Bank of America Albany Banking Center Manager Jennifer Wilson presents Flint River Habitat for Humanity Vice President Brian Mallow a check for $3,000 on behalf of the bank Wednesday. The donation will be matched by Bank of America's corporate office for a total of $6,000 for Habitat.
ALBANY, Ga. — Flint River Habit for Humanity will be able to complete two home builds on Sunny Lane due, in part, to contributions from a local banking center.
An independent local fund through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation is providing a $3,000 grant to the local Habitat for use in home construction, with a focus on homes for military veterans, Banking Center Manager Jennifer Wilson said. The grant is matched by BoA’s corporate office for a total contribution of $6,000.
Brian Mallow, vice president of the Flint River Habitat affiliate, said both Sunny Lane homes are about 95 percent complete. He said a military veteran is poised to move into one of the homes in early September.
Mallow said the national Habitat for Humanity organization and the local chapter have focused recently on building homes for veterans.
“I think there’s a misconception that we give away houses at Habitat,” Mallow said. “Actually, you have to qualify, and that includes having decent credit and showing an ability to pay the loan. We also require sweat equity, or putting in 400 hours of work on your own house.”
Mallow said selected residents are required to undergo special training to learn how to be homeowners and make loan payments.
“That’s certainly something Bank of America could get involved with, and we look forward to partnering with them in the future,” Mallow said.
While work on Habitat homes continues throughout the year, the organization is given a boost periodically by builds involving various organizations or student groups.
Recent builds included students from Harvard, Penn State and several Midwestern universities, Mallow said. Coming up are a 9/11 day of service build on Sept. 11 and a build on faith, a three-day build of local church volunteers in late September.
On Oct. 1, the group will conduct a World Habitat Day Build in observance of the holiday declared by the United Nations to be the first Monday in October.
Mallow said Flint River Habitat has been more active lately in soliciting both donations and volunteers. Interest and donations were elevated recently through “Hammer Jam,” a musical event featuring five local bands. Habitat is also involved with the upcoming Georgia Throwdown, a three-day music and arts festival in October.
Wilson, banking center manager at the Bank of America office on Washington Street, made the presentation Wednesday morning at the bank.
“In the past, (Bank of America) has had a negative hit that we don’t look at the local people,” she said. “But I’m glad we’re able to show that we care about our community and are helping to make sure that Albany is a better place.”
For information about Flint River Habitat for Humanity, call (229) 446-8199.