By most standards, All Saints Episcopal Church on Hilton Head Island is not a large church. But its 400 congregants are not afraid to dream big.
The fact that the church already supports several outreach missions did not stop the Vestry from committing to sponsor a home for Habitat for Humanity in The Glen, Habitat’s first community on the island.
The Vestry earmarked $15,000 out of a capital campaign to the project. The rest of the $70,000 needed to build a Habitat house would have to come from donors and fund raising projects.
In November 2014, a Habitat committee was formed at All Saints and a plan was formed for raising the necessary funds. At that point roughly $5,000 had been provided by a parishioner who, using her musical skills and connections, had put on a jazz concert and earmarked the proceeds for a Habitat project at All Saints.
The committee’s first fundraising effort took place last March at The Jazz Corner in the Village at Wexford. Harmonies for Habitat sold out and raised $10,000.
In May, another parishioner participated in a triathlon and donated $2,000 in proceeds to the church’s Habitat fund.
At the same time, the committee introduced a program that encouraged people to purchase building supplies for a typical Habitat house. A donor could purchase a gallon of paint, a bucket of nails, a door, a window, light fixtures or even kitchen appliances. This program generated a great deal of interest and several thousand dollars in donations.
The next big event took place in October in the form of a silent auction. Again, the committee saw a sell out and a profit of $10,000. Little by little, the fund kept growing. Today the All Saints Habitat account totals nearly $50,000 and the goal of breaking ground in the spring of 2016 is close to being a reality.
Construction on Phase One of The Glen began in January of 2015. Currently three homes are being occupied, two homes are under construction, and plans are underway for 11 more in phase one. The All Saints house could conceivably be one of those houses.
Pat Wirth, president and CEO of Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity, values the commitment of churches and civic groups. “Local churches and civic groups are steadfast supporters of Habitat’s efforts to eliminate substandard housing in the Lowcountry,” she said. “They share Habitat’s belief that everyone deserves a simple, decent place to rest their head at the end of the day and their support is invaluable to providing local families with a home of their own.”
The second annual Harmonies for Habitat is scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m. Feb. 21 at The Jazz Corner, C-1 Village at Wexford. The cost of $150 per person includes tapas, wine and live jazz. Seating is in tables of two, four or six. Reservations can be made at www.allsaints-hhi.org or by calling 843-689-9495. The reservation deadline is Feb. 14.
Carole Galli is a parishioner of All Saints Episcopal Church and chairman of the church’s Habitat fundraising committee.