The Sullivan family -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

The Sullivan family


Terri Sullivan regularly volunteered with Habitat in the 1990s; now she will be working alongside other volunteers as a homeowner partner, building a new home for herself and her five children.

©Habitat for Humanity International/Ezra Millstein


A new perspective, a fresh start

Terri Sullivan knows Habitat for Humanity well. In the 1990s, she was a regular contributor and volunteer. Today she is partnering with Habitat to give herself, and her children, a new start.

“It’s interesting being on the other side of things,” Sullivan said. “But people have been anxious to help. To see their support and their reaction took some getting used to, but it’s been a blessing to receive.”

Born into an Army family—she lived in nine places growing up—Sullivan calls Alabama home because it’s where most of her family is originally from. After a divorce two years ago, Sullivan and her children moved back to the state to start over.

This summer, she began a new job as assistant to the comptroller for the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Sullivan said the position means a lot to her because she has a couple of special-needs children. “I’ve been on the other side of it, so it will be nice to be on an organization’s side that helps families with those needs.”

Five of her six children still live at home, and many of them are talented in the arts. Alyse, 17, has a degenerative eye condition that impairs her vision, but that hasn’t disrupted her plans to attend the University of South Alabama and pursue a performing arts degree. Jacob, 8, has Asperger’s syndrome but loves to play sports. Brianna, 14, and Rachel, 12, are both excited about music. Noah, 6, says he wants to build houses when he’s older. “And he’s talked about that for years!” Sullivan said.

Now she knows her children can grow into their dreams in a home of their own. “This is a good opportunity,” she said. “It’s peace of mind.”