FAIRVIEW -- Habitat for Humanity Williamson County said “welcome home” to two families in a blessing and dedication ceremony Sunday afternoon.
Since 1992, the local Habitat organization has helped qualified individuals and families build and finance new homes. On Sunday, the Johnsons and the Bells became the 137th and 138th families to have a place to call their own.
The families can call each other neighbors now; their new houses are built across the street from one another in Brandenburg Cove subdivision in Fairview.
Our own Wanda Bruce Graham reads the dedication prayer at the completion ceremony.
Families, friends and volunteers gathered at 2 p.m. as the each family received a laptop before splitting off for individual dedication ceremonies.
Breaking ground in August, Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build constructed the house for Tracie Johnson and her children Destiny, Hope, Jacob and Joseph.
Women’s Build board member Wanda Bruce Graham introduced the Johnsons.
“It was a blessing for me to go to Tracie’s home and meet this family. She is a hardworking mother and has experienced some difficult health and financial issues, but she has prevailed,” Graham said.
“One of the reasons I give my time is because of people like Tracie and her family,” Graham added.
Johnson was moved to tears as she accepted the keys to her new house. “I don’t know how to express what this has all meant to us. I thank you all,” she said.
After cutting the ribbon and stepping inside her new house with her kids and friends, she said, “As stressful as it normally is getting a new house and going through that process, Habitat has made it way easier to go through.
“A lot of organizations do things like this just to do it, but every single person here has really cared.”
Daughter Destiny, 19, was most impressed with the women from across the county who came together to help her mom.
More than 200 volunteers were involved in the Women’s Build, which began as a women-led branch of HFHWC in 2010.
Sponsors like Darrell Waltrip Automotive Group, which hosted the “Hammers and High Heels” benefit in July for the cause, and a state grant from Tennessee Housing Development Agency partially funded the build.
Individual community members did their share as well, like Carol McDaniel.
McDaniel raised over $1,000 for the build and has worked with the Women’s Build since it began four years ago, after her husband passed away. She said the experience has been a blessing to her, and she will continue volunteering with the organization “as long as [she’s] able.”
Across the street, the Habitat Fall Community Build was for Kelvin and Kelly Bell and their children Tresavious, Karizma, Zakiyah and Keeno. They plan to move in later this month.
“We’re just excited. We can’t wait to move in here, and we’re amazed at all the help,” said Kelly Bell, standing in her new kitchen.
Jessica Pace covers Williamson County, Williamson County Schools and the Town of Nolensville for BrentWord Communications. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @Jess_Marie_Pace.