"We've got ourselves a blessing"

"I'm really grateful for all the volunteers who have contributed their time and effort," says John Richard. "These people are really taking this work very seriously, putting all of themselves into it... That's the amazing thing about it, that's what overwhelms me."

By week's end, John and Belvin Richard will become the owners of one of the 100 houses being constructed during Habitat for Humanity's 1998 Jimmy Carter Work Project in Houston, Texas. The Richards have invested hundreds of hours of "sweat equity" in preparation for this day, and will purchase the house through payments made affordable by a zero-interest loan. "We've got ourselves a blessing," says Belvin.

Or rather, they've been doubly blessed. Belvin explains, "We both grew up in Louisiana... He was my boyfriend when I was 11." And even though the Richards lost touch for 27 years, they found each other again, and have now been married for two years.

The Richard family includes three daughters, ages 6, 8, and 16. "I just want to thank God for allowing my family to be a part of this program," says John, "because it has done so much for so many people, including ourselves... This is something I never expected, never imagined in my life."

Other Stories from the 1998 JCWP
JCWP Homeowners:
Wade and Shalina Gibson

"I grew up in this area," says Wade Gibson. "I'm coming back home."

More stories:
Nancy Rosas
Olga Martinez
Betty and Seff Polk
JCWP Volunteers:
Always and Forever Hammering

Habitat volunteer Eunita Shields has worked long and hard to help her cousin find decent, affordable housing.

More stories:
First Ladies for Habitat
Joanne and Greg Janson
Campus Chapters
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter
JCWP Behind the Scenes:
The Green Team

A Habitat commitment: construction techniques that lower utility bills and conserve resources.

More stories:
Security Volunteers
First Aid
Food Service
Day-By-Day Photo Journal | 1998 JCWP Home Page

JCWP Overviews: 1984-96 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000

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