Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity honors its volunteers

Building Better Neighborhoods awarded

CLEVELAND - Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity held its annual volunteer recognition banquet at St. Elias Church in Cleveland, and took the time to celebrate a record year in helping northeast Ohio families.

Hundreds of volunteers helped to renovate 14 houses in 2013, and Habitat will continue its effort by targeting additional homes and neighborhoods for redevelopment in 2014.

"Volunteers make Habitat happen," said John Habat, Executive Director. "They are the heart of our mission to alleviate housing poverty in Cleveland."

Recognition awards were given to volunteers for significant service in construction, office administration, ReStore (Habitat's thrift retail operation), and Volunteer of the Year.

The recognition banquet was also a part of Greater Cleveland Habitat's 25 year celebration.

John Wood was recognized as Construction Volunteer of the Year, while the Office Volunteer of the Year award was given to Victor Smole.

Mark Jackman was honored for his volunteer service at Greater Cleveland Habitat's ReStore, and Dick Sells was given a Special Achievement Award.

The 2013 Habitat Volunteer of the Year is Matt Williams.

Dozens of Habitat volunteers at the event were recognized for volunteering 5,000 hours or more, and some volunteers have put in well over 10,000 hours.

The Evans Award for Extraordinary Service was given to Mary and John Evans.

Meanwhile NewsChannel5's Building Better Neighborhoods was recognized with an Outstanding Community Contribution award, a project that was developed to help improve living conditions in Northeast Ohio.

"NewsChannel 5's commitment to identify solutions to help solve major urban challenges is truly outstanding and fully reflects Habitat's mission," said Habat. "We consider their reporters and staff as key contributors to our work. Their focus on Habitat has really made an impact on our day-to-day work."

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