AMERICUS, GA., Nov. 25 -- Delores Marshall says she and her three children will "feast on a dinner table that we went without for years" as they celebrate their first Thanksgiving in their own home, a new Habitat for Humanity house. The Marshalls moved into their Habitat home in August, leaving behind a small two-bedroom apartment in Pompano Beach, Fla. They used their apartment's dining area as a sleeping space, but this year the family will gather in their new home's dining room to eat turkey, dressing and all the trimmings around their new dining room table.
"We all have so much to be thankful for. My family and I are one of the happiest families in the world," Marshall said. "Being a single parent with few resources, I am very happy that my kids have a new life since moving into our new home, with a better look on life and knowing that they can achieve goals that they thought were never possible. Thank you, God, and Habitat."
Marshall said living in the home has changed her children's lives. Marshall's 17-year-old son, Calvin, has finished high school early, while 14-year-old Monica is involved with ROTC and is one of the highest-ranking members in her class. Norman Marshall, 21 years old, continues to work hard to care for his family.
The Marshalls are just one of dozens of hard-working families around the United States who will give thanks for their new Habitat for Humanity homes this holiday.
Stephanie and Eric Judon, along with their three children, are making a completely new start in life in Pontotoc, Miss., after a tornado destroyed their rented home and all their belongings on February 24, 2001.
"I'm thankful for my kids, for food and clothing, and I'm thankful we got a new house," said 28-year-old Stephanie Judon. "When the tornado hit, my kids and I were just watching TV and then it started hailing. We tried to get some place safe, but it was too late. It came just that fast" and destroyed everything they had in an instant. "Now we're really enjoying our new house-we love it."
The Puente family in Austin, Texas, is showing thanks to Habitat for Humanity in a truly unique and special way. Several years ago, the family worked with volunteers to build their Habitat home. They have since worked hard to pay off their mortgage and build a second home-so they are giving back their first house to Habitat for Humanity so that Habitat can "help another family like they helped us."
To find a Habitat for Humanity affiliate near you, log on to our Web site at http://www.habitat.org/ . Digital photos may be e-mailed upon request.
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 3,000 communities in 87 nations have built and sold more than 125,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.