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Donated Cat Equipment Helps Habitat for Humanity

Wed December 03, 2003 - Northeast Edition

New Hampshire’s picturesque seacoast community isn’t known for affordable housing, but it is in Epping. Greater Seacoast Habitat for Humanity has partnered with community volunteers to build a home from scratch in the hamlet, and the soon-to-be residents are a family of five who hope to move from their two-bedroom rented apartment into their own home, for the first time in their lives.

Randall Sanderson, a board member of Greater Seacoast Habitat for Humanity and a District Product Manager of Southworth-Milton, the dealer of Caterpillar construction equipment in New England, saw the opportunity and invoked the support of his company, whom he said was more than willing — even excited — to lend its new, top-of-the-line demo machines for the good of the community.

On land donated by the Department of Transportation and New Hampshire Housing Finance authority, Sanderson spent a day at the wheels of a Cat 304CR compact radius excavator, a Cat D5C bulldozer used for clearing the site and digging the cellar hole, and a Cat 226 skid steer for final grading.

As he worked, Sanderson’s youngest son even pitched in. “He was so excited. He was over on a dirt pile with a tiny toy bulldozer, scraping and grading, just like I was.”

Habitat for Humanity works with low- and moderate-income families, corporations and community leaders to build homes for hard-working families so that they can realize their dream of homeownership. The home that Sanderson and others are helping the family build should be ready for occupancy by Christmas. “Then, when the New Hampshire spring finally comes, I’ll be there again with equipment to complete the septic system, do the landscaping, plant some shrubs, and do the final grading,” said Sanderson.

If time or resources from Southworth-Milton are needed, Sanderson said the company is poised for 100-percent support. “Southworth-Milton realizes the importance of helping out in the community, and bringing awareness to the problem of work force housing.”

When asked why he does it, Sanderson replied, “I like that it brings hope to families. It may be just one family. But that’s enough for me.”

Southworth-Milton is an authorized dealer of Caterpillar construction, forestry and paving equipment, truck and marine engines and power systems in the northeast states of Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and eastern New York.

The company, headquartered in Milford, MA, has facilities in Wareham, MA; Cranston, RI; Scarborough and Brewer, ME; Hopkinton and Warner, NH; Richmond, VT; and Clifton Park, NY.

For more information, call 508/634-3400.