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Building a Habitat for Humanity home

Article by Jim Hemig
Photos courtesy First Settlers Region

Porsche Club of America members provide community contributions in all shapes and sizes. But easily one of the largest was the First Settlers Region building a home for a family in need.

Ten years ago, the First Settlers Region started a charity program and were proud to raise $6,000 for local charities. Then five years later Josie Grandfield, Region Charity Chairperson, had an idea to do something big, something that would make a lasting impact in the community and would directly involve lots of Region members … build a house for a worthy Chesapeake, Virginia family.

Above, left photo: Josie Grandfield and new homeowner Cecelia Mason (left photo)

The First Settlers Region’s journey began with learning everything they could about the Habitat for Humanity program including the family approval process, government oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, how the financial donation would be “protected” and how the members’ involvement would be critical to the successful completion of the house. Josie Grandfield, Charity Chair and key committee members Phil Grandfield, George Michaels, Mark Hugel, and Ken Thomas met with local Habitat for Humanity officials many times to negotiate the details of the agreement. After several months and a prospective deal worked out, the committee made an appeal to the First Settlers Region Board and convinced them they could make their dream happen.

To get started, committee members mailed a letter to every First Settlers Region member announcing the Habitat for Humanity project. The committee explained the first challenge of building a “First Settlers Region House” was to raise $50,000. Habitat for Humanity could not start the process until a minimum financial obligation was met. The committee thought raising the first half of the funds could be quick, but the second half of the money may come over many months, or even over the course of the rest of 2018. To the Region’s surprise, the entire $50,000 was raised in less than two months, and this is from a Region with only about 700 primary members. With the initial funds raised, the Region members grabbed their hammers and got to work.

“It is, and will always be, the home built by the First Settlers Region, Porsche Club of America. Handing the keys over to the new homeowner made all the hard work worth every minute,” Josie Grandfield said.

The First Settlers Region’s goal was to turbocharge their charity program and do something big for their community. In the end, they raised over $100,000 in monetary and in-kind donations and worked over 600+ member hours on the job site to build the Habitat for Humanity home. The project took the commitment from the charity committee, the Region Board of Directors, and the dedication, generosity, time and sweat equity of many Region members. As a result of their work, a young family is living in a home of their own.

This incredible community contribution earned the First Settlers Region the 2019 PCA National Public Service Award. The PCA Public Service Award recognizes the Region that has conducted the most outstanding charity or community service event or events during the year.

Every year across Porsche Club of America, members are making a difference with many amazing, heartwarming, and thoughtful acts of kindness. The above is just one of those contributions. Be sure to check e-Brake News to read more about PCA Regions making a difference and click here for additional past articles. If your Region has a charitable activity or event that you would like to share, please click here.