The Greater Mount Airy Habitat for Humanity has a “new” director — actually a four-year veteran of the organization who had held that position on an interim basis for nearly nine months.
“I am so blessed to be able to serve Habitat as the executive director,” was Lynn Wilkes’ reaction to being named to the post by its governing board.
Habitat for Humanity provides affordable housing for deserving Surry County families. Homes are constructed using volunteer labor and “sweat equity” on the part of those who’ll occupy the houses; they then pay off their mortgages at zero-percent interest.
Wilkes had served as interim executive director since Oct. 31, after the resignation of Laura Wharton. As of next month, she will have been with the organization for four years, and also was employed as its family services coordinator for three years.
“Habitat has been more than just a job for me,” Wilkes added regarding her appointment. “It has been a ministry, an opportunity to put my faith into action and serve Christ through serving other people.”
Wilkes is “grateful to the board of directors for their faith in me to lead the organization.”
The Greater Mount Airy Area Habitat for Humanity has served 36 families since being formed in 1993. It builds homes at the rate of five or six per year, with construction of one now under way in Dobson.
“The need for better housing is greater than ever before, so we will continue to meet that need head-on,” Wilkes pledged.
In addition to building homes, the local Habitat unit operates a ReStore on Merita Street, where donated items are sold to aid its mission — along with donations and fundraising proceeds. The organization has about 10 employees.
“There is already a great staff in place to help all parts of Habitat function successfully and I look forward to continuing to serve alongside of them,” Wilkes added.
“A Lot Of Transition”
The Habitat official acknowledged Thursday that the Greater Mount Airy Habitat for Humanity has endured leadership issues in the recent past. She is the third executive director to be named since 2010.
“A lot of transition has happened for Habitat in the past few years, so I am hoping to provide some stability in the leadership role,” she stated.
Wilkes believes a combination of her experience, passion and dedication to Habitat for Humanity’s work will serve the group going forward.
“I have a passion for what I do and I love my job and I’m a pretty dedicated person,” said Wilkes, who admitted to being a “gung-ho” individual.
The executive director, a Mount Airy native, has been married to Charlie Wilkes for more than seven years and has one son, Noah, 5, with another on the way.
She graduated from North Surry High School and obtained a B.S. degree in elementary education from Appalachian State University. Wilkes also is a member of Haymore Memorial Baptist Church in Mount Airy.
“I am very humbled by this wonderful opportunity,”she said of becoming executive director.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.