WOODSTOCK — Habitat for Humanity-North Central Georgia recently presented a First Nail Ceremony for three families at the Villages of Park Creek neighborhood in Woodstock.
Although it was a chilly morning, more than 75 family members, sponsors, community members and Habitat staff and board members braved the weather to attend the ceremony.
The following week, a second first nail ceremony was conducted on Lyndee Lane in Woodstock.
The four Woodstock families 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 four homes is due to be completed in June.
The first home is being built in partnership with the Moungbakou family who emigrated from Cameroun in 2011. Daouda and his wife, Maimouna, came to the United States to be able to provide a better life for their three daughters; Aicha, 17, El Kjamila, 7, and Camila, 2. In Cameroun, Moungbakou and his wife were teachers. Daouda is now working in the retail industry and Maimouna works at a convenience store.
The family is now living in a small apartment where the living conditions are challenging. They said they are looking forward to having a place they can call home. The UPS Foundation is sponsoring the home and will provide the funds and the volunteer labor needed to build the home.
The second home is being built in partnership with John and Hannah Mawi, who were born and raised in Burma. In 2002, they relocated to Malaysia as political refugees and eventually came to the United States in 2008 with their four children; Van Ro Sang, 12, Lal Duh Um, 11, and twins, Lung Lian Thank and Ram Pek Lian, 5. Hannah Mawi works at Tyson while John Mawi cares for the children and attends college part-time.
Thrivent Financial and the Lutheran Coalition are sponsors of their home. A grant has been awarded by the Thrivent Financial Builds program, which provides 50 percent of the cost of construction. The remaining 50 percent is contributed by the Lutheran Coalition, a group of Lutheran Churches that donate both the funds and the volunteer labor. This is the seventh Thrivent Financial and Lutheran Coalition Build in North Central Georgia, Habitat said.
Habitat is partnering with the Thang family on the third home. Cin and Hrin Thang are originally from Burma. In 2005, the United Nations Human Rights Council aided the family in coming to the U.S. as political refugees. Cin and Hrin Thang have three children — Priscilla, 8, Rachel, 6 and Jemimah, 4.
The family has many community sponsors involved in helping to build their home including: Publix Super Markets Charities; the Rotary Clubs of Canton, Roswell and Windward; Ryder; Transamerica; and Turf Masters Lawn Care. Along with these sponsors are the high schools involved in the Youth United Program which include: Alpharetta High School, Blessed Trinity Catholic High School, Cambridge High School, Creekview High School, Fellowship Christian High School, Johns Creek High School, Mt. Pisgah High School, Roswell High School, and Sequoyah High School.
The fourth Habitat family is Jeff and Shandra Richardson who have one son, Jacob, 13. Their home is located on Lyndee Lane in downtown Woodstock. This is the second of three homes that will be built on this street. The Richardsons have lived in the area for many years and both work for the Cherokee County school system.
Shandra Richardson works at Little River Elementary and Jeff Richardson works at Holly Springs Elementary. Their home is being sponsored by Schoen Insulation Services. Schoen Insulation Services, located in Canton and founded in 1989, is the national leader in the manufacturing of non-metallic machine parts. Stephen Schoen is active in the local community and a major supporter of Habitat North Central Georgia, where he is a member of the Board of Directors.