Tears of Gratitude for Family in Carteret County
By Cheryl Burke
This story was adapted from an article that was originally published in the Carteret County News-Times on May 7, 2016.
Newport— A single mother of five is now the official owner of a Crystal Coast Habitat for Humanity house on Chatham Street. The keys to the new four-bedroom, two-bath home were presented to Amanda Jones during a dedication ceremony Sept. 23, 2017.
Ms. Jones, a teacher’s assistant at Morehead City Primary School, said she’s grateful to Habitat for helping her build the house on the nearly 14,000-square-foot lot.
“I’m very excited. It’s truly a blessing,” she said prior to the ceremony. “There’s more space, especially outside in the yard so my kids can get outside and play.”
Attending the event with Ms. Jones were four of her five children: DaShawn, 16; Xavier, 13; and twins Chandler and Chianna, 9. Her oldest child, Desmond, 18, is away at Louisburg College.
Prior to the ceremony, Xavier, too, said he was happy about getting a new house. “I like the big backyard and now we have more space to put stuff,” he said.
Kris Durham, executive director of Crystal Coast Habitat for Humanity, said this makes the 96th house completed by the Habitat affiliate.
She thanked all those who contributed and volunteered on the project, including volunteers from the military, churches, businesses and civic groups. She also thanked Ms. Jones and her family, who helped build the house.
“She is a hardworking woman and very deserving of this home,” Ms. Durham said.
Teams that volunteered on the project were mentored and supervised by Habitat Construction Manager Leonard Farrugia of Carolina Crawlspace Solutions.
Mr. Farrugia handed the keys and certificate of occupancy over to Ms. Jones. He also presented her with an American flag to fly on the front porch.
“She’s worked very hard and there were a lot of obstacles along the way, but here we are today,” he said.
Ms. Jones, with tears in her eyes, said she was grateful for all those who helped make the home possible.
“Thank you to everybody who contributed to my family’s home,” she said. “I appreciate all of you and love you all.”
In addition to the keys, Ms. Jones received several special gifts, including a Bible, native plants for the yard, mums and cleaning supplies. The National Charity League provided refreshments.
Apostle Willie Murray from God’s City of Refuge gave the opening prayer, and Ruth and Steve Kyle and the congregation of Moore’s Chapel in Newport gave the house blessing and closing prayer.
The Carteret County home was built as part of the State Employees Credit Union Foundation’s Mountains-to-the-Sea Challenge, a $10 million initiative to build a Habitat home in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Once the homeowner assumes a zero-percent-interest mortgage from SECU, the funds are returned to the affiliate so that another home can be built.