Each fall, First Baptist joins with other local congregations to construct a Habitat for Humanity home. First Baptist has committed to provide 15 volunteers to work 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 4. We will build a home in the Park Preserve community off Ewing Lane in North Nashville for the Abiangama family. While we anticipate that our major activity that day will be installing siding on the outside of the home, assignments can change as the Habitat Construction Team deals with COVID-19 challenges that require workgroups to be limited in size. We will be outside (rain or shine), and the work will be moderately strenuous. Volunteers do NOT need to have previous construction experience. No one under the age of 16 is permitted to participate. If you would like to volunteer or have questions, contact Vic Hatridge at email@example.com. Sign-up deadline is September 18.
Meet the future homeowner Franco Abiangama
Franco left the Republic of Congo and lived in Uganda for 12 years before arriving in the United States in 2016. He left Africa because of war and “the difficulties that my children faced finishing school and because I needed a better job,” he says. Franco has four children ranging in ages from 14 to 21 years. His carpentry skills landed him a job with Solomon Builders where he has worked since 2017. Franco was a pastor in Africa and speaks four languages, including Swahili, which enabled him to help establish a Swahili church service at Woodmont Hills Church. In 2019, he volunteered with his church on the annual Unity Build and that day told Unity Build Coordinator Gladys Wolfe that he planned to apply for a Habitat home himself. His perseverance to create a better life for his family never wavered. After several applications, he qualified for Habitat’s homeownership program and is the 2020 Unity Build future homeowner.
Franco’s family lives in a four-bedroom rental with one bathroom that costs more than half of his income. One of the bedrooms is a converted garage and lacks a vent for heating and cooling. The oldest children work to help with the household expenses while also attending college. Despite all of those challenges, Franco still sends money to family members in Africa. With the aid of his eldest daughter translating, Franco attends Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership classes to learn how to budget for a mortgage, with his daughter also gaining valuable financial management knowledge.
Franco says, “Owning a home will enable me to save money and plan a better future for my children. Habitat is life changing.”
Rigorous health and safety guidelines will be enforced:
- Habitat volunteers will follow recommended Metro and CDC guidelines for social distancing.
- Any volunteer or staff member who does not feel well or who is running a temperature, showing signs of acute respiratory illness or difficulty breathing should not come to the build site.
- Volunteers will work in groups of 10 or less.
- All volunteers will be given new, personal protective equipment (PPE) – hardhat, safety glasses, gloves and a face covering and will be required to wear these items while on the build site. Volunteers may bring their own face coverings, gloves and safety glasses, personal sunglasses and/or regular glasses will substitute for safety glasses. No PPE will be shared.
- Habitat construction staff and SOS will also wear PPE.
- Hand washing stations and hand sanitizer stations will be available at the build site.
- Port-a-lets will be cleaned daily.
- In order to provide a safe and sanitary breakfast and lunch option, all food will be served in individual disposable containers (boxed lunch style).