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G-P writes a big check for Habitat
Alton Rahn, asset availability leader at Georgia-Pacific Savannah River Mill and Habitat for Humanity of Effingham County board member, presents a check for $9,000 to Habitat. With him are, left to right, Habitat development director Tim Johnson, future homeowner Shirley Milton,Habitat for Humanity Executive Director George Groce, Effingham County High School junior Edward Davy and ECHS teacher Les Pierce. - photo by Photo by Ralna Pearson

Georgia-Pacific Savannah River Mill presented a check for $9,000 to Habitat for Humanity on Tuesday to assist with the completion of a home for a local woman.

Shirley Milton, 48, is about to move into her first home with the help of Habitat, Georgia-Pacific and over 30 students at Effingham County High School where she works as a custodian.

Four years ago Milton applied for a home. She was offered a site for the house, but turned it down. She was adamant about living close to her mom so that she could care for her easily. However, her refusal caused her to drop to the bottom of the list.

She’s now close to finally having a home of her own. The house is under construction, and Milton expects to be able to move in over the summer.

The single mother of four is ecstatic.

“Does it show?” she asked with a big laugh. “Every chance I get I have to go visit it.”

Her children are just as excited.

“They can’t wait,” Milton said.

Students in Effingham County High School’s shop class worked on the four bedroom-two bath home in Shawnee.

Edward Davy, 16, volunteered to work on the house. He did roofing and framing work, learning on site.

It helped that he already knew Milton’s daughter and he saw the opportunity as a way to help someone who is a part of the ECHS family.

“She’s one of our own,” he noted with a smile. “We have to take care of our own.”

Milton has been employed with the Effingham County Board of Education for 14 years.

Davy plans to pursue a career in the engineering or construction field after he graduates. He also plans to work on more Habitat for Humanity houses in the future.

“I enjoy working on houses,” Davy said.

Retired shop teacher Kenny Lay added work on Habitat for Humanity houses to the class curriculum about nine years ago, according to George Groce, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Effingham County.

This is the fourth home ECHS students have worked on.

Georgia-Pacific Savannah River Mill has been partnering with Habitat for Humanity for some time. Milton’s house is the third home for the two partners.

Carrie Thompson, public affairs officer at Georgia-Pacific, noted, “This was a perfect blend of education and helping out in the community.”