Curt and Linda Gillespie of Blowing Rock and Naples, Fla., were inspired by the hard work at the first High Country Blitz Build, which was completed within 48 hours on Sept. 21-22 in affiliation with Watauga Habitat for Humanity and the student-led organization App Builds a Home, of Appalachian State University.
The Blitz Build was sponsored in part by App Builds a Home, which pledged to raise half of the cost of the home in addition to designing and building it. The student organization partnered with other groups on campus, such as the Glee Club and Treble Choir, to host fundraisers to benefit its goal of raising $60,000 for the house.
Once the student organizations raised $40,000, Allison Jennings, director of development for the Watauga County Habitat for Humanity, received a call from the Gillespies, who were extremely proud of the dedication that they saw on the build site in September.
“He said something like, ‘I know the future of Habitat is in good hands because of these kids,’” said Jennings. Then, the avid volunteer who has worked with Habitat for Humanity along the East Coast offered to “match every dollar raised by the App Builds a Home students from that day until Dec. 31.”
The Gillespies told Jennings that they are “more like fans in the stadium cheering on the football team because (they) are so proud of what the Appalachian State students have done.”
Jennings said on Dec. 3 that App Builds a Home was only “about $8,000 shy of reaching the goal,” and App Builds a Home is confident that it will meet the original goal of $60,000 within “the next few weeks.”
The Gillespies’ match of the final $20,000 will bring the total raised by App Builds a Home for the cost of the home to $80,000. The Barker family is expected to move into the new home in the Meat Camp area in February.
To learn more about Watauga Habitat for Humanity, call its office at (828) 268-9696. For more information about App Builds a Home or to donate, visit appbuildsahome.appstate.edu.