Pictured here: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter at 2019 Carter Work Project in Nashville, TN.
By Page Hundley
As we start a new year and a new decade, I’m thinking, like so many of us, about resolutions and how to live a better life in 2020. I’ve made the usual resolutions that I make every year. This year I resolve to lose weight, exercise more, stay in touch with family & friends, etc., etc. But, are there other things I should add to my resolutions this year? How else could I resolve to be a better person in 2020?
I was in California visiting family over the holidays and witnessed their critical homeless situation. Every underpass, every large parking lot, every public park has a “tent city” where people are living without the basic amenities that we all need: a bed, clean water, protection from the elements, safety for our children. Here in Chatham County, we don’t have those kinds of out-in-the-open, in-your-face issues, but we still have a very real need for safe and affordable housing. Local studies have shown that most middle-income people, ie: school teachers, police officers, retail workers, restaurant servers, can’t afford to live in Chatham County, the county they work in and support. As Chatham Park becomes a reality here and other high-end housing is built, there are fewer and fewer places for low and middle-income people to live locally.
That’s where Habitat for Humanity comes in. I was watching the NBC nightly news on New Year’s Eve and was enheartened to see a segment about Jimmy Carter working on a new Habitat house being built in a Nashville Habitat community that will eventually have 100 homes in it. He’s 95 years old. Just got out of the hospital after brain surgery. But, bless them, he and Rosalynn were both at the build site hammering trim. If President Carter can volunteer to help provide safe, affordable housing at 95 years old, well then, I can certainly do the same here in Chatham County!
So, that’s my resolution for 2020. The need is right here in Chatham County and I can help. I can help make Chatham County a better place to live and raise children in the new decade. I can do that by donating unused home and furniture items to the Habitat ReStore on West St. in downtown Pittsboro. I can shop at the ReStore when I need household items. I can volunteer at the build sites in Siler City. I can volunteer in the business office or the ReStore in Pittsboro. I can spread the word among my friends and neighbors here in Chatham County. I can donate financially and I can give my time. AND YOU CAN, TOO!