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Bristol Area Lions learn about Habitat for Humanity 03/21/2010

Posted by DS in meetings, speakers.
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Lion John Janell thanking speaker David Baker with a certificate of appreciation for his informative talk on Habitat for Humanity and the upcoming “Bristol Build”.

On March 15 the Bristol Lions enjoyed a corned beef and cabbage dinner complete with Irish soda bread prepared by caterer David Atwater of Just Atwater & Stir. He received a standing ovation after dinner.

The Lions then welcomed their speaker David Baker from Habitat for Humanity/7 Rivers Maine.

Originally a teacher in the United Kingdom, Baker has worked for Europe’s largest brewery (Bass Charrington), the world’s largest oil company (Aramco in Saudi Arabia), and America’s largest management seminar corporation (the American Management Association).

In each of these positions he was responsible for training and development of corporate managers. Baker’s most recent position was as Director of Management Training at ABC Disney in New York City. He retired six years ago and moved from Manhattan to Bath with his wife Elizabeth on the same day

His talk was of special interest to the Lions, because this year Habitat will break ground on a new home at 44 Caledonia Lane (off Route 130) in Bristol on land donated by local residents Martyn and Kathleen Moses.

This planned home does not yet have a qualified resident which must be found before construction can begin. Low-income residents are invited to partner in building this simple, energy-efficient and affordable home. The cost of owning your own home could be just $550 per month, including utilities, taxes and insurance. Interested residents are urged to apply by calling Sharon at 386-5081 to determine if they qualify.

Baker asked the group what they thought when they heard of Habitat? The answers ranged from building homes, to Jimmy Carter and affordable housing.

The key to the program is volunteers who build the home. No prior building experience is necessary. A semi-retired builder from Lincoln County is volunteering his time and expertise to serve as site supervisor.

He explained a typical first day at the site for a volunteer. Volunteers arrive with 20, 30 or 40 others and see a poured concrete slab surrounded by piles of lumber.

When organized into groups, volunteers either carry, measure, saw, or have a pouch of nails and hammer and follow specific directions. Next, a wall is being lifted, and then four walls are up and then ceiling rafters. Next comes the outer sheathing, roofing and the paint goes on. There is a house.

Experienced contractors do the plumbing and electrical work. Habitat is based upon the belief that everyone is entitled to living in their own home. The secret is volunteer labor. Labor is a major cost component of home building.

Material costs must be paid for and a family who is qualified will have a 0 interest mortgage financed by Habitat. The family, or a relative, must contribute 250 hours of volunteer labor which may be on site, in the Bath office or in the ReSTORE.

Other ways of supporting Habitat are by financial contribution and by visiting ReSTORE on Centre Street in Bath.

Donate or buy for your own use new or used 2×4’s, doorknobs, appliances or furniture at a fraction of the prices found at big box stores. The profit from the RESTORE goes to fund the administrative costs associated with the program. So 100% of your contributions go into the program.

The next dinner meeting of the Bristol Area Lions will be on Mon. April 5 at 6 p.m. at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. The speakers will be Heather and Doug Houston from Bristol who will speak on “Vietnam Today”. They will recount their recent vacation trip with a PowerPoint presentation.

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