Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller.
Millard gave up a successful law practice and dedicated his life to eliminating poverty housing. Over the years, the mission of Habitat has become increasingly well-known through high profile volunteers such as Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter and Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.
Habitat for Humanity of Miami County, Ohio was organized by Shirley Saxton in the summer of 1991.
Shirley invited Ralph Craig and his wife Lorraine to attend the second meeting. Ralph Craig was a board member of the affiliate in Dayton, Ohio, and both he and his wife were seasoned Habitat volunteers, having worked on Habitat projects in Georgia and South Carolina before helping to found the Dayton affiliate.
Authorization to use the Habitat name was obtained, and Don Smith was an early spokesperson for the embryonic organization. Craig Hollows, an attorney practicing in Piqua, Ohio and first vice president of the Miami County affiliate, donated office space for the fledgling organization.
We became an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International on November 2, 1992.
In January 1993, Steven and Lavenna Wackler were selected as the first partner family. Mr. and Mrs. Wackler had lived in rental units for nineteen years since their marriage. They had almost given up the hope of owning their own home until Habitat came to their rescue. The Wackler’s were told of their selection as the first partner family on Christmas Eve in 1992. Ralph Craig in conjunction with Parker Behm served as the project directors in charge of building a house for the Wackler’s in Covington, Ohio.
At the second annual meeting Jim Phillips was confirmed as the affiliate’s volunteer Executive Director. Cathy Duff became the first paid employee in 1994.
Since that time, Habitat for Humanity of Miami County, OH has made remarkable progress and has served 500,000 families globally in relocating from substandard and poverty housing into decent, affordable homes. 44 of these families are right here in our backyard in greater Miami County.