Home Ownership. Two words that many of us often take for granted and some think will never be their reality.
On Tuesday, September 23rd, Harry McIntosh and I had the opportunity to represent our company in the “walls up” event for a new home being constructed as part of the 2014 Blount County Habitat for Humanity’s Community Business Build. We also were able to hear the future owner’s story and speak to her about her personal journey of homeownership. It was a beautiful day and a great experience.
In total, there are 10 local businesses who are sponsoring this project. The build is a collaborative effort between the following companies: Newell Rubbermaid, Clayton Homes, Boatmate Trailers LLC, LeConte Realty LLC, Regions Bank- The Regions Foundation, Advacned Catalyst Systems, Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain, PC, Alcoa, Inc., Maryville-Alcoa Rotary Club and Blount Interact Club. Throughout the 12 week construction process, all the organizations have the opportunity to have multiple volunteer days on the job site and at the ReStore.
For the team at LeConte Realty, the decision to participate was an easy one. Part of our mission statement is “to make relevant contributions to our community” and we know that helping a Blount County family reach their goal of owning a home is exactly the right thing to do. We also believe very strongly in the mission of Habitat for Humanity and understand that owning a Habitat home requires a lot of work by the future owner prior to even the start of home construction. Until now, our partnership with the Blount County Habitat for Humanity had been limited to a commitment of time on their Board and a monthly monetary contribution. It was time to do more for a group that we all feel very passionate about helping.
Our current billboard title states the we have “The Power to Move You.” I have thought a lot about that statement and, for me, it’s more than just helping people buy and sell real estate. This week, I heard the future owner of this home talk about how she had “moved” herself and her daughter 6 times in the last few years; moving from one rental property to another, none of those moves being her choice either. I heard about how her daughter struggled with changing schools and making new friends and how that there was very little stability in their home. Even though they knew they were only renting, they still did their best to make each house a home for one another. So, now, I think that the “power” to move someone is much more than the physical act of moving…it’s about providing stability to someone’s life so that they themselves have more control over their situation; it’s about partnering with someone to help them get to that next level when they are willing to work feverishly hard to reach their goal; it’s about giving them the “power” to make their dreams become a reality.
That morning, a group of about 25 people gathered together, most of them meeting for the first time, some of them being on a construction site for the first time. Together, we built and stood 2 walls of this home; the future homeowner right beside of us. It was so much more than just your average team-building exercise. We walked away from that site knowing that we were making a real difference in the lives of people in our own community.
I hope that you will follow our journey as we experience our first Habitat build project together as LeConte Realty and that you might get involved with your local Habitat for Humanity organization.