she added. “God helped though to get my life back on track and brought me to where I am today.”
Today Fisher’s life includes a job at State Fair Community College as well as a new home for her three daughters.
“I didn’t think people could be so kind until I met the people of Habitat,” Fisher said tearfully as she thanked those gathered. “They have brought me to where I am today and I am forever grateful.”
Fisher and her daughters planned to move into their new home later Sunday afternoon and evening and be in their house for Christmas.
The terms for owning a habitat home are three fold according to Limbaugh.
The individual and their family must live in substandard housing, they must be willing to partner with a counselor and they must be willing to pay for the home Habitat builds for them.
“I think a lot of people are under the impression that we give people these homes,” Limbaugh said. “That simply isn’t true; they pay for the home in full.
“They only break they get is that it is at a 0 percent interest loan,” Limbaugh added. “For that, they have to commit to 250 hours of sweat labor, working to help build other Habitat homes, as well as on their own.”
The organization tries to keep the house payments around $400 monthly for the new owner.
“We have three words that we use frequently to describe our homes,” Limbaugh said. “Those three words are basic, descent and simple.
“These are really nice homes, but they aren’t mansions,” Limbaugh added. ‘The way we are able to build them is because of the hard work and incredible generosity of a lot of really good people in this area.”
Two of those good people, according to Limbaugh, were Ethel and Jim Hall.
Jim Hall died in 2012 with his wife dying in 2014.
“The Hall’s significant donation will help us tremendously in continuing to carry out our work,” Limbaugh. “Thanks to their donation we will be able to build two homes a year for deserving individuals and their families.”
Habitat has already chosen the next two recipients of the homes according to Limbaugh.
One is Jessica Sullins, a single parent of one.
The second individual represents a first for the organization on two levels.
“We are going to construct a home for a disabled veteran, Jessie McFail,” Limbaugh said. “We’ve never done that before and it will be the first time we will build a house outside the City limits of Sedalia.
“His house will be in Smithton,” Limbaugh added. “We wanted to do something in that community because of the overwhelming support and work we get from the people there.”
Habitat for Humanity will not only use the Hall’s donation to build houses.
They have partnered with the United Way.
“This fall we donated $10,000 to the United Way to help with their Day of Caring,” Limbaugh said. “We will continue that in future years on behalf of the Hall family and their donation.”
Mayor Stephen Galliher who was on hand at the dedication said he was grateful on behalf of the City of Sedalia for the group’s efforts.
“I see a lot of good things happen because of the people of this community,” Galliher said. “This is one of the best things that I have seen and it was a pleasure to see it happen.”