On Tuesday, Dec. 10, Habitat for Humanity dedicated their completed housing build for Marie and Richard Harding with a ribbon cutting and house tour.

Several members of the Habitat for Humanity team as well as local community leaders and volunteers attended the dedication ceremony. Charles Moore, Director of Habitat for Humanity in the Greater Birmingham area, opened the ceremony with thanks to the volunteers and congratulating the Hardings on their completed home.

Marie Harding, 64, said this is a big month as in addition to Christmas, she will be celebrating her birthday next week and they will be celebrating their anniversary three days after Christmas.

Habitat for Humanity helped design and build the house with access for Marie in mind, with safer front-facing buttons on the stove, lower cabinets and hardwood floors which are more accommodating for her prosthetic legs.

Cassey Brooks performed a litany for celebration, and Daniel Leverton, Pastor with the Lakewood Presbyterian Church, conducted a small prayer and presented the Hardings with a new Bible. Tom McMinn presented the keys to the house.

Marie Harding thanks all the volunteers, especially those young people and students who were not in attendance, who came to help build even in cold rainy weather. Jean Speer presented recognition to the local sponsors, Chapel in the Pines, Pell City United Methodist Church and Grill to Build.

While Habitat for Humanity provides opportunities for families to become homeowners, they can do so only through the combined efforts of volunteers and donors. They provide affordable housing to qualifying families who pass a fairly rigorous set of requirements such as taking finance classes and volunteering time of their own to give back to the organization. After months of preparation, the Hardings qualified for a home, and the home was completed in a little over a month.

Patricia Birch, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity, ushered everyone outside for the ribbon cutting. The Hardings and volunteers gathered together on the porch of the new house. The cold wind and rain on the dreary December afternoon could be considered a reminder to those of us who have a home to be grateful for what we have, and for those who have received such assistance to be grateful for those in a community who are willing to give time and money to build a home for those in need.

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