Mom and son get the keys to new Habitat home

December 06, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE
  • Carrie Rejonis of Smithsburg smiles after receiving the keys to her new Thrivent Builds-Lutheran Habitat for Humanity home in Smithsburg on Sunday. Carrie and her son are welcomed into their home by friends, family, members of the community and those who helped build their new home.
Colleen McGrath

SMITHSBURG — Cameron Rejonis, 6, was running around the room with two other kids, smiling and playing.
The room will soon be his play room, which will be near his bedroom, in a Smithsburg house his mother expects to take ownership of on Dec. 14 thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Washington County and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
More than 50 people crammed into the living room, kitchen and hallway Sunday afternoon to help Carrie and Cameron Rejonis dedicate and bless their new home.
“It was a lot of hard, hard — it was a lot of struggle,” said Carrie Rejonis, 31.
Living with her parents in Smithsburg, Rejonis told the crowd how Pastor Gerry Johnson, then with Trinity Lutheran in Smithsburg, gave her a Habitat pamphlet.
Even though she had to wait three years, Rejonis said she probably wouldn’t have a house of her own now if not for the assistance of Habitat for Humanity.
Rejonis helped build six Habitat houses, including her new roughly 1,100-square-foot home, said Kathy Powderly, Habitat’s director of development. The steep hill the house sits atop made this a challenging build, but the family has a wonderful neighborhood and a beautiful view, Powderly said. A deck will be built onto the side of the house, which is in Whispering Hills.
The local Habitat chapter has built 32 houses so far, Powderly said. One more is nearly complete on Linwood Road in the Halfway area.
About 200 people helped build the Rejonis house.
The Washington County Conference of Lutheran Churches’ member churches helped build the house, either with donations or volunteers, said Pastor Ed Heim of St. John’s Lutheran in Hagerstown.
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is a not-for-profit organization that sells insurance and handles investments, said Bob Budnicki, financial associate.
During the past six years, the group has invested $130 million in Habitat homes worldwide, Budnicki said. Thrivent covered 65 percent of the cost of Rejonis’ home, with churches raising 10 percent more and Habitat providing the remaining 25 percent, he said.

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