Campbell County Habitat for Humanity has built 29 homes for low-income families since 1995. However, due to a lack of volunteers, its work in Campbell County might end next year.
By June 30, 2013, the end of the fiscal year, Habitat’s leaders say they might hang it up. The problem isn’t money.
“Financially we’re in good shape,” CCHfH Vice President Jeanne Smith said.
The Resale Store and other contributions from local businesses help successfully fund Habitat’s operations, according to a CCHfH press release.
However, there aren’t enough volunteers to run the organization. Habitat needs more people to commit to assume leadership positions.
“There’s nobody coming up,” Jeanne Smith said.
While people are sometimes willing to help on Saturdays, Habitat is looking for people who will commit to assume leadership roles.
This involves holding meetings, supervising building projects, managing relationships with organizations and people in the community and running the resale store.
“A lot of stuff that has nothing to do with building,” CCHfH volunteer Keith Kile said. “Building skills could be good, but they’re not necessary.”
Volunteers’ work would still involve some building.
“That’s still the goal,” CCHfH President Marie Kile said. “But it needs all this support system.”
This support system includes leadership positions on the executive board, such as president, vice president, treasurer and secretary.
There are also positions on committees under the executive board such as the family selection committee, family support committee, safety committee, building committee, church relations committee and media committee.
Each committee has several members and a chair that sits on the executive committee. In order to continue operating, CCHfH needs volunteers to fill these positions. Many of these positions are currently filled by the same 13 volunteers.
“If you want to get the job done, and there’s no one to do it, then one of us does it,” CCHfH Treasurer Don Smith said.
The responsibility can sometimes become weighty for the few who have chosen to shoulder it. When somebody is sick, has an appointment, visits family or for whatever reason can’t fulfill an obligation to CCHfH, one of the others has to fill the role.
But there aren’t enough volunteers to fill in the gaps. This puts strain on the current volunteers.
The current group of volunteers who run Habitat is also aging.
“The real problem is, if you look around, you see a lot of gray hair, or no hair,” Keith Kile said
In order for CCHfH to continue offering the services it has provided to the community, 15 to 20 active volunteers would need to commit to fill these leadership positions.
“There’s a lot of things younger people can do while holding a job,” Don Smith said.
“You can take any one of (the) leadership positions and (still be) fully employed, because the meetings are at night,” Marie Kile said.
CCHfH currently manages resources to fund building about one or two houses for families in the community every year. This is the responsibility the new volunteers would have to assume.
They not only need to participate in CCHfH, but learn about the organization and become responsible for it.
Every new volunteer would need to go through training before assuming leadership.
“They would have to be in place six to eight months before they could take it over,” Jeanne Smith said.
CCHfH is a Christian organization and an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, which is based in Georgia.
CCHfH was established in 1995, according to the CCHfH press release. CCHfH is completely operated by volunteers.
The first house built in Campbell County was completed in 1997. CCHfH is currently finishing its 29th house.
“We’re going to try to finish another house,” Don Smith said, referring to the 30th house.
If a desirable number of volunteers don’t step forward, the current leaders will shut the book on the work they began in 1995. Those interested in volunteering can call Keith and Marie Kile at 566-7666 or Don and Jeanne Smith at 566-2031.