Soil tilled for family’s new home, fresh start

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Overcast skies Sunday didn’t dampen the excitement surrounding the Wilson Area Habitat for Humanity groundbreaking.

“Our affiliate is excited to begin building Wilson Habitat’s 17th home,” said Executive Director Elisabeth Farnsworth. “This home is particularly special because we will be able to accommodate Ms. McMillion’s special-needs son while giving her daughter her very own room and space. It will be safe, beautiful and function well for their family.”

In October, Farnsworth announced that the board had picked two home recipients for the first time ever with Christina McMillion getting the first home and crews starting work on Tenesha Artis’ home afterwards. Both single mothers currently rent, but are going through the process of becoming first-time homebuyers with Habitat for Humanity’s help.

“I’m just thankful and excited,” said McMillion. “It presents so many opportunities for my family. This changes everything.”

The lot on Privette Road was donated to the organization after a fire destroyed the previous owner’s home. Contractors will work on laying the foundation and initial framing of the house in the next month or two depending on weather.

“It is a joyful day because we are gathered here to break open the land that will give foundation to not just a house, but a home,” the Rev. Tuck Taylor said during a prayer at the groundbreaking ceremony. “A home that will provide shelter and so much more. It will be a place to gather, live lives, celebrate joys and share grief.”

Taylor commended the work of Habitat chapters in more then 3,000 communities across the globe that have helped build 250,000 houses with zero-interest loans for thousands of families. Farnsworth said building affordable homes is an effort that blends donations from professionals with sweat equity from the community.

“We realize, oh God, that many more hours of labor will be needed in order to complete this project, so we ask you to send forth laborers, supplies and funds to accomplish what has begun, and further inspire the heart of this community to join in this great task,” Taylor prayed. “...I ask you to bless those who give sacrificially of their energies and resources in this task and return them not only the blessings of a better community, but the spiritual blessings that come only through service. May all of our lives be built on the solid foundation of trust in you, oh Lord.”

The house likely will be complete in late summer or early fall. As the McMillion family gets settled into their new home, the organization will break ground and start building the home for Artis. Donations can be made online at http://wilsonhabitat.org/donate/ and volunteers can find out information about work days by emailing director@wilsonhabitat.org.

“I tell people all the time that I wish they were able to experience my job and understand how we help families, what it means to have your own home and that financial stability,” Farnsworth said. “It is a lot of fun to get involved with the construction, so I want to thank you all for coming out to support this beautiful family and our program too, because we’re doing great things here in this community.”