With every transaction made, Habitat for Humanity is able to help a family in need. "We take that money and we buy land and raw materials, build homes for people who under normal circumstances would never be able to afford it. " Executive Director, Cornel Brock says.
At the thrift store you can find a variety of house hold items, but recently they've had their shelves full with items salvaged from the old Panama City airport. Over the last two years, Brock was eyeing the progress of the airport ---knowing that it would one day change hands; Habitat contacted the site's developers.
"We knew that a lot of those building and materials were going to end up being demolished." Brock says.
In February, the Airport Authority sold the 730 acre site to the Saint Andrews Land Company which plans to build both residential and commercial units. But before construction begins, the company needs to clear the land. As a result, they agreed to donate the salvageable items to Habitat for Humanity.
"We took about 14 or 15 different groups of volunteers out there. We took down over 70 doors, casing materials, we took out kitchen cabinets and we took out toilets and urinals." Cornel says.
Brock says the agreement with the land owners was a win-win. "Vacant properties are a liability to the property owner. So the sooner they can get them cleaned and stripped, the less liability they have. So we try to take advantage of that."
Brock says Habitat for Humanity has generated several thousand dollars from the items collected at the old airport site.
The developers say they're currently working with various agencies to obtain the necessary permits to proceed with construction.