Build Strong luncheon sees big turnout for upcoming Habitat for Humanity build

Posted Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The gymnasium of North Side Baptist Church was Ground Zero for a huge turnout of support for Trinity Habitat for Humanity.

On Thursday, close to 200 filled the facility for the organization’s annual Build Strong luncheon - more than ever before.

“When we first started seven year ago we had about 75 people that attended,” said Linda Tingle, who oversees Habitat in Parker County, at the luncheon.

Tingle shared her personal story recalling how she remembered what a neighborhood looked like when she went to visit her grandmother. That her life as a youth was anything but stable, rarely ever attending the same school more than one year.

“I think it made me stronger,” Tingle said. “But for me to be able to stand here today is only due to God’s grace.”

She said as they moved from home-to-home, most accommodations were small and in desperate need of repair.

“That’s what Trinity Habitat for Humanity does best, it provides safe and affordable housing,” Tingle added. “Our homeowners are given a hand up, not a hand out. They have to commit their ‘sweat equity’ to build their home.”

Homeowners also pay for their homes on a 30 year, zero percent loan.

Tingle said her dream was to build two homes a year in Parker County.

“We have families waiting, property that has been purchased or donated - we just need people like you showing your support by coming along side of us to make a difference in our community,” she said.

Raquel Portillo, a Habitat home owner, said its been a dream come true for her and her family who have been living in their house about 2 1/2 years.

“Our home was in urgent need of repair and we did the best we could to fix the things needed fixing, but it just became to much and the kids were always in a ‘construction’ zone,” Portillo said.

She added that their street was very busy and that she just didn’t see her children growing up in a area where they couldn‘t play outside and “just be kids.”

“We knew we wanted something better for the [kids] - a better environment, a better neighborhood, we just didn‘t know how we were going to do it,” Portillo said.

She said she found out about Habitat through a family member that told her about the process.

Clearly emotional, Portillo said that today they live in a neighborhood that has sidewalk, something she didn’t have before.

“We have a driveway and actually have a garage, which is a bonus,” she said. “There’s no going back to that and it’s thanks to Habitat and God; my family is so blessed.”

Van Houser, Senior Pastor for North Side Baptist Church said that Habitat was about giving hope through building relationships.

“There’s always a way to give,” Houser said.

The new build will mark the 12th home built in Parker County, the 10th in Weatherford.

If you would like to donate or volunteer on the Build beginning Oct. 16, please contact Tingle 817-614-1061 or e-mail

Lance Winter, 817-594-9902, Ext. 102 Twitter: @Lancewinter

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