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Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

SALISBURY — More than 30 Keller Williams employees on Thursday volunteered their time to make someone’s dream come true in the form of a new home.

This was how some of the local agents chose to spend the company’s annual RED Day, which stands for renew, energize and donate. The international company sets aside one day every year for everyone to go out and do good in the communities they serve.

Agents Susanna Hollingsworth and Jessica Fava are in charge of the social and culture committee at the company’s Kannapolis market center. They alternate the activities for the day between Cabarrus and Rowan counties each year. This was Rowan’s year, and the local group decided to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. The group finished most of the siding on a new Habitat home in one day, pushing the progress on the build ahead a few weeks.

The home, on Union Heights Boulevard in Salisbury, is on of a row of nine. Most of the homes are already finished and occupied. The next one has most of its foundation work finished by South Rowan High School masonry students.

Rowan County Habitat Construction Supervisor David Rowh said the house that Keller Williams employees focused on has been underway since February. Homeowners have to contribute 400 hours of “sweat equity” to their own home, including bringing their own volunteers.

Rowh said Habitat looks to help people who have income and a need for housing, but may not be able to get a traditional mortgage. Habitat homeowners pay a mortgage like anyone else would, but Habitat does not make a profit off the loan.

The Keller Williams employees had not worked with Habitat before. Two years ago, they volunteered with Rowan Helping Ministries. Last year, they volunteered with a therapeutic riding center in Cabarrus. The company bought lunch for everyone at the site, including the habitat volunteers.

“We have a really great office and we’ve had a lot of fun,” Hollingsworth said at the site.

Hollingsworth said volunteering with Habitat made sense because they all work in real estate, so they help people find homes every day.

Fava said being part of the actual building process was “awesome,” and she expected the owner to be shocked when she saw how much work was done.

Homeowner Shawnte Heilig received photos of progress, but said she could not believe how much progress had been made in one day when she stopped by that afternoon.

“My mind is blown,” Heilig said. “It’s amazing.”

Heilig said the house will provide opportunity for her, a place for her family to come together and maybe a place for worship.

“There’s always time for some Jesus,” Heilig said.

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