Bitter cold on Saturday, Jan. 6, pushed Wake Habitat’s kick-off ceremony for its latest build in Clayton indoors. But the big room at First Baptist Church was glowing in the warmth of volunteers and Habitat officials.
A Habitat home can “take a family on a new course in life,” said Kevin Campbell, head of Habitat’s Wake County affiliate. “A house really has the power to do that. We’ve seen it happen over and over.” Campbell spoke to representatives from 22 church congregations and the State Employees Credit Union, which is funding the build. They were all there in support of Rebecca Morgan and her children, who have been working hand-in-hand with Habitat volunteers on her new home on East Hinton Street in Clayton.
“We are created, all, in the image and likeness of our God,” said the Rev. Jim Melnyk of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Smithfield. “It’s why we build. Our God is a creator God; we are all created in the image and likeness of our creator God. It’s part of who we are as human beings. Rebecca and her family, they’re building for themselves and they’re building for someone else. Over the next 10 weeks we’re going to celebrate the image and likeness of God that we each share. It’s in our souls, stamped on our foreheads. So remember when you drive a nail or cut a board you are carrying within you the spirit of what God intended you to be from the beginning of creation.”
The home is being built as part of the SECU Foundation’s Mountains-to-the-Sea Challenge, which aims to build a Habitat home in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. The Foundation is putting up $10 million for the Challenge. Once the house is complete and the family assumes a zero-percent mortgage from SECU, the Foundation returns the money to the Habitat affiliate so that another home can be built.
Rebecca Morgan spoke to the crowd. “Thanks to you all for coming out and being a part of something so incredible. It is so overwhelming to look out and see all of you here.” She works as a certified medical assistant at a pediatric office in Clayton, and relishes the ease and convenience of living with her two younger children, Ryan, 16, and Evelyn, 7, in the same town where she works. Later, she spoke privately about what her new home will mean to her family. “It means so much for my family to have someplace to call our forever home,” Rebecca Morgan said. “It’s a blessing. We’ve been in Johnston County since 2009. We just moved from place to place. Now we’re living in Benson, in an old, small farmhouse. We just can’t wait to move in to our new home on East Hinton Street in Clayton.”
Habitat for Humanity North Carolina