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County’s HFH begins 16th house

County’s HFH begins 16th house
County's HFH begins 16th house | Habitat for Humanity, James Ballew family of Gleason

The Ballew family of Gleason (from left) Heather, Virginia, James, Tracy, and William Ballew have been selected as the 16th partners to work with Habitat for Humanity.

The James Ballew Family of Gleason has recently been selected as the 16th partners to work with Habitat for Humanity in Weakley County.
The Tennessee Housing Development Agency has awarded WCHFH a grant to help with the construction of the Ballew’s new home. The family of five, along with other WCHFH volunteers, began work on their home in April of this year at 401 College St.
First, however, Habitat volunteers tore down the Ballews’ older home. The family of two adults and three teenagers are looking forward to the goal of completing their new home by early summer. This will be the third WCHFH home in Gleason.
The Ballews have lived in the Gleason area for nearly 20 years and considers it home. James has extended family there and works at the local Steele Plant Company. The company is renowned for its sweet potato production and sales of 4 to 5 million plants annually. Tracy, likewise, works there during its peak times of operation.
Heather and James went to school at Gleason all their lives and are recent graduates. William is considering a career in the military, and Heather is looking for a job – if her brother doesn’t first convince her to make the military her career too!
Virginia is currently in middle school and looking forward to inviting her friends for sleep-overs in her new room.
The family is excited to begin this new chapter of their lives in a new home since their recent one was older and sub-standard. William mentioned the uneven heating, with the upstairs being 10 degrees hotter or colder than the rest of the house, depending on the weather.
Their new home will have energy-efficient insulation and central heat and air. He also mentioned that “walking across the floor was often like taking a roller coaster ride.” James is excited that he can now provide a better home and legacy for his family.
“It pleases me to know that I will leave the family something worth having.”
As part of their contract with Habitat, the Ballews must put in approximately 200 hours working beside other volunteers in the construction of their home. In the end, the family will be left with something they can be proud of because they personally helped build it.
Because of volunteer labor and a no-interest loan, their monthly mortgage payments will be reasonable and affordable. Many families struggle to get a conventional loan from a bank, but Habitat makes it possible by giving a hand up (not a hand out) to those who need a structurally-sound home that is appealing to the neighborhood.
WCHFH welcomes volunteers to help work on the Ballew home during the next few months. An on-site supervisor will show you what to do if you’ve never been involved in construction before.
Of course, Habitat always welcomes skilled construction laborers, volunteers to work on various committees and groups to provide lunches for workers on Saturdays, when most of the work takes place.
Monetary donations are especially needed to defray Habitat’s ongoing expenses. Send those to WCHFH, P.O. Box 124, Sharon, Tennessee, 38255. If you would like more information, see the website at or contact John Schommer at 881-7366 or 588-0794.

WCP 5.31.12

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