Habitat for Humanity club welcomes local family into their new home
With tears in her eyes, Nakesha Moore and her two children cut the bow on the front door to their new home on Maryland Avenue in Lynchburg on Saturday, made possible by Habitat for Humanity and Liberty University.
After thanking volunteers, Moore smiled and said, “I’m finally home.”
Students from Liberty’s Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter raised the $60,000 required to fund the project and volunteered many hours over the last six weeks to help build the home. This is the second Lynchburg area home that Liberty has sponsored and helped build in Lynchburg.
Students joined members of Greater Lynchburg Habitat For Humanity and community volunteers at the special dedication ceremony on Saturday morning. For many of the club’s seniors, seeing the home completed just a week before Commencement was special.
Senior Clayton Ford started with the club during his sophomore year.
“I fell in love with the club,” he said. “We’re constantly encouraged to live out being Champions for Christ. This was a way to personally champion that cause to help those in need directly and leave a lasting impression.”
The club received donations from Sodexo, Liberty’s dining services provider and from local businesses.
“We would work the concessions at football games and then get a small percentage from the sales,” Ford said. “It didn’t seem like a lot, but we kept at it, and over time, the number grew.”
Ford said completing the home was perfect timing as former President Jimmy Carter, a longtime Habitat volunteer, will be the keynote speaker for Commencement.
“It’s especially meaningful because the Carters are huge supporters of Habitat,” he said. “I’m excited to hear him speak and see how he encourages us as the graduating class.”
Senior Joshua Turbyfill said participating in the club showed him how rewarding service can be, especially when you see the direct impact of the work.
“What makes Habitat so unique is that you get to work alongside the family you’re helping,” he said. “It was great seeing the Moore family out there on the build days and how excited they were about their home.”
The Moore family visited Liberty last month and was honored in Convocation, where they were presented with a family Bible and the keys to their new home.
On Saturday, Greater Lynchburg Habitat for Humanity executive director Donna Vincent thanked Liberty students and club faculty advisor Alison Pettit for their support.
“Alison came to me after Liberty helped complete a home on Rockbridge Avenue and asked, ‘What can we do to help Habitat and build more homes?’” Vincent said. “That’s when the club was formed four and half years ago, and the students have raised more than $120,000 to build homes.”
Pettit said the club wouldn’t be possible without the students’ willingness to serve.
“I have amazing students in this club and without their efforts, we could have never completed this project,” she said. “But it was a team effort by everyone involved. I’m thankful for the Habitat volunteers who took on our students and encouraged them through the building process.”
Pettit said she had been blessed by getting to know the Moore family. The club presented them with their own set of yard and gardening tools. Students from Liberty’s Interior Design Association made pillows and blankets to give to the Moores as well.
“I hope you build wonderful memories in this home for years to come,” Pettit told Moore.