Evelyn will always remember her 29th birthday. Not because there was some outrageous party or because she took an exotic trip. No, she got a gift even better than that: it was the day she found out she was matched with a Habitat for Humanity house.
“We have moved a lot,” Evelyn says. “It’s hard on kids.”
Evelyn and her 12 year old son have moved twice in the past year alone, due to rent increases. Their next move – the one into their Habitat home – will be their last and Evelyn is looking forward to the stability.
Evelyn spent the summer and fall working on her sweat equity hours most every Saturday. She says that she finds the work interesting and enjoys learning new things. Tile and grout are among her favorite tasks.
Construction Site Manager Nick Jackson says, “I’ve been working with Evelyn for a while now, and she’s definitely earned this house. She put a lot of effort into sweat equity – she literally put blood and sweat into her hours. I don’t know about tears,” he joked, “because she’s pretty tough.”
But on the day of her home dedication, with her new house full of family, friends, Habitat volunteers and staff, Evelyn did shed a tear or two. Overwhelmed with emotion, she addressed the crowd to say, “I want to thank everybody that helped. I really appreciate everybody. I’m thankful for this house – and to Habitat for giving me the opportunity.”
CEO Maureen Fife answered, “Happy tears are the best tears. This is a really, really big day for you. Habitat’s not easy. You don’t just go in and throw your money down and get the keys. You’ve worked very hard for this and it’s beautiful. You’re a great partner and we’re happy you’re here.” Then, turning to the crowd, “Congratulations to Evelyn! And welcome home.”