Cy-Fair area church members help families by building houses
Jersey Village resident Megan Walker has been drawn to support a Habitat for Humanity project for years.
So, when she heard about the opportunity to join Northwest Harris County's Habitat for Humanity Catholic Build Project, she knew she wanted her parish to be part of it.
After receiving permission from the Rev. John Francis Ulm, pastor, Walker enrolled St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Community, 10135 West Road, and became the project organizer for her parish.
Since then, parish representatives have helped several times with the Catholic Build Project, which is located in Northwest Harris County Habitat for Humanity's newest community, Hamill Ranch, near Champion Forest Drive and Richey Road.
A small group of parishioners in April help put up the house's walls, and they returned for build dates May 14 and June 25.
Being part of this effort has been everything Walker hoped it would be.
"When I found out about Habitat for Humanity several years ago, I thought, what better way to help families that want a home?" said Walker, 24.
"When you're working, the families are participating with you, and they tell you their story. It tells you what this means to them."
St. Maximilian Kolbe sent between 45 and 50 volunteers to the May build date and 30 to 35 to the June event.
"There was great enthusiasm from our church," said Walker, who helped with painting at the June build date.
"I definitely will be out there the next time," she said.
Among the volunteers recruited by Walker is her mom, Jersey Village resident Debi Walker, who also is a St. Maximilian Kolbe parishioner.
"I had heard of Habitat for Humanity and was interested," Debi said. "Megan spearheaded the project. I supported her, and I supported the church.
"You think about how excited the families will be (about their new home)," Debi added. "It was just very exciting and rewarding."
Habitat for Humanity builds houses for people with limited financial resources. The nonprofit group relies on donated materials and volunteer help to keep the houses affordable. Homebuyers are required to help.
After investing the required "sweat equity" into their house and homes for others, clients buy the houses with a no-profit loan, and their monthly mortgage payments help build more Habitat houses.
Also supporting this year's Catholic Build Project are St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church, 7810 Cypresswood Drive; Christ the Good Shepherd Catholic Community, 18511 Klein Church Road; Prince of Peace Catholic Community, 19222 Tomball Parkway; and St. Anne Catholic Community, 1111 S. Cherry St. in Tomball.
Parishioners are encouraged to provide volunteer support, donations or both.
This year's project, which is about halfway completed, represents the third conducted for Northwest Harris County Habitat for Humanity, development director Rachael Wright said.
The first build was launched at the request of representatives from St. Ignatius Loyola and St. Michael's Catholic Church, 1801 Sage Road in Houston.
"It all starts with one person wanting to be the champion," Wright said.
"It's worked out pretty well. We do a lot of faith builds. This is the first that's all one faith."
Hamill Ranch, a seven-acre community, will comprise 42 homes when it is complete. Habitat for Humanity closed on the 21st home June 30. The other homes are waiting for closing or are under construction.
Northwest Harris County Habitat for Humanity needs more funding and volunteer support for the homes still under construction, Wright said.
For more information about donations, call 281-820-2307, or visit http://www.habitatnwhc.org.
Volunteers in groups of 14 or less people are welcome to come to the community to help with building 8 a.m.-noon Wednesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays.
Volunteers must be age 14 or older, and teens must be accompanied by adults at a ratio of one to five.
For details on volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org.