Community Connection: Habitat for Humanity of Johnson County
Writer / Hannah Sturm
Karen Magnum, also known as “Suzy Sunshine,” is the well-deserving homeowner for the Habitat for Humanity of Johnson County build of 2015. Magnum always has a smile on her face and is ready to work with an appreciative attitude.
After reading an article about the local Habitat for Humanity chapter, Magnum decided to apply, and she has been waiting patiently since 2013 to start building her new home. When talking about the process leading up to the build, she had not an ounce of expectancy in her voice. Magnum was nothing but grateful for the opportunity to complete 300 “sweat equity” hours, financial training and lessons on being a good neighbor and homeowner.
Her humble heart is moved by the over 240 volunteers who have come out to help her build. Magnum and her family will be able to move in after the dedication ceremony in July. There are others out there just like Magnum seeking a hand up, not a handout. It is up to us as a community to support one another, share our resources and skills and make a difference.
The Habitat for Humanity of Johnson County (HHJC) was the wild card winner of the annual golf event, Pay it Forward Johnson County (PIFJC), last September. They have participated in the event since it began in 2011.
In total, PIFJC has raised over $124,000 for various organizations serving Johnson County. The funds HHJC received from PIFJC helped build Magnum’s home. This is the second Women’s Build and the first in Trafalgar. Both Women’s Builds have been huge successes.
Lee Ann Wilbur, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Johnson County, says, “We think everyone should support Pay it Forward Johnson County because of the wonderful things they do for our community.”
You Can Help
HHJC runs on volunteers and offers diverse ways to get involved. Currently, the organization is working to open a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The store will sell new and gently used building materials, furniture and other home accessories.
The organization is looking for donations to build their inventory. If you are looking to give back to your community by sitting on a not-for-profit board, Habitat has two board positions to fill. They are looking for folks who are passionate about Habitat’s mission who have experience in investments and residential real estate. Interested candidates need to contact Lee Ann at the Habitat office.
Habitat’s mission is to provide everyone with an affordable, safe and healthy place to live, which is why we must come together and partner with them for the betterment of our community. Helping a little can have a big impact.
• All-in-one printer
• Cash register system
• Pallet jack
Wow Facts: Women Build
• Second home is almost complete
• The first build raised $89,000
• USA Today national coverage for the first build in 2014
• Twelve women leaders recruit teams of 20 women volunteers to complete the build
Board of Directors
• Bob McCaslin, board president
• Chris Purcell, vice president
• Bob Jessie, treasurer
• Kerri Faulkner, secretary
• David Bauma
• Carolyn Clow
• Mike Gorman
• Linda Hogan
• Julie Pinson
• Kelly Pitcher
• Jennifer Tennell
• Barb Wethington
• Allen Whitehurst
• Melodie Yarnell