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Habitat dedicates 22nd house in county

Habitat dedicates 22nd house in county

October 17, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN

marlob@herald-mail.com

Among those welcoming Sharon Blair to her new home Sunday afternoon was her neighbor, Michele Johnson, whose own Habitat for Humanity home was dedicated just one month earlier.

"It's a day she will never forget," Johnson said as she greeted her new neighbor.

Blair, who can now call 246 Merr-baugh Drive home, said it was a long time coming but well worth the wait.

"You want your own home and you strive for this, living according to God's word to get this opportunity," Blair said.

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Unable to hold back tears when she received her house key, Blair repeated "Thank God" over and over again. "I want to thank everyone for being a part of this today."

An employee of Williamsport Retirement Village, Blair said the people she works with are like family.

"They stuck by me on my good days and bad days," Blair said. "They were very supportive."

A single mother, Blair will be moving into her new three-bedroom home with her children, Lakeisha Mayo, 17, and Mark Mayo, 16. The house was sponsored by First Data Merchant Services, which contributed $65,000 and approximately 200 employee/volunteers to the effort.

When introducing Angie Doll, vice president of human resources at First Data, Habitat Executive Director Sherry Brown Cooper described First Data as a "give-back-to-the-community business."

The house at 246 Merrbaugh Drive is the 22nd Habitat house in the organization's 11 years in Washington County, Brown Cooper said. She noted that Blair and her children participated in the building of their home and others.

Blair's pastor, the Rev. Paul Berry of Full Family Ministries, blessed each room of the house with a prayer.

Carl Gearhart, a Habitat member since the beginning, thanked all the volunteers who made the latest house possible.

"This family now gets hope for a new beginning," Gearhart said.

Habitat board members presented Blair with two essentials - a Bible and a tool box - during Sunday's dedication service.

Several attendees brought food, kitchen supplies and other necessities as gifts to the Blair family.

And Sylvia Shives contributed a "Home Sweet Home" doorknob hanger made by members of the Embroiderers Guild.

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