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Edgeworth church helps build Habitat home in Beaver County

| Thursday, March 6, 2014, 12:14 a.m.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
John Carver of Leet uses a saw on a board to be used to help reinforce the floor as Devin MacLaren of Hopewell holds it steady at a Habitat for Humanity house on Bridge Street in Beaver Falls on Saturday, March 1, 2014. Members of Grace Church in Edgeworth spent the day helping out at the home, which has been under construction since last March.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
The Rev. John Porter of Mt. Lebanon and other members of Grace Church hold a board to be used to help reinforce the floor in place in the basement of a Habitat for Humanity house on Bridge Street in Beaver Falls on Saturday, March 1, 2014. Members of the Edgeworth church spent the day helping out at the home, which has been under construction since last March.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
The Rev. John Porter of Mt. Lebanon uses a saw on a board to be used to help reinforce the floor as Judith Hall of Leetsdale holds it steady at a Habitat for Humanity house on Bridge Street in Beaver Falls on Saturday, March 1, 2014. Members of Grace Church in Edgeworth spent the day helping out at the home, which has been under construction since last March.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
John Carver of Leet uses a saw on a board to be used to help reinforce the floor at a Habitat for Humanity house on Bridge Street in Beaver Falls on Saturday, March 1, 2014. Members of Grace Church in Edgeworth spent the day helping out at the home, which has been under construction since last March.

Amy Glover of Baden knows that Habitat for Humanity of Beaver County isn't just about finding homes for low-income families.

Glover, who volunteered Saturday with eight other people from Grace Church of Edgeworth at a Beaver Falls home, said Habitat has taught her a lot.

Glover said she now is aware “how important it is to renovate or build homes to bring life and hope not only to the families, but to an entire community.”

She hopes to be in her own Habitat home in New Brighton at the end of July, with her son and grandson.

Since 1992, 51 homes have been completed, and six more are in progress, said Corinthian Dieter (Jones), volunteer coordinator/administrative assistant at Habitat for Humanity of Beaver County.

The Beaver Falls home is scheduled for completion at the end of October.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit Christian housing ministry with volunteers worldwide.

Most homes or properties are donated, and the group is financed mostly through donations, and uses volunteer labor.

Among other conditions, families who obtain the homes must volunteer 350 “sweat equity hours,” meet income requirements, take finance and home maintenance courses and be able to make interest-free mortgage payments.

House payments are used by Habitat to build or renovate more houses, Dieter said.

The Rev. John Porter of Mt. Lebanon, who splits his time as pastor for Grace's Edgeworth and Mt. Washington churches, said he doesn't have much construction experience, but it doesn't matter.

Wearing a hard hat and dressed in a heavy coat because a furnace had not been installed in the home yet, he tackled the job of cutting boards with a power saw under the watchful eye of experienced helpers. A portable heater roared in the background.

Also on site was the Rev. Jim Huselton of Brighton Township, minister of Beaver Valley Church of God in Brighton and Habitat site supervisor. Huselton has a construction background.

The home had been gutted, and the group was working to install new lumber to reinforce older wood so new walls could be put up.

The group volunteered in another home in 2012.

Porter's son, Stephen, 16, who attends Mt. Lebanon High School, said he likes to be around construction.

Working on the site has reinforced his decision to study engineering, he said, and it “makes me feel good that it's for a good cause.”

John Carver of Leet, Habitat coordinator for the church, said participating in the project was an opportunity to give back.

“Part of the mission of the church is to serve others. We support missionaries around the world, and we also want to help the local community. This is one way to do that,” he said.

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or jbarron@tribweb.com.

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