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Washington Co. family of nine grateful for new home more their size

December 10, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - They'll be moving just around the corner, but it might as well be a world away.

On Sunday, about two weeks before Christmas, Marco and Diana Delgado and their seven children received the keys to their new home. It was the second to be dedicated this year by Habitat for Humanity of Washington County.

Diana said the new home is a "dream come true" for the large family that has been crammed in a three-bedroom duplex with one bathroom, on East Avenue. One of those bedrooms held four children, and Marco and Diana sleep in the dining room so the children can have the bedrooms.

On Sunday, they held tight to the keys to a new five-bedroom, two-bathroom house spanning about 1,400 square feet on a single level.

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Their oldest child, Tanisha, will even get her own bedroom.

Marco said he doesn't yet feel like a homeowner, but believes the reality will sink in soon.

The new home on Randolph Avenue in Hagerstown is just three blocks from the home they are renting on East Avenue.

The family includes the couple's five children, Tanisha, 11; Tyrell, 7; Trinity, 4; Thalia, 3, and Marco Jr., 9. The Delgados also have had custody of Marco's brother's children for the past year, Dakota, 2, and Jaylee, 1.

Diana, 25, is a homemaker, and Marco, 30, is a machine operator at Pavestone Co. in Hagerstown.

The Delgados' home is the largest ever built by the local Habitat for Humanity chapter, according to Executive Director Sherry Brown Cooper. Homes are typically three bedrooms with one bathroom.

Ann Marie Downey, who is co-chairperson of the family services committee for Habitat with Steve White, said the homes are simple, decent and affordable.

"It's not fancy," she said. "It's good, solid construction."

Though the family will have a little more space in its new home, Marco says he believes it will bring them closer together.

Their small duplex didn't have enough room for the family to sit around the kitchen table together. Their new home has a dining room with enough room for a large table, resembling a picnic table, that can seat the whole family.

Diana says she is looking forward to the entire family being able to eat together at one table.

She and her husband also now have their own bathroom that is connected to their bedroom.

"We did have one bathroom for nine people," she said. "It didn't work at all."

The family received many gifts from Habitat for Humanity and community groups Sunday, including children's books, homemade bookshelves and quilts for the children.

And after receiving so much from the community and from Habitat for Humanity, the Delgados said they wanted to continue to give back. They already worked more than the required 500 hours of physical labor on their own home and others.

However, they said Sunday they'd like to continue to volunteer to build homes for others.

"This is just going to make everything easier in our lives," Diana said. "It's just great."

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