Lifestyle

St. Hubert’s women’s group in Langley raises money for new home

Annee Imle (center) of Habitat for Humanity of Island County receives a $3,000 check from Father Rick Spicer of St. Hubert Catholic Church in Langley on Monday. With them is Dede Strawn, who will be the recipient of a new three-bedroom Habitat home. - Roy Jacobson / The Record
Annee Imle (center) of Habitat for Humanity of Island County receives a $3,000 check from Father Rick Spicer of St. Hubert Catholic Church in Langley on Monday. With them is Dede Strawn, who will be the recipient of a new three-bedroom Habitat home.
— image credit: Roy Jacobson / The Record

The Women of St. Hubert’s in Langley heeded an unusual Apostolic call and raised $3,000 to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Island County.

The money, presented Monday, will go toward a new house south of Coupeville for a Langley resident, a single mother of three.

“It’s very humbling to be blessed with this opportunity,” said Dede Strawn, who will receive the new house in the Teronda West development. “I’m so grateful to know that my children will always have a home.”

The women’s group of St. Hubert Catholic Church raised the money through a recent luncheon and fashion show. The event included a silent auction of items donated by 18 local and county businesses that netted $1,185.

The fundraiser was part of a larger “Apostle build” program launched by the county Habitat group headquartered in Oak Harbor, to encourage churches island-wide to contribute to the building of a Habitat house.

The idea was to convince 12 churches, reflecting the 12 Apostles of the Bible.

So far in the county, 11 churches have raised more than $27,000, said Annee Imle, local Habitat resource development manager.

“It’s a great way for the church community to put their faith into action,” Imle said Monday at St. Hubert’s as she and Strawn received the $3,000 check from Father Rick Spicer.

Imle said Habitat for Humanity of Island County, which has been building two houses per year for the past several years, plans to build six houses this year.

She said principal funding for the projects will come from a state Housing Trust Fund grant specifying green construction.

“I’m so excited to live in sustainable green housing,” Strawn said.

Habitat for Humanity sells houses at zero-interest loans to qualified buyers. Much of the materials are donated, and most of the construction is done by volunteers — including the new owner, who must put in at least 500 hours of “sweat equity” on the project, 100 hours directly on the house itself.

Buyers must be steadily employed with low to moderate incomes, and be living in substandard housing.

Habitat for Humanity also provides mandatory classes for buyers on the responsibilities of home ownership and the prudent management of finances.

So far, the county Habitat group has built 22 houses. Strawn’s will be number 23.

Construction on Strawn’s new three-bedroom, one-bath home already has begun, and it should be completed in August, Imle said.

Strawn, a South Whidbey resident for the past eight years, is employed by Murphy’s Flooring & Design in Clinton. She has three children: daughter Alex, 21, a Western Washington University junior; Devon, 16, a South Whidbey High School junior; and Aidan, 8, a South Whidbey Elementary School fourth-grader.

Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has built more than 300,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1.5 million people in more than

3,000 communities with safe and affordable shelter.

With six new houses on the horizon, Imle said there’s a shortage of qualified applicants at the moment, and she urged interested persons to come forward.

And after thanking the Women of St. Hubert’s for their generosity, Imle issued a further challenge.

“Come on out and get your hands dirty and pound a few nails,” she said.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Island County, call 360-679-9444 or visit the Web site www.islandcountyhabitat.org. To volunteer, e-mail hfhvol@whidbey.com.

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