Among the well-wishers who welcomed Jeremiah and Crystal Lamberty and their children to their new home were Rep. Bobby Scott; State Sen. John Miller; Cathy McQuade, president-elect, Habitat for Humanity board of directors; Karen Joyner, CEO, Virginia Peninsula Food Bank; and Michael Lee, vice president, United Steelworkers Local 8888.
Carolyn Pittman, Newport News Shipbuilding's vice president and chief financial officer, spoke on behalf of the shipyard. "This is such a rewarding experience because it benefits the community, it benefits a family, and it is really helping to rebuild the community that is so vital to the continuation of our business at Newport News Shipbuilding," she said. "It's a great partnership."
Turning over the keys to the new homeowners is always the highlight of the event, said Brian Stockunas, business manager for submarine fleet support and submarine engineering at the shipyard. Stockunas has volunteered his time to assist Habitat for Humanity for 10 years.
"Building a Habitat for Humanity home is a lot like building a ship," he said. "It takes many skilled individuals, working together with a common goal," he said. "The phases and execution are similar with many support groups chipping in along the way, all intertwined with a lot of communication and coordination. Much like a ship, the house doesn't really come alive until we hand it over to the owner."
Homeowners Jeremiah and Crystal Lamberty are enjoying the excitement the new home has brought to their four children, who showed off the paint colors they chose for their bedrooms. Crystal admitted she couldn't wait to start decorating the rest of the 1,400-square-foot house that boasts three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
"It's a dream come true, really," Jeremiah said. "It's something God intended for us."