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Impact of a new house joy to behold

The Natchez-Adams County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, a United Way agency, is proud to announce that the Watson family (Evelyn, Morris and their four children) will be moving into their new house soon. A formal dedication ceremony at the house, 1018 Martin Luther King St., will be at 2 p.m. Sunday; at this time, the keys to their house will be officially presented to the Watson family.

All financial donors, volunteer workers, other Habitat homeowners, city officials and the general public are invited to come to the dedication ceremony.

Please come and see the emotional impact a new house can have on the new family. It is a joy to behold.

Construction of this house started in October 2012 and was built primarily with volunteer labor; 165 different volunteers spent the equivalent of more than 400 work days to finish the house in just eight and a half months. Included in this total are the 500 hours worked by the Watson family and friends, as a certain number of “sweat equity” (actual work time) hours is a requirement strictly imposed by Habitat.

A very special thank you to those who provided their expertise free of charge or at a substantial discount; these include Lee Scott Construction (electrical), Johnny Waycaster (foundation plans), Premo Stallone Plumbing (plumbing), Ken Tillage (cabinets), Scooter Cauthern (dug foundation), Jeff and Darthur Holmes (sheetrock finish), Johnny Fitzgerald and crew (brick work), Chuck Goldman and crew (flooring installation), J&J Carpet (flooring) and Bob Longmire’s Buffalo Sod Farm (pallets of St. Augustine sod).

And we cannot forget all the volunteer groups that helped throughout the process: Alcorn State University (Kappa Alpha Psi, Kappa Alpha Kappa, Nursing School, ABEC and Sigma Beta); various churches (St. Mary Basilica (adults and youth), Greater St. James Baptist, Grace United Methodist and Jefferson Street United Methodist youth group); civic clubs (Vidalia Key Club and Rotary Club) and, finally, nine students from University of New Hampshire.

After a brief rest period during these hot months, Habitat will start construction on another house next door to the Watsons.

Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Habitat has built more than 600,000 houses, and more than three million people are living in Habitat houses they helped build and are now buying through no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.  Here in Natchez the local affiliate is completing its 17th house since its organization in 1991.

If you wish to make a financial contribution, donate construction materials, receive an application for a Habitat home, or volunteer to work on the next house, you may contact Habitat for Humanity by calling 601-445-8639 or 601-807-4956, or by writing to P.O. Box 100, Natchez, MS. 39121.


Duncan McFarlane is the secretary of the Natchez-Adams County chapter of Habitat for Humanity.