“I don’t know what it feels like to win the lottery, but it sure felt like it when we got that call.”
LaTanya Pierson-Bennett says the moment she and her husband, Fred Bennett, found out they were accepted into the Habitat program was life-changing. Fast forward just over a year later, and they and their three-year-old granddaughter, Zaiviona, are gearing up for the construction of their new home.
“This home is going to go up in just two weeks,” LaTanya marveled, thinking about the whirlwind Women Build 2019 will be. “It is going to be built on a foundation of Christ, with so many willing hands and hearts coming together to work with their neighbors. It may go up quick, but it is going to last for a long time.”
Fred has worked at Community Kia for several years, and LaTanya serves as the primary caregiver to Zaiviona. Despite their busy schedules, the two have already been able to complete many of their sweat equity hours at the ReStore, construction site, and by helping at recent Habitat events. The partnerships gained between Habitat families and the organization is not lost on this couple.
“The [main] thing we have learned during our partnership with Habitat is seeing this community of people come together with genuine servitude and positive attitudes for the betterment of others and their families. That is what this partnership is about,” LaTanya said. “And, knowing that our mortgage payments are going to be helping future partner families brings us joy. We are looking forward to paying this bill!”
The family is looking forward to leaving their overcrowded housing behind and moving into the first newly-built home in either of their families’ histories. LaTanya and Fred are excited for this experience, though they wish they had started the journey sooner. LaTanya said she “hopes to see continued, increased advocacy for the organization” in the community. They had heard about the program before but didn’t realize they would have qualified. “We probably could have joined years ago. But, we are glad that we can give Zaiviona this opportunity now.”
“Being part of the Habitat community has impacted our lives in a very positive and uplifting way. It has given us hope and purpose to know that there’s a community of people who care about your needs. We look forward to the security and stability of owning our own home, and would like to thank all of volunteers, donors and sponsors of the Women Build in advance.”
Beginning in 2001, the women of Bloomington and Monroe County joined together to build homes partnership with families in need. The Women Build homes are built in just over a week, and all volunteers are women. Teams of friends, colleagues, and those who just want to make a difference assemble to sponsor each day of the build. Each builder commits to giving or raising a minimum of $250 to assist in sponsoring the home (purchasing land and building materials).