The 15th Judicial Bar Association held its first meeting of the New Year on Wednesday at the Lebanon Golf & Country Club.
Newly-seated President Jonathan Tinsley discussed several topics with members - including launching a social media presence and waving first-year membership dues for new attorneys joining the group - before welcoming guest speaker, Wilson County Habitat for Humanity Director Tory Tredway.
Tredway explained that the two organizations have more in common than meets the eye, noting that Bar Association member Mark Lee was instrumental in establishing Habitat for Humanity in Wilson County in 1992. Since then Tredway said "65 families have had closings done on their homes pro-bono at Lee & Lee."
"What we share is the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of other people," he said.
Tredway next dispelled myths surrounding Habitat for Humanity - such as they "give" the homes away.
A Habitat home owner must meet specific criteria and be ready to contribute 200 "sweat equity" hours to the program - whether it is constructing their home, working at the Habitat ReStore in Lebanon or learning about home ownership in the classroom.
"The families we serve are working families with a consistent income who cannot get a traditional home loan," Tredway said. "They have to show that they can afford that house. We do not serve families who are in poverty."
Habitat has traditionally constructed three homes per year; however, thanks to a full house sponsorship from Publix, Habitat plans to build four homes in Wilson County in 2016. Two builds will take place in the spring and two in the fall. A full house sponsorship totals $60,000, which takes a lot of weight off of Habitat leaders - as they typically have to raise that amount.
Tredway said a Community Build will take place this fall. He challenged the 15th Judicial District Bar Association to sponsor one day of the 8-day build. The build will take place over the course of one month - with construction happening on Saturdays and Sundays each week.
"We are looking for groups to be involved," he said. Sponsoring a day of the Community Build would mean raising $7,500 of the cost and having 20-25 volunteers to build. "We would be honored to have you be a part of the Community Build in the fall," Tredway added. "We have a very giving community."
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at email@example.com.