“I am so happy and so excited to get my house,” said Ana Johnson, moments before a dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting Feb. 13 at her new house in The Glen on Hilton Head Island, a Habitat for Humanity community.
Her daughters, Amanda, 13, and Ariana, 15, used the exact same words to describe their feelings that day.
Moving into a new home is the American dream, and the Johnsons’ dream was about to come true.
Ana had put more than 300 hours of work into the house, a requirement of all Habitat homeowners. She also enlisted the help of friends from her church, Church of Christ on Hilton Head, and her co-workers at Publix.
This particular house is special to many, including staff and volunteers at Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity. For one thing, it is the 100th house they have built over the past 20 years.
As if that weren’t reason enough to be excited, the house was funded by current Habitat homeowners through their mortgage payments, and by proceeds from the Habitat ReStore.
“Mortgage payments from Habitat homeowners go into what we call our Fund for Humanity,” said Habitat executive director Pat Wirth. “When there is enough money in the fund, we use it to build a house, allowing our current homeowners to help future homeowners.”
The dedication of the 100th house included remarks from Habitat board members, volunteers, Mayor David Bennett of Hilton Head Island, a prayer of thanksgiving by Rev. Brad Bloom, and a blessing of the house by the Johnsons’ pastor, Rev. Dan Hammitt.
Also present were Marilyn and Ronald Stewart, the first family in this area to buy a Habitat house, and who have now paid off their mortgage. “This is something,” Ronald Stewart said, “when you get a key to go in your door, to go into your house.”
Following a ribbon cutting, those present were invited into the Johnson house for a tour.
The Johnsons were gracious hostesses, and proud of this accomplishment. The young ladies were thrilled to have a home of their own. “It really is cool to finally have my own room,” Amanda said.
Asked if the two sisters had shared a room for a while up until now, they both nodded their heads.
“Yes,” said Amanda. “It has been a long time.”
Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity is part of a global non-profit housing organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide. For more information, visit www.habitathhi.org.