Habitat for Humanity of Autauga and Chilton Counties wins awards

Published 9:43 am Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Habitat for Humanity of Autauga and Chilton Counties recently won the Green Build Award as the top Green Habitat Affiliate Builder in Alabama for 2013.

In addition, Ray Smith won the award for the 2013 Volunteer of the Year.

The Alabama Association of Habitat Affiliates (AAHA) celebrated its 22nd anniversary Feb. 20 at its Annual Awards Banquet at First United Methodist Church in Montgomery.

Gov. Robert Bentley was the keynote speaker.

Affiliate leadership and volunteers from Habitat for Humanity affiliates around the state gathered to celebrate Volunteer of the Year award recipients, a Green Build Award winner and Habitat for Humanity Leader of the Year.

“Habitat for Humanity of Autauga and Chilton Counties has shown both creativity and innovation in sustainable design by constantly pushing the envelope of green, energy-saving practices,” Tom Risher, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Autauga and Chilton Counties, said in a press release. “Recently, we designed and are now building a home with insulation in the foundation, California corners, foam in the walls, gables and roofline and a heat pump water heater plus mini-split HVAC system in order to reach for home energy ratings in the 50s. This affiliate also demonstrates leadership and an ability to inspire others to build sustainably by taking a stand to build energy responsibly in every home we build.”

Smith has contributed his talent and work ethic to the Autauga and Chilton Counties affiliate for more than 15 years.

“It’s hard to imagine anyone more inspiring than a man in his mid 80s who volunteers his time doing manual labor every day to build affordable homes for Habitat for Humanity families,” Risher said. “He had completed a full career in the building trades and most men his age would be content to stay at home and enjoy a quiet life. Instead, Ray is one of the first at our Habitat worksites every morning.”

This past year, Smith has helped build three homes, including an American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant home.

He installed many of the bathroom fixtures and special grab bars throughout the “wet” bathroom and installed all the cabinets and trim as well.

“His vast expertise allows him to be involved in all aspects of the builds, and he always installs all of the vinyl siding with the help of volunteers,” Risher said.