Minister issues $10 challenge

Published 11:59 pm Friday, January 23, 2009

Habitat for Humanity has recently found a new home in Covington County, and now members are beginning a fund-raising effort that will hopefully help countless families in the future move into new homes.

First United Methodist Church pastor Rev. Tim Trent said he will announce a plan Sunday that he hopes will raise $60,000 a year for Habitat.

“I’m calling it the $10 club,” Trent said. “The idea is for 10 churches to get 50 people to pledge $10 a month for a year — that’s $60,000, which is what we need to build our one house a year.”

This will be the first organized fund-raiser for Habitat, and Trent said the concept behind the idea was simple.

“So many times, when you are looking at a large sum of money, it seems to be overwhelming when you think about how to raise it,” he said. “So, I broke it down to something simple, where anyone can participate in it.

“When you think about $10 a month, that’s nothing really — just the cost of lunch one day,” he said. “And when you think about what it can mean for a family, it’s amazing.”

Trent said while he thinks response at his church will be good, he doesn’t want to give the impression the effort is just for area churches.

“Anyone can make a pledge,” he said. “We want anyone and everyone that will commit to this project. People can give more or they can give less. When you’re talking about building a home for a needy family, there is no such thing as too small of an amount.”

Habitat for Humanity of Covington County (HFHCC) received its national affiliation in May and in November announced it had approved the three families — one primary choice and two alternates. Although the name of the family has not been revealed, it was announced it consists of a married couple with two boys, an 8-year-old and a teenager.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit charitable organization that constructs houses for needy “partner families.” The houses are built from volunteer labor and the families own the house and pay a small mortgage fee, as well as help out with construction.

Construction on the first house is slated to begin in early April. The location of the build has not been determined.

Trent said HFHCC is a 501(c)(3) organization, making donations tax-deductible.

“And if your church doesn’t participate or you just want to become involved, all you have to do is call the church, and I’ll hand deliver you a pledge card,” he said.

Dale “Flip” Pancake, president of HFHCC, said he’s ecstatic at the level of community participation.

“I just got a letter in the mail from Tim (Friday),” Pancake said. “He hopes that we can present the idea to other churches who could pick it up. If we had 10 churches who did this, that would allow us to build a house every year. I don’t want to demean the large contributors who have already helped us out financially, but this $10 club is something that is almost more important. It would be great to have a large number of small contributors, and people that are participating.”

Pancake said “Habitat Sunday” will be at FUMC this Sunday, with the worship service program focusing almost entirely on Habitat.

“We really appreciate Tim picking this up and wanting to go with it,” he said. “He thinks this is a great thing for First Methodist as a church to participate in.”