Update: Disaster Relief Volunteer Opportunity

Update: Disaster Relief

We truly appreciate those who have already come forward to help our neighbors in Columbia. In light of their questions, we have more information regarding where to send donations and where volunteers should meet.

If you’d like to send a donation to assist BIA and HBA Members and their families, please make checks payable to Building Industry Charitable Foundation and send them to the following address:

Building Industry Charitable Foundation 
Attn: Earl McLeod 
625 Taylor St 
Columbia, SC 29201  
Members who would like to travel to Columbia to provide relief efforts directly to those suffering, please meet at Trenholm Road Methodist Church as they are coordinating with the families in greatest need. Any materials or trailers would be greatly appreciated. We are grateful for all of your help, and ask that you use caution when helping clean up after such a natural disaster. Please consult this document  which contains safety tips for the clean-up procedure in Columbia.

To: HBA Members

From: Michael Dey
Members have been asking me how they can help in Columbia and Charleston.  I have been in contact with my counterparts in both places and both are still assessing needs.  Charleston has experienced flooding like this before, and they seem to have a handle on their situation.  Our staff is helping them with public relations needs and they told me they would let me know what they need in terms of labor in a couple of days.
In Columbia, the obvious and immediate need is drinking water.  The Hilton Head HBA has organized a large shipment of water to the Columbia HBA for the members there.  And the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors is organizing a water caravan for Thursday.  If you would like to join that trip, or donate, please let me know and I will put you in touch with the Realtors Association.
In Columbia especially there are several HBA members and family who have been directly and tragically impacted by the flooding.  I know of several who have been evacuated from their homes, which are under water.  They are going to need a lot of help in terms of labor, material, and money.  I am working on the best route to handle money, so please standby on making a financial donation that would go directly to an HBA member in need.  
If you would like to donate your time, or your crews’ time, to travel to Columbia, please contact me.  I will work with the HBA in Columbia to match you up with members in need.  I will even act as a guide to help get you to the proper address.
And if you can donate materials, I would like to match you up with the members who want to travel to Columbia to volunteer.  
The HBA is a family, and our family members in Columbia, in particular, have some significant needs.  I was in Columbia for two days this past weekend, very near to the worst of the disaster along Gills Creek.  The pictures do not do it justice.  What happened there is tragic.  Two entire cities, Forest Acres and Acadia Lakes, are literally under water.  The recovery is going to be time and labor intensive.  If you can help, please volunteer.  I think the immediate need will be clean up and demolition.  Long term the Columbia HBA has let me know that they are going to need qualified trades to come in and help. 
Let’s help them out.  Please let me know what you can do, and when.


Judges Needed: Parade of Homes, Columbia

The Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia is in search of a few good members to serve as judges for their annual Parade of Homes.  This year’s parade features a holiday theme.

Judging will take place on Friday, December 5, 2014, 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., at the Gates of Windemere at Longcreek Plantation.  Judges will be invited to participate in the member preview party beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Interested members are asked to contact Heather McDonald, HBA of Greater Columbia, at 803-256-6238 or heather@columbiabuilders.com.

Judges needed for the HBA of Greater Columbia Remodeling Awards

The HBA of Columbia is looking for judges for their Remodeling Awards. They are looking for builders, remodelers, or designers to help judge, though any member is welcome. The judging will be Tuesday, May 20th. starting at 9 a.m. and conclude around 2 or 3 p.m. and lunch will be provided.

For more information or to help out please contact Bin Wilcenski at the HBA of Greater Columbia

John T. Watkins

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Staff of the Home Builders Association of Greenville, we extend our sincere sympathy to the family of John T. Watkins, of Columbia, SC.

John T. Watkins, a World War II veteran, became the first Director of the SC Residential Builders Commission in 1974 after more than 35 years as a residential and commercial builder. He improved the professionalism and image of the home building industry and protected the interest of homeowners in that position by establishing a consensus about the licensing of builders and specialty contractors and by fighting for various legislation.

He was named Columbia’s Builder Member of the Year in 1963 and served as President of the HBA of Greater Columbia in 1964. He received the Gordon A. Harrison Award for lifetime contributions from the HBA of Greater Columbia in 1985. John served as President of the HBA of South Carolina in 1970 and in 1991 received the association’s Hammer and Trowel Award which recognizes a public official for aiding the state’s building industry. In 1997, he was inducted into the SC Housing Hall of Fame.

Visitation will be held at Greenlawn Funeral Home on Saturday from 5 pm until 7pm, 845 Leesburg Rd, Columbia, SC 29209. Funeral services will be held on Sunday at Incarnation Lutheran Church (corner Devine & Sims) 3001 Devine Street, Columbia. Graveside services following funeral.