On a brilliant final day of April, Perryrease Stinson beamed as she cut the ribbon on the front door her new home in Mooresville. It was a perfect setting for a perfect day for the mother of two young teenagers. Minutes earlier, her sister Susie Stinson had presented Stinson with the keys to her home. That’s when things got emotional as officials and volunteers with Our Towns Habitat for Humanity, family and friends looked on. “Thank you to everyone who put a plank up, who hammered a nail, who carried water, who brought anything. Thanks to all of the volunteers,” Stinson said as tears streamed down her face. “Thanks to anyone who worked in the ReStore, everyone who worked in the office. I just thank everybody. I just thank you. God bless everyone.”
The new home for Stinson and her daughter Makhia, 14, and son Michael, 13, means they can leave a decrepit, rented mobile home for a safe, secure neighborhood of about two dozen attractive Habitat homes. Stinson’s house was built as part of the State Employees Credit Union Foundation’s Mountains to the Sea Challenge to build a Habitat home in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. SECU Foundation is investing $10 million to finance the project. Once the homeowner assumes a zero-percent mortgage from SECU, the money is returned to the Habitat affiliate so that another home can be built.
Earlier in the dedication, prayers were recited, and gifts to help the new family settle in to their new home were offered: A new, cordless lawn mower, string trimmer and blower from Ryan Murphy of Greenworks, which has an office in Mooresville; a $100 gift card from ReStore; a prayer shawl from Williams Chapel AME Zion Church; a quilt from the Lake Norman Quilters; cleaning supplies from Bank of America; and a Bible.
In the late-morning sun, the metal roofs of the Habitat homes gleamed, promising a new life in a safe neighborhood for the family. The homes boast spacious porches and are set amid well-kept lawns dotted with trees. It looks like a happy place; a place to grow up well. At least that’s what Perryrease Stinson believes. “When parents are stressed out, it rolls over to the kids, whether we see it or not,” Stinson told Misty Stach, marketing manager for Our Towns Habitat. “When they have a stable home, it makes a difference. They can relax and be comfortable. They can just go and sit out on the porch and not worry about somebody getting into an argument nearby.” Stinson, who works in the deli department of Harris-Teeter, also sees the new home in a bright setting as a solid example for her children. “Hopefully, they see what I did, and when they are older, they will want to volunteer and help someone else – not to get anything out of it, but just to help someone else.”
Chris Ahearn, CEO of the Our Towns Habitat affiliate, has no doubt that Stinson will do well for herself and for her children. “Over and over in this process, Perryrease has said that this is what she wants for her family’s future. We have provided you with this house, you will make it a home. It’s what you and your family make of that that will direct your life going forward. I have every confidence that you are going to create a wonderful life in this home.”
Bill DuPre, Habitat for Humanity North Carolina