Payson Area Habitat for Humanity has been selected as the 1999 Jimmy Carter Award winner for Habitat for Humanity International's West Region, which includes Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada.
Kevin Campbell, associate director of Habitat's U.S. affiliates, wrote, "This award recognizes Payson Area Habitat for Humanity as being the top house-producing affiliate per capita in this region."
West Regional Director Dick Kuegeman added that the award a plaque and a check for $2,000 " ... is a tangible way to say thank you for the fine work you and your fellow dedicated Habitat folks are doing in your service area. The winning of this recognition puts you in the same company as some of the most hard working, productive affiliates in the country, and I hope you take appropriate pride in your accomplishment, as we do."
Winning the award, PAHH Secretary Judy Berger said, "is a great honor, which we owe to the total cooperation and support of the community."
Only one affiliate in each of the eight nationwide regions is honored each year, and the citation came as a total surprise to Berger.
"It came clear out of the blue," she said. It's not an award we had applied for or were expecting to win."
Celebrating its fifth year as an affiliate, PAHH is currently building its sixth house in partnership with the Adam Jacquez family. During 1999 due largely to donations from many corporations, businesses, tradesmen, churches, organizations and individuals Payson Area Habitat for Humanity was able to complete two houses, providing decent, affordable and healthy shelter to four adults and five children.
Youth groups pitch in
Two Valley youth groups are traveling to Payson to assist in the construction of the new house. The first group seven teenagers and two leaders from First Tempe United Methodist Church, started work with PAHH Wednesday, and will continue through Saturday.
Next week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 17 teenagers and four leaders from Horizon Presbyterian Church of Phoenix will make their third consecutive yearly appearance in Payson to assist PAHH.
The majority of the Horizon group also will assist PAHH Saturday, June 10, starting at 7 a.m., as part of a "Blitz Build." For this event, Milam Crane Inc. will donate its services to hoist the trusses to the roof, signaling the start of the building of the roof.
All of this paves the way to July 5, when PAHH celebrates its fifth full year of existence. To join the party, call 474-0330 to volunteer or donate building materials, land, appliances or money to help the next family selected by the Payson Area Habitat for Humanity.