Aurora Habitat for Humanity dedicates 57th home; area companies contribute $150,000

Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity dedicated this Aurora home during a ceremony Jan. 14. The four-bedroom, 1,350-square-foot home is Aurora-based Habitat’s 57th project in Aurora, North Aurora and Montgomery since the volunteer group’s founding in 1989.

Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity "welcomed home" an immigrant family from eastern Africa Jan. 14. With prayers, scripture and presentations, Aurora-based Fox Valley Habitat dedicated its 57th Aurora-area home on the 1500 block of Solfisburg Avenue in Aurora.

The ceremony unveiled the future home of Aurora residents Theo and Odette Uwahahora and their daughters Odila and Odelyne.

The Rev. Jeff Barrett, Habitat CEO and pastor of Genesis Community Church in Montgomery, presided.

Yorkville resident Ron Kelso, Habitat board chairman, opened the program by welcoming guests and presented copies of "Habititus Fever: Infected With a Desire to Help Others," a children’s book he co-authored. Robert Hillman, senior pastor of Living River Family Worship Center in Aurora, gave the opening prayer.

Guest speakers were John Colis, president and CEO of Euclid Insurance Services Inc., Itasca; George Colis, board chairman of Oxford Bank and Trust, Oak Brook; Bruce Glaue, president/CEO of Oxford Bank; state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit; Chris Schindler, Habitat executive coordinator; and homeowners Theo and Odette Uwamahora of Aurora.

After a scripture reading by Julie Clark, Habitat volunteer coordinator, Schindler led a dedication litany.

Several quilts handmade by Riverwalk Quilters Guild of Naperville were presented to the Uwamahoros by Debbi Albright, Habitat operations director. Linda Chapa LaVia, a state representative from Aurora and a Habitat board member, presented a Bible to the new homeowners.

Naperville resident Mark Knox, Habitat treasurer and board member, presented house keys to the Uwamahoros.

Rev. Barrett thanked Oxford Bank and Euclid Insurance officials for contributing $150,000 to the Uwamahora project and announced the companies’ are expected to support a future build on Solfisburg.

Rev. Barrett added about Oxford Bank and Euclid Insurance, "We are very excited to once again work with the sponsors who have supported us longer and more than any other in our history.

"We are truly blessed to have this trusted relationship with Oxford Bank and Euclid Insurance," Rev. Barrett said.

Since 2004, the family-owned firms have contributed more than $200,000 and volunteer labor to Aurora Fox Valley Habitat projects. They were 34 N. Farnsworth Ave., in 2004; 415 Sherman Ave., 2005; and 1326 Pearl St., 2007.

After Pastor Hillman gave a closing prayer, refreshments and self-guided tours of the house closed the celebration.

The event culminated work begun in August by hundreds of volunteers. The 1,350-square-foot, four-bedroom, 1.5-bath ranch house features a detached garage, kitchen and living room.

Volunteers and donations are needed to continue Habitat’s housing ministry.

Founded in 1989, Fox Valley Habitat, 250 S. Highland Ave. in Aurora, partners with working families in Aurora, North Aurora and Montgomery to provide basic, affordable shelter.

Partner families pay for their homes with no-interest mortgages and contribute up to 500 hours of volunteer labor called sweat equity.

Call (630) 859-3333, email info@foxvalleyhabitat.org, or visit foxvalleyhabitat.org for more information.

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