At the Foot of Grandfather Mountain, a New Foundation
Watauga County Habitat for Humanity celebrated the dedication of a new home for Lisa Shook and her son Cody at a ceremony on Grandfather Road Oct. 9, 2016. Watauga County Habitat staff, volunteers, supporters, and Lisa Shook’s family, friends and church members gathered for the event, held on a cool, sunny afternoon below Grandfather Mountain.
“My eyes have been opened at how many wonderful and good people there are out there in the world,” said Lisa Shook. “Sometimes when you feel alone, you see how many people are out there behind you and trying to help you.”
“I struggle with ways of trying to figure out how to thank everyone that has put in their time and effort here to help us,” she said. “I’m really blessed and so appreciative of everybody and everything and the whole Habitat organization.” Shook’s home is one of 102 being built across North Carolina for the State Employees Credit Union Foundation’s Mountains-to-the-Sea Challenge. The goal is to build a Habitat home in each of the state’s 100 counties (104 homes will be built because of overlapping jurisdictions among Habitat for Humanity affiliates). 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. The SECU Foundation is funded with the $1 per month maintenance fee assessed to each SECU member.
Shook’s home is the 26th residence built by Watauga Habitat for Humanity, which was founded in 1987. The organization’s mission is to provide decent, affordable housing to low-income Watauga County residents. The organization does this by building modest homes with volunteer labor and land and materials that are donated or purchased at reduced cost.
The foundation of Shook’s home was laid in May 2015 with volunteers working as part of National Women Build Week. “It was a beautiful day to be out working with a great group for such a great cause,” said Jim Rogers, Watauga Habitat’s construction manager. “And what could be more fitting than working alongside a mother and her son on Mother’s Day weekend, as we lay the foundation for what will be their home.”
This article was adapted from two stories that appeared in The Watauga Democrat newspaper.