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Realtor dreams of Habitat house in Dalton

Full disclaimer: Almost everything makes me cry ‑ movies, commercials, baby dedications, senior nights (whether I know the kids or not). All of these things and more make me emotional. It never fails — when we are watching a movie, at least one of my boys will look at me during the emotional scenes to see if I am crying and then tease me about it. So, when our church, Newpointe in Wooster, had a Habitat for Humanity story on the screen, I watched and cried.

I have been interested in Habitat for Humanity for a long time. So much so that years ago, I read a book about the organization and I found it fascinating. I knew that some day I wanted to be involved with this organization but I had no idea how or when. But when Newpointe brought the families up that had new Habitat homes through our church sponsorship and our lead pastor presented them the keys, I cried like a baby, and the passion for the organization began all over again.

You know how sometimes you have an idea that sounds great and even invigorating and you are so into it only to wake up the next day and realize that to make that happen you would have to clone yourself three times? That is how I felt. I told Andy that I wanted our family to sponsor a house. I mean why not? He is a contractor, and we have been blessed over the years. The reality hit. This is not a one family show – at least not in our family. The cost to sponsor one house completely and the work hours needed are overwhelming. But when you have a full village rather than a single family, things can happen.

You guys, we have a great village! Our community has  rallied around families who have needed help before and the amount of volunteer hours and dollars our community puts into our schools is incredibly awesome. Tour Dalton’s new wrestling room – completed 100 percent by donations in both labor and man hours – and you will see how good our community is at giving both in terms of dollars and physical labor. So a seed was planted in my mind. What if our community sponsored a house for a family? When Newpointe sponsored three Habitat Homes, it wasn’t Dwight Mason, or lead pastor, doing all of the work. It was the many members of the church body as well as the families receiving the home working together to make things happen. And the results were awesome!

So here is my “I have a dream” speech. I have a dream that the community that I live in will come together to help a local family experience the joy of home ownership. That we will all use our talents and provisions, whether that be money, hammers, arm muscles or strong legs, to build a house for someone right here in our school district.

Think about what we could teach our young kids. That volunteering is important, every person is important, you have been blessed so share with others. Even from a real-life perspective, young people could learn lessons – about money, measuring, hammering, building, framing, the list goes on and on. Imagine one work day filled with a neighborhood all coming out to put in a few hours, or seeing a sports team spending the day carrying lumber or supplies to increase muscle mass rather than lifting weights in a gym, a local business having their employees drop by a job site to donate bottled water to those working, Sunday School classes collecting loose change on Sunday mornings to go to the building fund. The ideas never stop because they aren’t my ideas but rather they are the ideas of an entire community.

The truth is, I have done zero research on this other than finding out how many volunteer hours and dollars are needed to sponsor a house. I have no idea if there is even a family that would be interested in having a Habitat House in our area and I am not positive where it would be built. And keep in mind, I have some crazy ideas — and my family will agree with that.  Some are literally impossible, some are possible but a logistical nightmare, and some are doable but maybe more complicated than I had originally anticipated in my emotional state of crying. This idea fits that last category. So I am bringing it to you. What do you all think? Is this an idea that you would like to see happen? Are you willing to help financially or with man hours or do you think that we should “let it go” like the Disney song says? If there is enough interest in helping our community build a Habitat House, I will find out what we need to do to make it happen. I think one of the signs of aging is that you know what you can handle and what is too much. Without community support, I will let this dream go for now — and that is completely understandable if this is more than we as a community want to take on. But if I get enough people to take the project on, I will call Habitat and see exactly what we need to do to make this happen — and they can give us the final thumbs up or down. If everything falls into place where we have the community support and Habitat says that the need is there, I will keep you all posted with regular updates in my column. After all, what more fitting to share in a real estate column than the process of helping someone find their forever home. So let me know your thoughts, reader friends. Am I crazy or is there something to this idea spinning around in my head? I hope you have a blessed week!

Esta Ryder, Realtor

President’s Club
Ryder Realty, LLC

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