The board of directors of Habitat for Humanity of Adams County recently was stunned by receipt of one of the largest monetary bequests in county history, one which will allow the organization to complete a number of homes for local families who cannot afford to buy houses.
The bequest of almost $125,000 came in the will of Pauline M. DeBolt of Berne, who died on April 4, 2012 in Decatur at the age of 81.
The Habitat board was informed by the executor of her will that Ms. DeBolt wished to donate money to groups in Adams County to aid local people and one of the recipients was Habitat for Humanity.
Ben Liechty, president of the local Habitat board and a loan officer at First Merchants Bank in Decatur, said on behalf of the board, "Habitat for Humanity sends a heartfelt 'Thank You' to the late Ms. Pauline M. DeBolt. Her generous heart left Habitat for Humanity of Adams County $124,508.47 from her estate.
"Her lifelong volunteerism with programs at Swiss Village and the South Adams senior citizen lunch program truly showed her love for this community.
"This generous gift will allow Habitat for Humanity of Adams County to construct many homes for families in need of housing locally.
"Thank you, once again, Pauline, for your true love and action."
Taking note of Habitat's faith-based foundation and mission worldwide, Liechty also included a Biblical quotation from First John, chapter three, verse 18: "Our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love which shows itself in action."
In addition, Liechty said the Habitat organization will have several paving stones engraved with Ms. DeBolt's name and a Bible verse and "will be used as a memorial to be incorporated into homes built by Habitat for Humanity in Adams County in honor and in memory of Pauline."
Ms. DeBolt was the daughter of Rudolph and Marie Linn DeBolt and, according to her April obituary notice, was survived by "many friends." She was a member of Bethel Brethren Church.
Furthermore, the obituary listed as preferred memorials her church and/or the Samaritan Fund at Swiss Village Retirement Community in Berne.
Habitat for Humanity of Adams County has erected 16 houses throughout the county since the mid-1990s, many in Decatur, but also three in Berne, three in Geneva, and one at Pleasant Mills.
In addition to the announcement of the welcom bequest, Liechty said the county Habitat group is seeking to sell a vacant lot it owns on Schirmeyer St. in Decatur. Those interested may call Liechty at the main office of First Merchants Bank: 724-2157.
At the February meeting of the county Habitat board, it was unanimously decided to invest $110,000 of the $124,508.47 in a long-term fund to provide as much money as possible for future home-building projects. The remainder of Ms. DeBolt's donation, as well as other funds that the organization already had, will be used for expenses associated with the planned 2013 house project.