Alabama Power Volunteers Celebrate the Dedication of the Habitat for Humanity House

The long-awaited day for Desinee Lawson and her two children, Elijah, 9, and Emoree, 3, finally arrived last week. Lawson received the keys to his new home, built with the helpful hands of volunteers from the Magic City Chapter of the Alabama Power Service Organization (APSO).

“God is a punctual God, and he knew how much I needed this house for me and my children,” Lawson said, noting that his apartment lease had ended days earlier. “I thought, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do, but God, I’m going to trust you.’ When I learned that my house would be built in two weeks, it was just perfect. I want to thank the Alabama Power Service Organization and Habitat for Humanity for making this possible. I am delighted to be able to afford this house.

APSO volunteers gathered with the Lawson family in Pleasant Grove on Friday afternoon for the dedication of the house. It’s the 25the Habitat for Humanity house built by the APSO Magic City Chapter.

Alabama Power, Southern Company volunteers complete the Habitat for Humanity home in Pleasant Grove from the Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Construction began Oct. 24, and Lawson worked alongside more than 100 volunteers who came to build the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home. Volunteers wielded hammers, paintbrushes and other tools, lifting the house off the ground in just 10 days, said Anna Chandler, president of Magic City APSO and accountant for the Southern Company.

Desinee Lawson in her new home, with Anna Chandler, president of the Alabama Power Service Organization, Magic City Chapter. (Michael Sznajderman/Alabama Press Center)

“Seeing Desinee’s excitement as she watched the house come together was so much fun,” said Chandler, who added that this was her first Habitat project. “It was also very rewarding to learn how to build a house. Habitat has been very helpful and patient in working with us.

Chandler said the project was a team effort, with members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and volunteers from Alabama Power’s Miller plant partnering with the APSO Magic City chapter on the project. .

“Alabama Power’s leadership in Generation, Distribution and Transmission has been absolutely supportive and willing to allow employees to participate, and we really appreciate that,” said Keith Gilliland, assistant business manager, IBEW System Council. U-19. “We are proud to work for a company that allows its employees to take the time to volunteer in the community.

A volunteer from the Alabama Power Service Organization puts the final coat on a door. (Michael Sznajderman/Alabama Press Center)

Southern Company electrical design manager Paul Taylor and his team worked on the house as part of a department’s community service effort.

“I’m a servant leader,” Taylor said. “Here I have been able to serve a family who are getting a new home. And not only that, it means the world to me to have my team here with me this week, helping to serve this family who are getting a new home to live in. .

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham builds and repairs homes in partnership with low-to-moderate income families in Jefferson, Shelby, Walker and St. Clair counties. It makes affordable housing available to those who cannot otherwise afford a home.

Homes are not free. Qualifying families are required to pay off an interest-free mortgage, complete 300 hours of work on their home or another Habitat home, and 20 hours of homeownership education workshops.

The APSO Magic City Chapter has partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham to build homes since 1998.

Charles Moore, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham, welcomed the Lawsons to their new home during the dedication ceremony.

“You couldn’t have had a better sponsor,” Moore told Lawson. “The Alabama Power Service Organization has been with us for so long. Thank you APSO for being such a great partner and sponsor, and for the good work you do outside of Habitat as well.

Desinee Lawson and her daughter Emoree in front of their new Habitat for Humanity home in Pleasant Grove. (Michael Sznajderman/Alabama Press Center)

Myla Calhoun, vice president of the Birmingham Division of Alabama Power, said the company appreciates the APSO volunteers and their commitment to helping families like the Lawsons realize their dream of owning a home. APSO is a volunteer, nonprofit organization made up of employees of Alabama Power, Southern Nuclear, Southern Linc, and Southern Company Services and their families. There are nine APSO chapters across the state, helping to support a wide range of nonprofit and community organizations.

“It’s always heartwarming to see a Habitat home completed and the keys handed over to the new owner,” Calhoun said. “This one is special because it’s the 25e built for the Magic City chapter of APSO, and it highlights Alabama Power’s mission to uplift the state of Alabama. It makes me extremely proud for everyone involved.

To learn more about the good works of Alabama Power employees and retirees, visit powerogood.com and click “Volunteers.”

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