When the Hill Family of Coal City looks back on 2017, the family of four is grateful for so many things; each other, their health and now their forever home thanks to Grundy Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity, along with the 70 volunteers that made their long-shot wish of owning a home a reality.
Homeowners Glen and Beth Hill, who have been married for 20 years, remember the chance they took applying for the Habitat for Humanity program; feeling “a little chicken” to explore the opportunity, but also thinking to each other, “why not apply?”
Their journey, which started as an interview process with the organization, ended with the family spending the year working alongside volunteers to construct their “forever” home.
“I guess the people of Habitat saw that dream in our eyes and after many conversations, they selected us,” said Beth Hill. “We cannot tell you how grateful we are for this opportunity.”
The Hill Family’s home was made possible in part by a $5,000 donation from LyondellBasell, one of the world’s largest plastics, chemical and refining companies, whose financial donation was the largest received by Grundy Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity in 2017.
LyondellBasell’s donation to Habitat for Humanity was part of the company’s Global Care Day efforts, an annual volunteering and philanthropic campaign when the company’s employees at sites around the world come together to serve local community social needs.
“The Morris Complex was awarded by LyondellBasell with an additional $5,000 toward our Habitat for Humanity volunteer efforts,” said Tim Carnell, site manager. “We recognize our overwhelming employee participation during our Global Care Day and want employees and volunteers to know the entire company is behind them, helping to match their energy financially.”
Elena Cabral, Volunteer Coordinator and Board Member, credits all the donations given to the Hill Family home and noted that the LyondellBasell donation came at the best possible moment.
“The LyondellBasell gift was the surprise last push that we needed to complete the final last piece of the home,” said Cabral. “Through LyondellBasell we will shortly be handing the keys over to the Hill family.”
The LyondellBasell Morris Complex, one of the largest chemical plants in the Midwest, provided the funds to connect the gutters to the storm drain and regrade the land surrounding the home. In addition, the donation will provide the workforce needed to lay sod and complete the yard installation when weather allows.
Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976, while the Grundy County chapter began in 1996. The organization aims to build safe and affordable homes for deserving families. Thanks to generous donors and volunteers, 13 homes have been built in the area, including the Hill’s new residence.
Habitat for Humanity families must meet three criteria’s which include a need, ability to pay a mortgage and a willingness to partner with the organization. When the Hill Family receives the keys to their new home, they will be taking on a no-interest mortgage.
“Our builds begin with a lot of behind the scenes planning from our experienced volunteer Board of Directors, committee members and knowledgeable contractors,” said Sally Van Cura, the new Executive Director with Grundy Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity. “The excitement and passion of our builds is contagious, an emotion we hope that everyone has a chance to experience!” The Hill Family agrees and credits the volunteers for taking the time to help.
“So many people took time out of their own lives to help our dream come true,” said Beth. “They walked in as caring strangers and walked out as part of our family.”
The Hill Family and Grundy County Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity recognize the value of the financial support that has contributed toward their home.
“Yes, we are excited for even the little things,” said Beth. “Our daughter will be able to get on her bike and ride in a quiet and friendly neighborhood. When we turn on a light, we will remember the day the electrician installed that gift! Moving forward we want to help our neighbors as our neighbors have helped us.”