DOBBINS HEIGHTS — One of Habitat for Humanity of the NC Sandhills’ most active members has gotten more help fixing his own home from a local veterans organization backed by Enviva Biomass.
The Southern Pines chapter of Military Missions in Action, a nonprofit benefiting veterans and their families, is renovating the bathroom of Vietnam War veteran and Habitat volunteer Edward Tender. Tender, 66, who is assisting the team of three, said the floor of his bathroom wobbled like a “rocking chair” due to aging materials and infrastructure.
“That’s the advantage of volunteering,” he said. “You learn to help yourself.”
Tender had insulation, roofing, window, wiring, siding and painting repairs made to his home in 2015 though Habitat.
Tony Lennon, regional director for MMIA, said the renovations include replacing a cast-iron bathtub with a shower pan to make it easier for Tender to get in and out, repairing the floor and upgrading the plumbing infrastructure. Lennon said he expects the project to be completed within the next two weeks.
The home on Gordon Street was built by Tender’s aunt, Inez Everett Martin, when she was in her 60s — an undertaking that Tender and some of his family mocked at the time but which he now sees in a new light. According to Tender, his aunt installed the bathtub by herself but it took five men to get it out of the house, and they ruptured a pipe in the process.
“She did this all herself, so I’ll never say what a woman can’t do,” Tender said.
Tender’s brother, Billy Tender, who is 90 percent blind, had a ramp installed at his home last week by volunteers with Habitat.
Both projects are being funded by Enviva. Rob McCulloch, public affairs and community relations manager, said the company is funding five home-repair projects in total in Richmond County for 2018 and he expects this to be an ongoing partnership.
Enviva is in the process of building a wood-pellet manufacturing plant just north of Dobbins Heights. The facility is scheduled to be operational by the end of the year.
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or firstname.lastname@example.org.