“Lord our God, You whose house is in heaven, on earth… and in that undiscovered beyond, come and bless this house” was the reading Jim Krusling used to start the most recent Clinton County Habitat for Humanity home dedication ceremony.
The home of Kathy Spangler and family was completed in November and dedicated in December, with a special blessing recognizing the importance of each part of the building. Kathy noted that many of the volunteers had taken the time to write prayers on the 2x4s and 2x6s that became the walls and trusses. These prayers and thoughts may be covered with dry wall but will always be present in her heart and memories of the hours of work provided by the many volunteers who gave up so much of their time to help build her a beautiful, energy efficient home.
There were many challenges encountered along the way to getting Kathy’s home started. The constant rain delayed getting the foundation dug and the concrete poured, so that the volunteers joked about putting in a swimming pool. When the foundation finally was completed, an all out effort was made by the construction crew to get the home under roof and beat the rain. The crew traditionally has scheduled workdays twice a week but many of the crew would show up in between those days to move the construction along. It was not unusual to find someone on the roof working on the shingles early on a Sunday to meet their goal. Kathy, who was constantly working with the crew, caught Steve Hein and Cecilia Krusling putting on shingles on their way home from Sunday services. Kathy knew that they would not come off the roof unless she bribed the two volunteers with sandwiches. Her bribe worked, but they were right back up on the roof as soon as she left.
During the dedication ceremony, it is a tradition for the construction crew and other volunteers to share thoughts about the build. Many compliments were shared that no matter how busy Kathy was with her daily job, she would always take time in the evening to work on small tasks given to her by the crew. Kathy always had a smile on her face, no matter if she was using a hammer, caulk gun or a broom, and has proven to be a real asset to the Habitat affiliate. One of the volunteers commented that she is now in competition with Linda Barkey and Judy Finkbeiner for bringing some of the most delicious and hearty lunches ever.
Kathy’s Midland structure is the 41st home built since the first Clinton County Habitat home was completed in 1996. The Habitat affiliate builds decent, affordable, energy efficient homes in Clinton County for low-income families who are able to participate in the construction of the homes and support the mission of the affiliate. The families must be able to complete a designated amount of sweat equity hours and repay the interest-free loan needed to build the home. The affiliate is always looking for volunteers to help with construction, provide meals and get the word out to families who may be in need of a Habitat home. Of course, as Jim stated in the beginning of the ceremony, the number one way is to keep the families and volunteers in your hearts and prayers.