Helping families in need: Local company first to fully fund a local Habitat for Humanity home

Matt Hamilton/Daily Citizen-News

Sheila McWilliams, left, and Olivia Hamill, middle, Wells Fargo volunteers, dig holes for the porch at the Habitat for Humanity home on Tahoe Lane in Dalton.

DALTON, Ga. — Since the Greater Dalton Habitat for Humanity was founded 32 years, the group has never had a home fully sponsored — until now.

Material Handling Inc. is donating all items needed to build the house, which is under construction on Tahoe Lane in Dalton, said Raven Braud, the organization's marketing coordinator.

John Patterson, vice president of sales for Material Handling Inc., said in the 40 years they have been in business, the Dalton community has "put a lot of meals on our employees' and families' tables." To return the generosity, the company is sponsoring materials to build the 58th Habitat for Humanity. House No. 57 is being built on the same street.

Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit that helps people improve or build their home. Habitat for Humanity homeowners help build their home — called "sweat equity" — along with volunteers and pay an "affordable mortgage," according to the organization's website. Dalton-based Material Handling Inc. sells and leases forklifts and other material handling equipment in the Southeast.

Braud said two women have been selected to receive the homes.

Laprei Ramsey, 33, of Dalton is one of the future homeowners. She said she was "really appreciative" to Habitat for Humanity for the opportunity to own a home. Ramsey, the mother of two children, said she has been trying for two years to get into a home.

"I was really happy when I got the call saying my application was accepted," Ramsey said.

Also, Wells Fargo donated $15,000 to Habitat for Humanity in conjunction with April being National Volunteer Month and Wells Fargo's ninth annual Community Service Super Saturday.

Stacie Green, Wells Fargo district manger of retail banking for northwest Georgia, said Super Saturday allows employees help build better communities.

"Wells Fargo has partnered with Habitat for over six years in Dalton," Green said. "Wells Fargo loves to partner with Habitat because we are able to help give homes to families in need."

Green said the partnership began with Habitat for Humanity when Wells Fargo was looking for a organization to partner with.

"With Habitat being someone we can help give homes to families, we were interested," Green said. "Our branch manager Brenda Palmer is on the Habitat board, so it has been a wonderful connection that continues to grow each year."

Braud said since house No. 58 is sponsored by Material Handling Inc., Habitat for Humanity will use the $15,000 check on the 57th house.

"We've never had a home fully sponsored before and we’re blessed to have two homeowners," Braud said. "If we didn't have the sponsorship we’d only be able to build one house."

Schyler Burns, a customer sales and service representative with Wells Fargo, said volunteering with Habitat is "heartwarming."

"I love coming to help some people who may not necessary have a lot," she said. "It feels good to know they will have a home."

Dave Hasting, construction manager for Habitat for Humanity, said Wells Fargo is a "great group" to work with.

"We enjoy having them out here," he said. "This is something we all love and have a good time doing."

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