Volunteers help at a Habitat for Humanity home

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Mom Eager to Celebrate Thanksgiving and So Much More in Family’s New Williamsburg Home

Jammie is a preschool teacher and mother of two who took in both of her nieces after the unexpected loss of her sister.

Three days before Thanksgiving, she is also a homeowner, the very first homebuyer in her immediate family. The Williamsburg native wiped tears, overwhelmed, at the Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg dedication ceremony on Monday morning (November 22, 2021).

“This house means stability and security for us,” said Jammie in a quaking voice, her daughter, Olivia, and son, Kobe standing alongside her. “We are so thankful. The holidays are always so special. This year they’ll be extra special.”

The wet weather forced what would be an outdoor occasion inside, and Jammie spoke in the dining room, her backdrop an array of autumn colors from the foliage beyond her backyard deck in the Forest Heights section of Williamsburg. There’ll be memories made there and family photos will soon line the walls. Kobe looks forward to filling his very own room with football and basketball heroes and Olivia and one cousin will share a bedroom full of books. As grateful as Jammie is for all of it, she is also proud to partner with the local Habitat affiliate that made home ownership a reality for the family.

Jammie constantly moved as a child, living out of hotels for extended periods, and wanted to give her family a better life.

She waited and worked for this moment. Approved under Habitat’s Homebuyer Program, Jammie remained patient waiting for this milestone day in her family. She logged 400 hours of sweat equity, including volunteering at the Repair Blitz Habitat hosted in Newport News in October.

“Every single home that we have built — and this will be the ninth home in this Forest Heights neighborhood — is sold to a partner family like Jammie’s, who has good credit, steady employment (preschool teacher) and have worked very hard partnering with Habitat. She put in hundreds of hours of sweat equity, working on her home, her neighbors’ home and at the Habitat ReStores,” said Janet V. Green, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg. “Jammie will start to repay the monthly mortgage back to Habitat, keeping all the money in our community, so we can build more homes for deserving families.”

Habitat partnered with Thrivent to construct the three-bedroom home. The membership-owned, purpose-driven financial services organization uses money as a tool not a goal as part of its mission to give back to the community. Local Thrivent Community Engagement Leader Christin Thorpe worked with multiple area churches to bring the project to fruition.

“Thrivent is one of the sponsors,” Thorpe stressed. “We put up half of the funds for this home. But they have a whole home, and that’s due to our big partners who went out and gave their time, their talent and their treasures to support developing this home.”

Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, King of Glory Lutheran Church, First Baptist Church East End, Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, Wellspring United Methodist Church and Williamsburg United Methodist Church all contributed.

“Thank you to the pastors and the congregations that made this possible,” Thorpe said.

Green presented Thorpe with a plaque celebrating the longtime partnership between the local Habitat and Thrivent. The ceremony then briefly moved outdoors for the traditional ribbon cutting with Olivia and Kobe doing the honors using oversized scissors.

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We help as many families as we can, but the lack of decent and affordable housing remains a critical problem in our area. By donating, you will provide upfront funding for building materials and services that makes interest-free loans to Habitat partner families possible. Habitat partner families help to build their own homes - alongside volunteers - and pay an affordable mortgage. Your monetary donations enable us to continue building strength, stability and independence for future local families.