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Cola's Unsung Heroes: Susan and Mike Mitton

There are hundreds of humble heroes in our Columbia community that volunteer their time tirelessly without the recognition they truly deserve. We hope that our new series will bring attention to the amazing work done each day by Columbia's Unsung Heroes!

First up, we are celebrating Susan and Mike Mitton, who have been with the Central South Carolina Habitat for Humanity for over 20 years. In the late 60's, Mike helped form the Lexington Collation of Churches, a group that continues to build and rehabilitate Habitat homes today in both Columbia and Lexington. Mike and Susan have also served on the Family Selection Committee, now the Homeowner Services Committee for over twenty years. Their work with this committee focuses on visiting families in their current housing situation, in order to assess the scale of their housing needs.

What are some of your responsibilities as a volunteer?

While Mike is the one who primarily works on building the homes, Susan has worked on some sites too. As “homebuilder” Mike has helped raise walls, put up drywall, put in windows and doors, painted, put up siding, as well as whatever else is needed on the home site. Both Mike and Susan have learned some extremely useful skills over the years.

Why do you volunteer? We volunteer to make a difference in families’ lives: To help families move from substandard housing to homes for families that are safe, well-built homes. God calls each of us to be a supportive community and to be in service for others in 1 Corinthians 3:9: For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity is one way for us to answer God’s call for us to make a positive, supportive change in our small part of the world.

What is your favorite part about working with this organization?

The people we have met—those that work in the Midlands Habitat organization, that serve on the various teams to assess potential homeowners and the volunteers on the home sites. All of these people give of their time and care deeply for the families they serve. Also, the families that become new homeowners. Meeting and talking with them at the beginning of the process of becoming a homeowner-- as part of our assessment, we asked potential homeowners if they are ready to do their sweat equity hours—hours that potential homeowners must earn by attending classes, working on others build sites and other jobs before they can move into their home. They are enthusiastically ready to dive into finishing their hours.

It is a great joy to work alongside the future homeowners as they work on building their own home. Then, meeting them at the end when their home is finished and their joyful, tearful, heartfelt thanks for the help from others who helped make their hope and dreams come to fruition as they become homeowners. It is a privilege to be a small part of this process.

What is something the Columbia community should know about Central SC Habitat for Humanity? Habitat for Humanity is a win-win organization for all involved, families are not given a hand out, but a hand up. Families earn their sweat equity hours, families receive a no-interest mortgage, keeping the house payment affordable, and they meet great people along the way who help them achieve their dream of owning their own home. Habitat homeowners also receive financial education, the needed help to build their homes, and pay a mortgage. Habitat gives families hope.

I love the letter that Habitat received from the young man who wrote about what it meant for him to be able to live in a home. He and his family would finally have a stable home to come home to everyday, with no more moving from place to place. It was a new beginning for them.

Habitat helps families help themselves.

You can learn more about volunteer opportunities and the mission behind Central South Carolina's Habitat for Humanity by visiting their website

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