It was in January 2007, the big day, the day Linda Prichard had been waiting for, dreaming of and laboring toward. After weeks of working alongside Habitat volunteers ripping out carpet, laying tile, painting, helping install windows, light fixtures and cabinets, the day of dedication was there. Everyone, Ms. Prichard’s family, Habitat volunteers, and guests were excited.
Ms. Prichard heard about the Habitat program from a friend, Mrs. Rowe. They attended Abundant Life Church together. As we visited in her fenced-in front yard, courtesy of her brother, Ms. Prichard recalled how working on her house had boosted her sense of self-esteem and confidence, and
made her proud. She remembered looking forward to leaving the duplex where she and Lana, her special- needs daughter, were living and moving into their own home. They would have a fenced in yard for their pets, a place for Lana to play, room for Ms. Prichard to plant flowers and where she didn’t have to answer to anybody.
On the day Linda and Lana moved into their new home, they had three pieces of furniture, Lana’s bed and dresser and a plaque displaying the Ten Commandments. Family and friends helped her out with different pieces of needed furniture. Today Ms. Prichard’s home is furnished with nice, comfortable furniture in each room.
Ms. Prichard said she was especially grateful to one Habitat volunteer in particular, a silver-haired man. Several years after the dedication she meet the gentleman at the cancer center where they both were undergoing radiation and chemo treatment. She said he encouraged her each time they met. (She couldn’t remember his name but it must have been Claude Alexander.)
When I recently met with Ms. Prichard one afternoon, she was trying to decide where to plant two pots of daisies. We sat near a small patio table while Lana rocked in a covered swing. Two hammocks were stretched out near us. “Lana enjoys rocking in the swing and lying in the hammocks,” she said.
“I feel so blessed and grateful to have the security of my own home,” Ms. Prichard continued. “I have something for my son and grandchildren, for Lana. I have a place where my children and grandchildren can come visit. When Lana had a reaction to an anesthetic and spent eighteen days in a hospital, Habitat worked with me on my house payments. It felt good to have a home to come back to,” she declared and smiled at her daughter.
Ms. Prichard’s closing comment. “Working with Mt. Pleasant Habitat has helped me have more respect for myself, helped me build my self-esteem, be independent and better able to care for Lana.”