CLEVELAND – Darrell Wagoner, a volunteer with People’s Memorial Christian Church, said he believes it wasn’t chance that led him and his team to Cleveland, in order to save a family home.
Wagoner is sure it was divine intervention that caused him to find Cleveland’s Habitat for Humanity, on his home computer in North Carolina.
“I just went on the Internet and looked up ‘Cleveland Habitat,’ and got a couple of phone numbers,” said Wagoner. “I said we got a group of men, and we’d love to come to Cleveland. We just feel God led us here.”
Wagoner and his team of nine men are working on a home that was originally built by the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity . A house, that unfortunately, went vacant two years ago and was vandalized repeatedly.
Habitat For Humanity Executive Director John Habat told NewsChannel5 the 5-year-old house was stripped of all plumbing and windows, and then was set on fire, gutting the interior.
“The house was condemned, and was going to be torn down,” said Habat. “But then these angels from North Carolina called me.”
People’s Memorial Christian Church has sent volunteers to help save homes across the country. Wagoner’s crew was scheduled to volunteer in South Dakota, but when funding for supplies fell through, Wagoner found Cleveland.
Once the house is complete, it will go to Ruthie Acoff and her family of six. Acoff filled out an application with Habitat for Humanity two years ago, hoping that one day she and her family would be able to own a home again.
“When I heard they were coming up from North Carolina for a whole week to work on my house, it was just unbelievable,” shouted Acoff.
According to Habitat for Humanity guidelines, Acoff and her family are required to put 250 volunteer hours into the home, in order to take possession.
The house is expected to be ready for occupancy in December, just in time for Christmas.
Acoff hugged members of the North Carolina crew, and told Wagoner, “I really appreciate these guys, thank you so much.”
“We’re always looking for great volunteers,” said Habat. “To volunteer you can do anything from hold a shovel, work a wheelbarrow or pound some nails.”
Those interested in getting involved can sign up to help on the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity website.
Meanwhile, NewsChannel5 is also trying to spark volunteerism and help make a difference when it comes to vacant and condemned properties.
We’re inviting residents to report nuisance properties through our Building Better Neighborhood initiative .
Just send us pictures and information on vacant homes in your neighborhood and we’ll forward the information to your city building department, in an effort to move the properties to progress.
We are also giving residents information on how they can volunteer in their neighborhoods to make them better.
Wagoner couldn’t hold back the tears when explaining the mission of his church.
“It gets emotional, it will bring tears to your eyes,” explained Wagoner. “We know we are doing what God would have us do.”