Habitat for Humanity of Collin County is celebrating a milestone: building its 100th home in McKinney. The organization serves low-income families by building new homes and repairing existing homes. Since 1976, the organization has helped 6.8 million people worldwide achieve independence and stability through affordable housing.

Marion McFarland and her family are the recipients of the 100th home, which is currently in the final phases of construction. McFarland’s two sons, daughter, grandmother, mother and sister were living together in two hotel rooms for many years.

“We decided to get a place together but could not find an apartment to fit us,” McFarland said.

Families who live and work in Collin County can apply for a home through Habitat for Humanity. After families apply, they are selected based on three criteria: income, need and ability to pay.

“We are grateful for this organization,” McFarland said. “Habitat has given us a chance to stay together now as a combined family. This is the opportunity we have been waiting and praying about for decades.”

Chief Executive Officer Celeste Cox said this is a meaningful milestone for Habitat for Humanity.

“Just in McKinney alone to be on 100 homes is pretty awesome, because the need is so great in McKinney for affordable housing,” Cox said.

Cox has worked with the organization for 20 years and said it has changed significantly since she first joined as the first paid staff member for Habitat for Humanity of Collin County.

“We used to be an all-volunteer organization,” Cox said. “They were building one to two houses a year and they weren't doing the home repair program. Now we have full-time paid staff and are a professional home-building organization.”

As people consider making tax-deductible donations at the end of the year, Philanthropy Manager Amy Pankey encouraged people to give to Habitat for Humanity.

“I think our biggest priority right now is finishing the homes that have already been started and came in a little bit over budget,” Pankey said. “Right now we're in the process of trying to complete four homes.”

In addition to building homes, Habitat for Humanity also has a home repair program. This program provides emergency home repairs, weatherization and accessibility modifications to families in need.

The home repair program benefits people in Collin County who need to adapt their current home to fit their evolving needs. For example, Cox said the organization added on to a home to allow a child to have his own wheelchair-accessible bedroom and bathroom.

“I think anytime we're able to give a family independence and the ability to live in their home long term...it’s very important to be able to do that, especially with the current housing crisis,” Cox said.

When people donate to Habitat for Humanity, Cox said they are helping meet people’s immediate needs in their community.

“If I was thinking of where could I put my money to make a really big impact, a senior who can't get into their house because they need a wheelchair ramp or their roof is leaking on their head when they sleep at night...that would be where I would want to put my money to to help somebody in need right here right now,” Cox said.

To make a donation to Habitat for Humanity of Collin County, visit their website.

The above story was produced by Multi-Platform Journalist Mary Katherine Shapiro with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.