Barbara and William Thomas are one of the families Habitat for Humanity has been able to help since it started in Faulkner County in 1997.

Barbara Thomas said, "I think Habitat is a very good organization. It’s a blessing for us to be able to get a home through them. I wish more people could get into a home."

Dec. 11-13, Habitat for Humanity will join with local restaurants for a fundraiser, "Tab for Habitat." When patrons order water at one of the 19 participating restaurants, their server will ask them whether they would like to donate $1 to the nonprofit organization.

Bill Tobias, outgoing president of the board, said Habitat for Humanity recently completed its 19th house.

"A lot of people are not aware that Habitat for Humanity does not give away homes," he said. "We select partners that are 25 to 50 percent of the median poverty income level for Faulkner County. We sell the house at cost and hold a 20-year mortgage on that property. We use the mortgage payments and other fundraisers to build homes for needy homeowners. 

"We do as much as we can with volunteers. We’re always in need of land. If anyone has land donations, we would love to speak with them. We have to pay professional plumbers and electricians."

Tobias said every year Habitat holds Apostle Build, a home-building project that involves 12 local churches. A goal for next year is to start a women’s build — a home built primarily by women with the construction manager and most volunteers to be women, he said.

Tobias said of Tap for Habitat, "If it’s a success, which we anticipate, we hope more restaurants will jump on board next year."

Thomas said she attended a Habitat for Humanity meeting with her daughter and decided to apply. Out of many applicants, she was chosen.

"It’s good for different organizations to help them in the fundraising, because they’re doing a good, worthwhile job," Thomas said. "It’s making the community look better and helping families. If there’s anything I can do to help Habitat, I will."

Thomas said of her home of three years, "I enjoy my home. It’s a lovely home. I was thankful to get it."

(Staff writer Rachel Parker Dickerson can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 505-1277. Send us your news at