On Tuesday, August 20 Sussex County Habitat for Humanity (SCHFH) broke ground on their newest build on Gilcrest Street in Milford. Future home of the deLeon family, the build will be made possible with the help of two local businesses, Burris Logistics and Brendon T. Warfel Construction. At the ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, Executive Director of SCHFH, Kevin Gilmore, spoke of the importance of the build.
“This is not just about building a house, that is just the physical manifestation of what we are doing,” stated Gilmore. “We are uniting our communities and giving families opportunities to improve their lives.”
Future residents Abigail deLeon and Ofilia Velasquez have already contributed 350 sweat equity hours with Habitat for Humanity on houses in other locations before the groundbreaking even occurred on Tuesday afternoon. Gilmore explained to the gathered crowd that this family is displaying the Habitat values of “not giving a hand out, but a hand up,” by putting in so much work before their build even began. The family will also participate in programs that teach them how to maintain a family budget while eliminating debt.
Employees of Burris Logistics will give their time to help build the deLeon house, putting in hours between now and the winter holidays, when the house is expected to be completed. Donnie Burris, CEO at Burris Logistics in Milford, spoke at Tuesday’s event about the opportunity to partner with Habitat for Humanity on this Milford build.
“We are honored to be able to partner with Habitat,” commented Donnie. “We appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this, it is such a rewarding process.” Burris logistics and the Burris family have partnered with Habitat for Humanity for years, building houses for the less fortunate across Delaware.
Brendon Warfel, owner of Brendon T. Warfel Construction, has volunteered as the house construction leader and will be donating supplies and services to reduce the cost of the house. “I have been blessed by this community to be able to do what I love, building homes,” commented Mr. Warfel. “To use our skills to build a home for a family for a lifetime is an honor.”
Abigail deLeon, father of the family supported by Habitat, spoke at Tuesday’s ceremony thanking the community for the opportunity for his family to succeed. “We never imagined it but here we are,” stated Mr. deLeon, translated by Kevin Gilmore. “Anything can be done if we work together and we are very thankful and excited.”
Abigail and Ofilia are the parents of four children: Leopoldo, age 5; Tito, age 3; Abigail, age 2; and Esteban, age 1. The couple is excited to become partners with SCHFH and were approved by the Habitat Board in November 2012. Abigail works in the construction industry as a plumber and Ofilia is a stay-at-home mom for their four children.
The build schedule will include days designated for Burris and Warfel volunteers and partner family participation. Habitat will provide support and guidance to both partners during the entire build. If individuals would like to become a part of this upcoming Habitat for Humanity project in Milford, they are encouraged to contact Tom Protack at SCHFH, 302-855-1153 (ext 210).