Community Builder: Midlands home builder also helps build community

John Covert, wearing the Community Builders hat, created a summer camp for teens.
John Covert, wearing the Community Builders hat, created a summer camp for teens.

BLYTHEWOOD, SC (WIS) - A Midlands home builder may have building in his blood, but it's what he does to help others in need that inspired those who know him to nominate him as a Community Builder.

John Covert is the founder of Covert Homes in Blythewood and he's also the president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia. When he's not working, John helps to repair homes for those in need and volunteers for several other non-profits.

Recently WIS and Mungo Homes surprised John with the news that he had been selected as the latest "Community Builder."

"I was blown away. I had no idea, clueless," said Covert. "I thought we were going on a picnic!"

And while he didn't end up at a picnic, he did end up in the spotlight, which is something he shies away from.

"It's not about me," Covert said.

But it should be. Covert created a summer camp organized through the Methodist Church that brings local teens together to help repair homes for those in need.

While he won't take the credit, those who know Covert say he's had an impact on many lives in his role as a director of the Blythewood Salkehatchie Summer Camp.

"I've always felt there was a strong connection between my opportunity to get involved in the construction business and this ministry," John added.

For the last 13 years, John and his wife Tami have volunteered to help lead the camp in Blythewood.

"There is no application process," said Tami. "It's heartfelt. We meet them, and we know if they're a fit."

And this summer one of those fits was the Sargent family.

"The thing about John is he's friendly, he's assertive, he has the expertise," said Nick Sargent. The father of three says his family has been hoping to foster a child but could not get the insurance they needed without roof repairs. He says that's where Salkehatchie stepped in.

"Financially it would have been a long delay," he added. "It seems like the Lord provided Salkehatchie to meet the need."

John's involvement in Salkehatchie is just one way he gives back. He serves on the board of the Christian Assistance Bridge and on the Community Committee for Richland School District Two to help the families of homeless students.

"I think God has wired us to feel good when we do good to encourage us to do more good," said John. And in the midst of it all John and Tami are passing down their desire to help others to their children."It's a family passion," said John. "We're all five, all in and we've been doing it together for years and it's all my children have ever known."

As a Community Builder, John will receive a $1,000 donation from the Michael J. Mungo Foundation to the charity of his choice. He says it will go right back into the Blythewood Salkehatchie Summer Camp.

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