JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - President of Laws Flooring and Rugs Michelle Laws said Thursday they received a gift from Synchrony Bank that they were allowed to re-gift into the community.
"Habitat is near and dear to us," Laws said. "We were able to attend last year's key ceremony. The process that Habitat does with building in the community and handing over the house was overwhelming to us."
Laws said they decided to honor a friend and Jonesboro native who made a huge impact in the community when he was alive.
"Habitat needs more help and more funding from our community," Laws said. "What we want to do is help Habitat with that. The reason we chose Habitat for this donation is launching the 'Build Up for Phillip' initiative. It is for our friend, Phillip Evans. The partnership with Habitat will allow us to continue his legacy and memory of building the community. Always building people up and we love that about him and we love that Habitat does the same for people as well. It was the perfect fit."
Laws said the family was thrilled to hear of the plan.
"When all the pieces started to come together," Laws said. "That this is the direction we were being called to. I went to Brooks and asked her what she thought and how she felt about the project. She grinned from ear to ear. Just so grateful that we would do something like this to help his memory. And not just his memory, but he has very small children. And it helps their memory of their daddy."
Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Jonesboro Michael Sullivan said Habitat was excited to work on a project that would both help the community and honor one of the citizens who gave back so much.
"This is a campaign we've created with some volunteers," Sullivan said. "We're honoring Phillip Evans who was a longtime Jonesboro native. He served on many mission trips and also served right here in this community. He was truly a person of giving. So, we wanted to do something for his wife and kids here in Jonesboro to remember his name and pass on that giving spirit to others."
Sullivan said they've already got the money to fund the homes in the project.
"The project is going to be on State Street here in Jonesboro," Sullivan said. "It's just off of Johnson. We received funding already for the houses that are going to go up. Nine homes will be constructed. They'll be for families in need who qualify under Habitat's program. In order to maximize the space we're also going to do a pocket park in the middle of it on a 'u' shaped street. The houses will be on the side and the center will be the park. And the park is for the entire community. Not just for those families. It's for everybody."
Laws said they want to do everything they can to help make this project happen.
"It's new for Habitat," Laws said. "They've never had anything like this either. It's going to take a lot of community involvement. Both financially and volunteer-wise to make it a reality. We are excited to be anchored with it and are going to do what we can to help."
Sullivan said he's thrilled Habitat is involved with such a project.
"We're so excited," Sullivan said. "Being Habitat for Humanity, we want to serve families and give them the opportunity for home ownership. We want to do even more than that. We want to make an impact on the community. And so, by doing these nine homes and also the park we're giving back to north Jonesboro. We're providing them with more than just houses. We're building a community."
Again, Sullivan said they already have the funding for the homes.
The donation given on Thursday will be used for the park and street.
However, the park and street will cost $325,000 on its own.
Sullivan said they will be selling sponsorships for this park.
Laws stated that Synchrony's rule of the gift was that the other $10,000 be used to grow the business it was awarded to.
She said they intend to use their portion of funds to purchase marketing equipment to help them better their product selection for their customers.
If you want to help Habitat for Humanity, you can log onto their website or call them at (870) 203-9898.
You can also go to their Facebook page.
For more information about Laws Flooring and Rugs, click here.