South Charlotte

Building blessings by helping build homes

There's an old story about the farmer looking for riches. He sells off his farm to go search for diamonds. It turns out they were in his own field.

The moral: you don't have to look outside your own backyard for happiness.

In fact, you need only to look to parishioners at St. Matthew Catholic Church.

This past weekend, parishioner Bob Wilcocks, his wife, Carol, and a team far too numerous to name turned over the keys to a Habitat for Humanity home they've been building since the end of May.

As Wilcocks puts it, “Carol and I fell in love with helping people that had no means to improve their lifestyle.”

When they were asked to help build a Habitat for Humanity home in Matthews, “we knew then we had another way to do God's work and help more families make a better life for themselves. Being retired, we jumped at the chance to keep meaning in our lives by helping others,” Bob says.

(Sort of makes you look inside yourself and ask what you're doing to keep meaning in your life, doesn't it?)

Wilcocks continues, “We fell in love with the whole concept of Habitat for Humanity and their motto of ‘A hand up, not a hand out'.”

I was surprised to find out that the homeowner gets to select flooring, colors, siding, roofing and many other details. They also must put in 400 hours minimum of sweat equity. These first-time homeowners are happy to oblige. Many also donate time to build on other Habitat homes. Wilcocks tells of one family who got a home in 2004 and volunteer their time to this day.

Wilcocks goes on to explain, “This year we were blessed with the Life Teen group headed up by Erin Dunne.” That group ultimately raised $46,000 toward the home sponsored by St. Matthews.

“Many of the teens over 16 years old spent their summer Saturdays building the home along with the adults from our church,” Bob says. “This home took over 200 people and over 2,200 hours to build. The kids had a great time and it was a joy watching them all work together.”

Bob thanks Rev. Monsignor McSweeney for his support.

Agreed, but I'd also add that our entire community is also fortunate to have Bob and Carol Wilcocks and their team helping people realize the American dream.