A large crowd gathered at Habitat’s Swannanoa construction site on Friday, March 28, to help raise the first wall on a home that’s being built with the support of the Swannanoa Valley community. Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa (FANS) is partnering with Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity to recruit community volunteers to help build the house, and to raise money from local donors to “Adopt” the lot on which the house sits. Dubbed the Sweet Home Swannanoa house, this project is truly a community effort. It’s one of 17 homes being built by Habitat in a new affordable housing community off Dennis Street in Beacon Village.
At the wall raising, there was hardly a dry eye in the house as homeowner-to-be Lesley Gillespie told the crowd how much it meant for her and her family to be able to fulfill their dream of home ownership (see separate story at left for more about the Gillespie family). The crowd joined together to sing rousing renditions of If I Had A Hammer and Sweet Home Swannanoa (set to the tune of Sweet Home Alabama), before stepping outside to raise the wall. The event was so inspiring that many people in attendance made donations on the spot, including one young man who pulled a dollar out of his pocket, saying that he didn’t have much to give, but really wanted to help.
Our goal is to raise $7,500 from the Swannanoa Valley community to help cover the cost of the Adopt A Lot sponsorship for the Sweet Home Swannanoa house. We’re almost halfway there; we need your help to close the gap. Every gift will make a difference, no matter how large or small, especially since two anonymous donors have agreed to match every gift on a dollar-for-dollar basis! To make your donation, go to www.ashevillehabitat.org, click on the Donate button and select Sweet Home Swannanoa from the Area of Support menu, or call Betsy Warren, Habitat Sponsorship Coordinator, at 210-9363.
Volunteers are needed to help build the Sweet Home Swannanoa house Tuesday – Saturday, from approximately 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., through early June. No experience is required; Habitat will provide the necessary tools and teach you how to use them. Several days have been designated as community workdays, including a major event on Saturday, May 31, that will include 30 volunteers, a lunchtime celebration, and more! To sign up for a community workday, please click here. Space is limited, so don’t delay. For more information about volunteer opportunities, call Stephanie Wallace, Habitat Volunteer Coordinator, at 210-3983.
FANS would like to thank the Swannanoa Valley community for the outpouring of support for the Sweet Home Swannanoa project. A special word of thanks goes out to Steve Moseley, Swannanoa musician and owner of Eye Scream Parlor, who led us in song at the wall raising; Ellen Frost, Swannanoa Valley resident and Buncombe County Commissioner, for offering words of welcome and support to those in attendance; and The Swannanoa Welcome Table, for providing delicious food and drink.