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It takes a village to build a Habitat house

by Greene

After over five years and 433 hours of volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity, Coastal Carolina University building and grounds specialist James Moultrie witnessed his own Habitat for Humanity home come to fruition. Construction on the home began July 9 and is due for completion by Thanksgiving.

Moultrie was born and raised in Conway and has lived here with his parents his whole life. Moving out of his parents' home and living on his own are what prompted Moultrie to initially start volunteering with Habitat for Humanity five years ago.

“Mom and Dad live in a two-bedroom house with not a lot of room, so I decided to get out and live on my own,” said Moultrie.

His strong bond with family and community gave Moultrie the patience to wait for a home to become available in Conway so he could remain close rather than move into a Habitat home in Myrtle Beach or Loris much earlier in his Habitat for Humanity involvement.

As a  member of the CCU grounds department for 11 years, Moultrie considers the CCU community as a family, and the bond between Moultrie and the rest of the CCU staff continues to strengthen through the process of building his home. “Everyone here really looks out for each other,” said Moultrie. “They try to keep everyone out of trouble.” 

Alongside Moultrie and other Habitat for Humanity volunteers, CCU athletic director Hunter Yurachek and the rest of the CCU Department of Athletics stepped up to help as well.

Every year the athletic department chooses three or four community projects to volunteer for together as a staff-building activity. At Christmas the staff “adopts” a family and holds a fundraiser for them, and last Christmas the athletic department raised $3,500 for the family. When approached by Habitat for Humanity about working on Moultrie’s home, the department did not hesitate to jump on the project. 

“When we found out the home was for a CCU staff member, it just solidified that it was something we wanted to help with,” said Yurachek. “Regardless of the fact that it’s the middle of the summer and 100 degrees outside.”

Yurachek and the rest of the athletic department volunteered for a day from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., completing walls and bolting down floors on Moultrie’s home. Members of the department staff see themselves as role models for the student-athletes. “Our student-athletes volunteer for a total of 2,000-3,000 hours annually,” said Yurachek. “If we ask them to participate in all of this volunteer work, we should lead by example, and that is part of the reason why we do what we do.”

The enthusiasm Moultrie has for his new home radiates from his face when he talks about moving in by Thanksgiving. “I’m ready to do my Thanksgiving cooking,” said Moultrie. “I’ve been waiting so long. I’m just ready to get out on my own and start a new life for myself.” With the help of his CCU family, he is able and eager to start his new life in his new home.

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