More than 50 celebrate First Nail
April 13, 2013 12:00 AM | 1023 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Above: Celebrating the Habitat First Nail Ceremony include, from left, Bruce Gunning, corporate HUB IE manager, UPS; Hellen Mwangi, Habitat partner/homeowner; and Mark Susor, vice president, US Engineering, UPS and Habitat board member.<br>Special to the Tribune
Above: Celebrating the Habitat First Nail Ceremony include, from left, Bruce Gunning, corporate HUB IE manager, UPS; Hellen Mwangi, Habitat partner/homeowner; and Mark Susor, vice president, US Engineering, UPS and Habitat board member.
Special to the Tribune
slideshow
From left, daughters Diane and Bianca; Stephen Schoen, owner of Schoen Insulation Services; and Blanca Ramos, Habitat homeowner.
From left, daughters Diane and Bianca; Stephen Schoen, owner of Schoen Insulation Services; and Blanca Ramos, Habitat homeowner.
slideshow
From staff reports

Habitat for Humanity recently held a First Nail Ceremony for three families at the Villages of Park Creek neighborhood in Woodstock on the border of Cherokee and Fulton counties.

More than 50 family members, sponsors, community members, and Habitat staff and board members attended the ceremony.

The three families said they were overjoyed with the prospect of becoming homeowners and couldn’t wait to hammer the first nail on their homes.

They all thanked the sponsors and volunteers who will be helping them build their homes. Construction on the homes is due to be completed in August.

The first home is being built in partnership with Dadie Laventure, who has three sons; Jimmy, 14, Alex, 13, and Bryan, 12. Laventure came to the United States from Haiti in 1996 to escape the poverty and violence of her native country, according to a release from Habitat.

She is raising her sons with the help of her mother, who came to the United States last year. Laventure has worked for a large department store since 2005. Her home is being built with the support of the Thrivent Builds program and the Lutheran coalition.

The grant from the Thrivent Builds program provides 50 percent of the cost of construction, and was given to Habitat North Central Georgia by Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity, a unique partnership between Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Habitat for Humanity International, the agency said.

The remaining 50 percent of the construction costs are contributed by the Lutheran Coalition; a group of Lutheran Churches who donate both the funds and the volunteer labor. This is the sixth Thrivent Financial and Lutheran Coalition Build in north central Georgia.

The second home is being built in partnership with the Mwangi family. Hellen and Geoffrey Mwangi have two children, Joy, 8, and Joshua, 6. Hellen Mwangi immigrated to the United States in 2004 from Kenya. It took several years for her husband and two children to obtain the required approval to join her.

She has worked as a caregiver since 2004. Geoffrey Mwangi works at a local clothing store.

They said they are thrilled that the sponsor for their home is the UPS Foundation. UPS not only is providing the funds to build the home, but also all of the volunteer labor.

Habitat is partnering with Blanca Ramos on the third home. Ramos has two adult children and one young daughter, 2.

Ramos said she feels blessed to have so many wonderful sponsors who are helping to build her home including Schoen Insulation Services, Enercon, Generation Mortgage Company, Gresham Smith & Partners, OCI Enterprises, Ryder, Siemen, Sullivan and Schlieman Wealth Management, LLC and Transamerica.

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