A new home

Mission | August 29, 2019

Maria Murray and her kids stood in front of a huge pile of dirt on Saturday morning, with shovels in hand.

They dug into the ground, turned over the soil. The people who surrounded them cheered – it wasn’t the first step on the road to building a home through Habitat for Humanity, but it was an important one.

St. Paul people will walk with Maria and her family over the next year as they put up framing, install drywall, choose their kitchen cabinets. Volunteers will work on Saturdays and Wednesday evenings to build the home. A financial donation of $8,000 for this particular home and $16,000 for Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities’ operating expenses are included as well.

“This is truly going to be a brand new beginning for Maria and her family,” said Elesha Gayman, development director for Habitat for Humanity. Maria and her family have given many, many volunteer hours to Habitat for Humanity, and will have a zero percent mortgage once the house is complete.

For 25 years, Habitat for Humanity has served families in the Quad Cities. Maria’s home in Davenport is the 116th house to be built. Other houses under construction now are located in Davenport, Rock Island, and East Moline – total of 118 are under way.

Because of the years invested, Habitat leaders say they are now seeing the long-term impact that a safe, affordable home can provide. The children of first owners are graduating from high school and college. They are going on to purchase their own homes.

Pastor Karen Ullestad from Zion Lutheran offered a prayer: “Bless Maria and her family ans she partners with so many people to build a safe and loving home. Bless all of the workers, the lunch providers, the friends she will make, and bless her faith that will sustain her. Give her confidence that through these loving hands and hearts of Habitat for Humanity she will never be alone, that you are with her always, providing this solid foundation, and that is Jesus Christ.”

Sign up to help build Maria’s home with Habitat for Humanity, or bring food for volunteers, this fall.


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