A Time to Plan

Working fulltime, going to school, being a mom to two little boys — and doing sweat equity hours. Loudon County Habitat for Humanity homeowner Dylann Vendola offers a glimpse into what building her house has meant for her family.

Beginnings
Even though my life at the moment is a bit hectic, I know when I look back on things, it will all be worth it. I am so thankful for the opportunity that God and Habitat for Humanity have given me. I applied for a Habitat home in February of last year. I waited for a few months, then got a call about a home visit. A month after that, I got a letter saying that I would be able to join the Habitat program. I was so happy the day I got that letter I literally jumped for joy. My boys and I would have somewhere to call a forever home!

I got to working on my sweat equity hours right away. I work at the home store every chance I get, including my one-hour lunch breaks from work. I have loved meeting so many great volunteers. Many of them work three or four days a week helping build homes. In two weeks, we will be lifting the walls of my home, and I am so excited!

“We put up the walls, and I cried like a baby.”
April 6, 2013, will be a day that forever changed my life. It was the first day I got to work on my own house. We put up the walls, and I cried like a baby. Most people who build a house don’t get to experience lifting their walls, and I did!

After the work day was over, I took the advice of one of the volunteers and had a picnic with my two sons in our new home. During our picnic, I had the boys find their names in the wood. All of the walls have a name so when the pieces of wood are cut they are easier to match up later. I love the idea of this because it made my boys feel like they were part of that important day as well. I had been so excited every day since I received my letter in October, but nothing compares to the pleasure of starting construction on my new house.

Looking forward
Building this house with Habitat means building my own house. I love that about this program. I have also found enjoyment in learning to do so many different things with construction. Now if something breaks, I will know how to fix it. I get to learn all of these things and build relationships with my future neighbors.

A new house means a lot of things. Most people who buy a house are at a point in their life where they are settled enough to own a home. They are financially stable, and a lot of them are married. I personally thought that I would never be able to own a house — not any time soon anyway.

When I got accepted to work with Habitat, that all changed. This is more than just a house for my family. It’s a whole new life. My boys and I now have a future because of our house. Paying half of my salary on rent, which I would keep paying without gaining anything, is no longer going to be a worry. My kids won’t have to wonder when we are going to move again. I know that this stability is going to completely change the course of my children’s lives. That is the most important thing to me.

Dylann closed on her house July 3, and she and the boys have moved in to their forever home. Read more from Dylann on her blog.