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Habitat organizers ‘plant seeds’ here

POSTED: August 4, 2010 4:00 a.m.
Michele Hester Dawson Community News/

Bethany Berg was recently selected as the recipient of Dawson County's first Habitat for Humanity home. Pictured with her teenage sons, Cory, and Ian, Berg spoke July 27 at The Father's House Christ Fellowship Church about her appreciation for the program. Construction on the Bergs' home is scheduled to begin in November.

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Bill Phinney called last week’s organizational meeting for Habitat for Humanity in Dawson County the beginning of “something incredible.”


A group of about 60 attended a breakfast at The Father’s House Christ Fellowship Church on July 27 in support of a community effort to bring affordable home ownership through Habitat for Humanity to Dawson County.


Among the attendees was Bethany Berg and her two teenage sons, Ian and Cory, who were recently selected as Dawson County’s first Habitat for Humanity family.


“I know that without this I could never have what they’re going to give me,” Berg said at the breakfast.


Phinney, board president for Habitat’s North Central Georgia division which includes Dawson, said the group’s “spirit to help provide housing” to families like the Bergs will move the local program forward quickly.


Land for the Bergs’ home is now available. Construction is expected to begin in November.


Steve Holder, one of the initial local organizers, said he knows the road ahead will be long.


“But we’re so thankful this giant step has happened,” he said.


Habitat North Central Georgia CEO Russ Hayes said the group has undertaken a campaign to raise $80,000.


“It will be a long process,” he said. “We’re constantly planting seeds that will bear fruit at a later time.”


Holder said several people volunteered to help in numerous ways at the meeting.


“We have one guy who’s wanting to have a golf tournament, and several banks are wanting to help,” he said.


Holder said the land currently available for the Bergs’ home is across the county line in neighboring Forsyth County.


“Right now that’s where the house will be built,” Holder said. “Unless we have a local donor show up.”


He said the local banks are also looking into surplus land to “see if we can afford anything here.”


The Bergs have said they prefer to stay in Dawson but are thankful either way.


“Without Habitat, my kids and I would not have the opportunity for home ownership,” Berg said.


The tentative first nail ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 13.


For more information, call (770) 886-4939, or e-mail Steve Holder at


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