Due to concerns regarding inclement weather, Habitat for Humanity of Saline County is moving this year's Apostles Build from a Sept. 7 kickoff to Oct. 12 and 14 through 18.
Habitat Director Stephanie Griffin said because of the rain the area has had Habitat cannot guarantee the slab would be ready in time for the Sept. 7 date. She added moving it to October will hopefully mean cooler weather for the work.
She noted the new date also coincided with First Baptist Church of Benton's Serve Day.
"Apostles Build is one of our primary builds each year simply because it does involve our local churches," Griffin said. "Since we are a Christian organization, church involvement is an essential part of our success, from their volunteer involvement, as well as monetary donations. We are always looking for additional church partners, as well as volunteers in general, whether affiliated with a church or not."
Along with Apostle Build, the other yearly builds are the Collegiate Challenge and Realtor Build.
This year marks the 14th Apostle Build in the local organization's 20-year history.
The new build will take place at 7 Jefferson St. in Benton, next to the recently dedicated 70th newly built home. This home will go to the Ramos family. Like all Habitat new homeowners, the Ramos family has to put in 300 sweat equity hours, plus an additional 150 hours for each additional adult who will live in the home, along with making monthly payments on a 0 percent interest loan.
The family plans to provide a meal for volunteers during the build, along with Thrivent Financial and Simmons Bank.
The churches signed up to take part in the build this year are Fellowship Bible Church, First Baptist Church of Benton, St. Matthews Episcopal Church, Sardis Methodist Church, First United Methodist Church of Benton, First United Methodist Church of Bryant, Our Lady of Fatima, Revolution Church, Abundant Life and Mt. Zion.
Griffin said this build, and other Habitat projects, gives local churches a chance to practice missions at home. She said Habitat and the volunteers are giving the new homeowners a hand up, not a hand out.
She emphasized no building experience is needed to volunteer. The regular group of volunteers, known as the Tuesday Crew, will supervise and guide all build participants. Griffin said experience is not needed to even join the Tuesday Crew because those volunteers learned from each other and experience building the homes.
During build week, Habitat plans to hold two events at Herzfeld Library in Benton.
On Oct. 14 at 6 p.m., Thrivent Financial will host a class on basic budgeting and finance. Griffin asks those who plan to attend to RSVP to Habitat at 501-315-5434.
On Oct. 17 at 6 p.m., there will be a homeowner application meeting where anyone who is interested in applying for a Habitat home can learn more, ask questions and find out if they may qualify.
Along with volunteers, the churches also help with the build through financial support, though Griffin said it does not fully cover the build. She will gladly accept any sponsorships or financial donations to help with the cost.
Habitat will hold its Overall Ball from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 26, at the Benton Event Center to help raise funds for the builds.
"Those funds can help go toward Apostles Build," Griffin said.
Tickets are now on sale for the event for $40 each or $350 for a table of 10. They can be purchased by contacting Habitat.
There are other ways to help Habitat as well. Griffin said they are always looking for more churches to partner with Habitat. For each church, they like to have a church liaison on the church relations committee who can keep Habitat informed of church events and vice versa. Volunteers can also feed the Tuesday Crew on work days.
Griffin said anyone is welcome to join Habitat on any of the builds, even if they are not associated with a church.
"Habitat is a wonderful Christian organization that is important to the whole community," she said.