Habitat has new director

Devin Lynch, left,, the new executive director at the Greater Mount Airy Habitat for Humanity, helps worker Jim Padgett move a desk that was purchased at the Habitat Re-Store.

New Executive Director Devin Lynch poses for a picture outside of the Greater Mount Airy Habitat for Humanity’s headquarters. Lynch has been on the job for about two weeks.

Devin Lynch, who grew up in Pilot Mountain, said he didn’t take much time off after leaving active duty service in the U.S. Army in January. Lynch is now in Mount Airy serving as the executive director of the Greater Mount Airy Habitat for Humanity.

Lynch’s family owns J.R. Lynch and Sons construction company in Pilot Mountain. Rather than working for the family business, however, Lynch wanted to use his construction skills to better the community. He found a construction manager job at the High Point Habitat for Humanity. He applied and was hired the day after his interview.

Only a few months later, Lynch chose to move on an opening to be the Mount Airy Habitat’s executive director. Lynch started work about two weeks ago and says he’s still getting a feel for Mount Airy’s atmosphere. That stated, he said there’s a lot going on.

Lynch hopes to have two homes on Newsome Street complete by Aug. 1. Additionally, he said 12 lots in Dobson are being surveyed and cleared. Lynch added that the organization is also looking for additional property to acquire within the Mount Airy city limits.

After he deployed to Logar Province, Afghanistan, as part of the 173rd Airborne in 2012, Lynch was injured. Lynch said rather than send him home his command was able to find a new role for him. Lynch became the chaplain’s assistant. Lynch said the chaplain put him to work building things around the forward operating base.

Lynch’s work as a chaplain’s assistant spurred a few interests in the young paratrooper. Lynch will be attending Wake Forest University in August, working to complete a masters degree in divinity. Lynch already has a bachelor’s in history.

Upon leaving active duty service in January, Lynch was sure he wanted to work on a non-profit side of construction operations. He even tossed around the idea of starting his own organization to build homes for folks that might not normally be able to afford one.

However, Lynch’s job with the High Point chapter of Habitat for Humanity proved the organization’s value to Lynch. “Habitat is just an amazing atmosphere,” said Lynch.

Lynch said the High Point community seemed to rally around its Habitat chapter. Lynch described the atmosphere at a build as “full of love and camaraderie.”

According to Lynch, he got to see a little bit of that atmosphere in Mount Airy when Chick-Fil-A brought about 15 workers to a home on Newsome Street last week. Lynch hopes to build on what is already there at the Mount Airy Habitat.

“We want to get more involved in the community,” said Lynch, adding that, “We are reorganizing and restructuring how we do things.”

Lynch said that the chapter has recruited a number of new board members. However, he said Habitat is still recruiting board members for its site selection and construction, home owner services and fundraising and publicity committees.

Lynch said that he’s excited to kick off a home build at North Surry High School next school year. Lynch praised the program that partners with Surry Community College and the Surry County Schools. However, Lynch also said that the organization could use some community involvement in a few key areas.

According to Lynch, the Mount Airy Habitat is looking for people that meet the criteria to be new homeowners. He said the organization is looking for folks who are in need of viable housing, are able to pay a mortgage and are willing to partner with Habitat.

Lynch also said the chapter is always looking for volunteers and donations. Lynch said he hopes that eventually he can find businesses willing to sponsor a build or a part of a build. He said that’s what Weyerhaeuser in Elkin did when the company donated drywall to Habitat.

Lynch also said that some area residents haven’t realized the organization’s “Re-Store” has moved locations. According to Lynch all proceeds from donated items that are sold go directly toward building new homes. The store is now located at 217 S. South St.

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