Michelle Bevans had never met Warren Haynes before December of last year. When she found out that she was on the list to get a habitat house, she wondered if it would be the “jam house’ that year — a built with musicians from the bands working on it before the Christmas Jam. As a long-time fan, she was thrilled to find out it was. And then she was nervous to meet the famous guitarist. Now she calls him her “BFF, an amazing human being.”
|Warren Haynes follows along in a book written about him by Isabella Bevans (foreground) read by her mother, Michelle Bevans. Asheville Habitat for Humanity executive director Lew Kraus looks on.|
This week they met again at a ceremony in what will be Bevans’ driveway. Haynes disclosed that the 2011 Christmas Jam raised $210,000 for Asheville Habitat for Humanity, and Habitat director Lew Kraus announced that this amount put the total raised by the Christmas Jam over the years is now more than $1 million.
Haynes handed Bevans the key to the house, and wished her well. Bevans’ daughter Isabella presented a book she wrote about Haynes to him and Michelle read it. “Good thing I had sunglasses on,” said Haynes “no one could see me cry.” After a blessing of the house and a song by Reverend Howard Hanger , Bevans gave the grand tour. She still has a little while to go before moving day which should be sometime in May.
The 2011 Xmas Jam House, was built in part by 100 volunteers who participated in Before the Jam, Lend a Hand week in December.
“Each year we are reminded of all the effort it takes to produce the Xmas Jam — bringing in artists from around the country. We are grateful and humbled by the enormous generosity of the W&S Charitable Foundation (Haynes’ Foundation with his wife) to the work of Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. Their ongoing commitment to help Asheville families live in safe, decent and affordable homes shows the heart and passion Warren and Stefani have for our community,” Kraus says. “Words fail to fully express our gratitude for the partnership that we have with these remarkable people.”