Donations enable the Sumter United Ministries Department of Construction to carry out essential repairs
BY MATT MOORE
Sumter United Ministries
I worked as a construction ministry manager for two years with Sumter United Ministries. During this time I have met and interviewed many interesting people. Although they are all memorable, there is one owner in particular that I will always recognize.
When this owner calls, I immediately know who she is by the way she says, “Hello, Matthew.
“Mrs. H” asked for help with the roof repair in 2017. During my first year on staff, I called her to schedule an appointment to do an update interview and to tour her home , but it was not available. Over the next year, we never seemed to be able to connect over the phone.
Finally, in 2021, we saw a new opportunity through our partnership with the SC Housing Trust Fund. This was a new chapter for us as an organization, and this client was going to be one of our first candidates to go through the process. As I visited her, we sat and talked about life, her struggles, and the meaning and importance of her home. More than just a house, it represented the family bond she had with her parents. They bought the house with her so that she would have a stable future. She was now looking to the future as she was going to give the house to her own children as a family heirloom.
However, every time it rained, it put that dream and desire in a precarious position. Water was leaking into his house because of a faulty roof. Water rot, mold and mildew were potentially destructive results if action was not taken quickly.
After submitting a 50-page grant application to SC Housing, we were told she was not eligible for assistance. My heart sank at the thought of bringing bad news.
Fortunately, hope was around the corner.
During the first week of June, our “Summer Restore” project connected over 80 Sumter volunteers with homeowners in need, replacing roofs and building a ramp. A group from Mauldin United Methodist Church, led by Jon Brooks, helped put a roof over Mrs H’s house. The Mauldin team was also assisted by a team from Wise Drive Baptist Church, led by Luke Smith. Typically, each team builds a cross made from surplus wood at their site. Everyone signs their name and places it in the yard as a reminder of the work that is done there. Our client was so proud and excited about her new roof that she asked the team to put the cross on the highest point of the house so everyone could see how Jesus used these churches and volunteers to help him with his greatest need.
Your donations to Summer of Caring will continue to empower the Department of Construction to provide the resources needed to make essential home repairs. Thanks!
Matt Moore is director of the Department of Construction.
New donations as of August 9: Susan and Gary Heimbigner, $200; Sue and Chuck Fienning, in loving memory of Henry C. Fienning, $500; The Ellis Family, in memory of Deacon Billy J. Ellis, $100; and Susan Wollman, $100.