The Fuller Center for Housing preaches that a hand up is better than a handout, that what the poor need is capital instead of charity. Many Fuller Center homeowners take that hand up and pay it forward, but few do it more earnestly than Thad Harris.
The Americus, Ga., resident became a Fuller Center homeowner partner in 2010 and has been a fixture at Fuller Center headquarters ever since. Though he was paralyzed in a 2001 accident, Harris logged well over his required hours of sweat equity in building his house. And, more importantly, he has logged hundreds of hours since in helping others obtain simple, decent housing. He even sits on the board of directors for the Americus-Sumter Fuller Center for Housing covenant partner.
Today, we are celebrating Thad Harris’ 50th birthday, honoring a man whose service to others is overshadowed by only one thing — the beaming smile that comes rolling through Fuller Center headquarters on an almost daily basis.
“Our partnerships define everything we do, and it is always a blessing to everyone involved,” Director of U.S. Field Operations Kirk Lyman-Barner said. “But when we met Thad Harris several years ago, in our efforts to transform his living situation we quickly learned that it was our lives that were about to be transformed by this giant of an individual.
“He not only joined our board of directors, but he also set about reforming our program delivery,” Lyman-Barner added of Harris’ work with the local covenant partner. “He worked with our other homeowners to help them bring their accounts current. He manages our volunteer work teams and is literally the incarnation of the saying ‘infectious Fulleritis.’ It is not an exaggeration to say without fail he brings a smile to everyone he comes into contact with. So on his 50th birthday, we celebrate our dear friend whose mantra is ‘Everything is going to be just fine.’ Because of Thad, we know it will be.