PANAMA CITY — Wednesday marked a milestone for Habitat for Humanity of Bay County as the local nonprofit celebrated its 100th home.
Members from Bay's Habitat for Humanity, Bay County Chamber and the community gathered for the home dedication for habitat's 100th home in Bay County. The home was built in honor of the late John Robbins, former president of Bay's Habitat, who passed away in 2021.
According to his family and friends, Robbins had a huge heart for the work of habitat and was committed to building habitat's 100th home. This home dedication took place on Robbin's birthday making it even more special to the organization.
"When John became president of the organization, he put forth the goal of building the 100th habitat home in Bay County," said Shay Catrett, his former colleague. "And it's a bittersweet day for us because he's put a lot of hard work into this project for so many years."
Surrounded by family and friends, the Cole family was given a key to the new home along with a gift basket, Bible and toolbox. The mother, who asked not to be identified, put in more than 500 "sweat equity hours" working alongside many community volunteers. She said she is excited and grateful to be moving into her new home with her 14-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter.
Aaron Rich, vice president Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity of Bay County, said it's always a special moment to provide families a foundation for success and a better future.
"When you think about 100 homes in the community, so many lives are being changed," Rich said. "One by one, we can change lives through Habitat for Humanity, and that's what makes it so special. It's truly a team effort to make something like this happen."
Rich explained that any family receiving a new habitat home must complete at least 500 sweat equity hours of volunteer work. Through that process, individuals learn the skills of construction and the investments it takes to build a new home. He added that four additional homes are currently being built in the same subdivision.
"When we build homes, we will acquire parcels of land to where we can build multiple homes in areas of the city," Rich said. "And our volunteers are the ones that contribute to the physical construction of the homebuilding to help make this effort possible."
Habitat for Humanity of Bay County aims to stay committed to its mission of eliminating poverty housing within the community. Thanks to the dedication of pending homeowners and many local volunteers, along with donations of money and materials, the organization can build affordable homes. Once built, the homes are sold to the homeowners at a very affordable cost with a 0% interest loan.
This article originally appeared on The News Herald: Bay County's Habitat for Humanity dedicates 100th home