By SHEA STASKOWSKI
More than 5,000 volunteer hours were put into the completion of the second Maroon Edition Habitat for Humanity home that was dedicated in a Tuesday morning ceremony.
With the help of roughly 500 Mississippi State volunteers, Katie Marie Gray and her sons Marc, who attends Mississippi State, and Scottie Pittman, who attends Starkville High School, were able to move into their new home Nov. 6.
The student volunteers represented 12 different student organizations such as Day One Leadership, Service Dawgs, various fraternities and sororities and the Department of Building Construction Science, who oversaw the building process from start to finish.
And with all Habitat homes, Gary and her children were present every day of the process putting their own sweat equity into the house.
“That’s what made it even more special to see the love and time (the volunteers) put into our home,” Gray said. “The Habitat crew members are wonderful, Christian people.”
The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home marks the forty-fourth home Habitat has completed and the second Maroon Edition home. The home, which broke ground in August, is also the first in the area to be specially-made handicap accessible for Marc, who has muscular dystrophy.
During the dedication, Habitat board member Flo Henley talked of the blessing that is Habitat.
“When we fist met Katie Marie during the selection process, we were touched by her sweet smile and kind spirit,” Henley said. “On what we call our Ed McMahon day, there were tears of joy from Katie and huge smiles on her sons’ faces... It is truly a blessing.”
During the dedication, several Day One freshman gathered to see the culmination of their hard work over the last three months.
Day One is a leadership program designed to engage MSU freshman in community service activities to connect them with their community.
“For me, it was really fulfilling,” Day One student Ashanti Diampier said.
“It’s really cool to be apart of something a lot bigger than yourself,” Jeffrey Berkey added.
Also during the dedication, MSU President Mark Keenum presented Gray with a Bible and a ceramic bulldog to remind her of the hard work put in by the MSU family.
An emotional Gray expressed her sincere appreciation to those who dedicated their time in helping her and her family achieve their dream of being homeowners.
She intends to have her entire family over for Thanksgiving to continue their celebration of their new home, Gray said, tears flowing.