Community unites for victim of house fire
by Staff Writer
HUNTERSVILLE – Huntersville resident Betty Patterson was recently the victim of bad timing mixed with terrible luck. When Patterson lost her homeowner’s insurance due to a bad roof, the summer construction camp ministry called Salkehatchie stepped-up, offering their services to repair her roof by July of this year.
Unfortunately, earlier in the spring while Patterson was waiting on her roof to be repaired, the house was destroyed by a fire.
Since the fire, several faith-based community members and friends of Patterson have joined forces to raise the money needed to build her a new home.
Among those who have already donated services and funds are the First Baptist Huntersville, Hopewell Presbyterian Church, Huntersville United Methodist Church, New Beginnings Moravian Church, Trinity UMC in Charlotte and Our Towns Habitat for Humanity.
Founded by the United Methodist Church in South Carolina, Salkahatchie is a summer camp that’s purpose is to provide home repairs for those who are physically or financially unable to do the needed work. Camp attendees and adult volunteers work in teams, often along side the homeowners, to provide the necessary upgrades.
The house is being built in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, but since Patterson owned the land and the previous home, she didn’t qualify as an actual Habitat homeowner. Instead, Habitat donated the house plans, saving the group from paying for expensive approved drawings.
The Rev. Ann Gibert, the coordinator of the fundraising efforts and pastor of Congregational Care at Huntersville United Methodist Church, explained that, “they started putting feelers out to different groups and churches and everyone overwhelming said, ‘we need to make this right.’
The short answer is, Jesus told us to build her house. It may seem crazy, but it seems to be happening so we are going with it.”
Patterson was able to walk through some Habitat homes that are currently under construction off of Bailey Road, where she looked at floor plans and decided which house would be best for her needs.
“The house will be very energy efficient,” Gibert said. “Because of Habitat’s stringent energy-efficiency requirements, it will cost very little for her to heat and cool the house.”
So far, about $20,000 has already been donated or committed to the fundraising efforts. On Aug. 31, the old house was torn down and the ground cleared and graded thanks to Richardson Grading and the North Mecklenburg Landfill. Once half of the $65,000 required to build the house is raised, they will begin construction where Patterson will live with her sister.
For those who want to contribute to the Patterson home, a barbecue fundraiser is being held noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at Huntersville United Methodist Church, 14005 Stumptown Road. They will be selling a barbecue plate or two sandwiches for $8 or you can buy bulk barbecue for $10 per pound. The fundraiser will have a bounce house for children and live music.
If you are unable to attend the event, but would still like to contribute, you can go fundraising webpage at, www.buildingbettyahouse.blogspot.com.