Local Contractor Making an Impact through Volunteerism

Volunteerism expresses one of the highest forms of altruism and service. Nothing is more gratifying than helping others and the impression it makes on the person(s) and/or community. It is not unusual for building contractors to donate materials, equipment, and perhaps labor for Habitat for Humanity, or assemble a church or school's playground equipment. Still, it is rare they donate a significant amount of their labor and equipment for a project. However, June Wright, president of Wright Development Company, LLC, is doing an estimated $30,000 in pro bono labor toward the Town's Cheraw Housing Preservation Program.

The Cheraw Housing Preservation Program is the Town's housing initiative designed to preserve its aging and deteriorating housing stock. The program focuses on very low and low-income homeowners with much-needed housing repairs. The objective is to address health and safety risks in addition to correcting code violations. Indirectly, it furthers affordable housing. "We are pleased Mr. Wright agreed to work with us," stated Rodney S. Tucker, Planning & Community Development Director. He serves as the program's coordinator. Recounting how the two crossed paths, Tucker said, "We had just received $13,801.91 in housing preservation funds from Rural Development, which meant assisting one, perhaps two homeowners. Consequently, we started exploring creative ways to reach more homeowners needing repairs. I had the idea to reach out to our local licensed contractors for pro bono labor while soliciting donations from our financial institutions and industries. Mr. June Wright responded. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo, First Citizens, Woodforest, First, Founder's Bank, and Wal-Mart donated $1,000 toward this project in addition to $1,500 in grant and materials from the Home Depot Foundation and its Florence Store respectively. Mr. Wright and additional funding afforded us the opportunity to assist three additional homeowners."

Wright Development Company, LLC, a local licensed construction company, has over 12 years of construction experience specializing in carpentry, framing, roofing, estimating, home improvements, and landscaping. The company places a special emphasis on low-income and community development projects. When asked why he decided to donate labor toward Cheraw's housing initiative, he said, "God has truly blessed me, and I want to be a blessing to others." Continuing, "I would be remiss if I did not thank my guys who are working on this project - Jamison Malachi, Michael Cooks, and Antwon Johnson. They are an asset to what we do. Sharing and giving was and is very much a part of my family values and who I am as a person. People, mostly family, selflessly gave and sacrificed for me to get where I am today. I have not, nor will I ever, forget that."

Wright has completed repairs at one of the four selected homes – 323B Huger Street. Pink Patrick is the homeowner. This home has been in the Patrick Family for some time and has been Patrick's home for over six decades. Repairs included flooring replacement in the laundry and dining rooms, re-spackling several spots on ceiling, replacing cabinetry and countertops, repairing deterioration under the kitchen sink, foundation repairs, wood siding replacements, and a window placement. "I am thankful for the Town and Mr. Wright for making the needed repairs possible. During the replacement of my dining room's subfloor, Mr. Wright's guys discovered mold under the carpet. They disposed the carpet and treated unexposed areas replacing the subfloor, then carpet with oak vinyl boards. It looks great," said Mr. Patrick.

The Town anticipates the remaining repairs will be completed by the middle or end of September. Nineteen homeowners are on the waiting list for housing repairs. The Town continues to search for housing rehabilitation funding and partnerships. June Wright's contact information is jw320clk@gmail.com and 888.412.6306.

Rodney S. Tucker, AICP Planning & Community Development Director
864.537.8400 or rtucker@cheraw.com