By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
One more family will have a place to call home thanks to the hard work and dedication of Clinton County Habitat for Humanity and its many volunteers.
Michelle Donahue and her daughters Jade, 9, and Jenaya, 3, moved into their new home at 111 29th Ave. North last week and celebrated on Sunday with a dedication ceremony and open house.
“It is always nice to have another house finished,” Habitat Board Member Art Ollie said. “It is great to see all the hard work and the good attitude everyone has. The whole concept is great.”
The whole process took about one and half years, but it was well worth it, according to Michelle. In addition to helping with the building of her own home, Michelle also helped build the last Habitat home last year.
“It’s a very long journey, but it is very rewarding,” Michelle said.
Local ministers, city officials, volunteers and board members gathered to celebrate the new home at a dedication at St. Irenaeus Cultural Center on Sunday. The old church rests in the foreshadow of the new house. Many of the speakers stressed the importance of the new house that goes far beyond building.
“Building is very reminiscent of life,” Habitat Volunteer Dave Wiersma said. “Sometimes we are like that wall that needs bracing and support.”
During the building process, Michelle and her daughters stayed with her mother Janet Spittler. During the open house the two girls were eager to show off their new rooms and toys that had been in storage over a year. The tight knit family offered support throughout the process with both her father and aunt lending a hand too. The family was nearly speechless in declaring their gratitude to the work done by the organization.
“I was totally amazed by the group that showed up to help out,” aunt Jane Hayes said. “It is such a good thing.”
After living in the house for less than a week, following a long wait and plenty of hard work, the Donahue family is still learning to fully realize the new home.
“It is still surreal,” Michelle said. “Is this really mine?”
This is the seventh house that was built by Clinton County Habitat for Humanity. The organization started in 2003 and built the first house in 2006. Members plan to continue building a new house each year and are currently in the process of selecting a family for the next house.
Habitat homes are built with the help of the community in volunteer and financial capacities. To make a financial contribution or offer a donation of time, call Tami Ivory at the Habitat office at 242-4494.
For more information about Habitat for Humanity, log on to www.clintoncountyiowahabitat.com or email Ivory at firstname.lastname@example.org.