Rantin: Home Works widens leadership landscape

December 4, 2013 

Jim Powell

— BERTRAM RANTIN

Home Works of America has a new executive director.

Jim Powell James “Jim” Powell officially started work this week, assuming the role Home Works founder Hank Chardos has filled since 1996.

The locally formed, faith-based group brings youth alongside adults to repair the homes of elderly and low-income families at no charge.

Powell had served as pastor of West Valley Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania since 2007.

“I am humbled to join the Home Works team and to work with such a committed board, passionate founder, as well as quality staff and volunteers,” he said. “All the more, I am excited at the weight of the responsibility to keep the organization moving forward as it engages community partners who enable the Home Works mission to be fulfilled.”

Chardos will remain with Home Works as he focuses on volunteer recruitment, training, home owner qualification and home repair operations.

“We are in the enviable position of needing to expand our staff to meet the demands of our growing organization,” said Home Works chair Anne Weston. “We need to place emphasis equally in both fundraising and increased community partnerships, as well as in volunteer and building services. Jim and Hank’s strengths will help us achieve our goals and objectives so we can take this organization to the next level.”

Since Home Works was founded in 1996, more than 30,000 volunteers have repaired more than 1,900 homes. Those receiving assistance typically are retired or disabled and living on less than $12,000 per year. The repairs are funded by individual donors, foundations, and corporate sponsors and are often made in collaboration with city and county governments.

111 reasons to celebrate

Belated birthday greetings – 111 of them to be exact – go out to Fannie Wheeler.

Wheeler, who lives in the White Oak Columbia skilled care facility in Columbia, turned 111 at the end of last month.

Wheeler was born in Fairfield County but lived in Columbia most of her life. She was long known around town as “Miss Fannie.”

She worked at the One Hour Ballet downtown on Main Street and has had a longtime love of animals.

White Oak held a special celebration for Wheeler recently.

And to those well wishes, we offer our own.

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