By JULIE B. MAGLIO
Misty White and her two daughters, Aliana, 14, and Arabella, 9, moved into their new home in Brooksville last month. What sets them apart is that they are Habitat for Humanity’s newest homeowners.
Habitat for Humanity homeowners in Hernando County generate over $20,000 in local property taxes annually. “So nobody’s riding for free,” said Richard Sanvernero Sr., Director of Habitat for Humanity Hernando County.
Free it was not. Misty invested 302 hours of sweat equity, helping to build her neighbors’ homes and working in the Habitat for Humanity Restore. Misty will also repay a mortgage through an affordable payment plan.
Many of her neighbors on Daytona Street are Habitat for Humanity families. Misty helped with flooring for Ms. Holland’s house, her neighbor to the west.
The White family’s new home is 1520 square feet, with an open kitchen, three bedrooms, two bathrooms. There’s even a shed in the backyard.
MIsty’s home is among the three homes that were slated for completion in 2021. Her neighbor, Ms. Holland, whose house Misty helped build was completed in July and her other neighbor’s home to the east will be completed in October. All three homes are wood frame. Habitat was able to secure the lumber pre-COVID so they were fortunate not to see a large price increase on lumber.
The next phase of homes are being built on LaBella Street. They will not be using lumber to frame the homes, instead, they will be using an innovative styrofoam block system called insulated concrete form (ICF) blocks. A major advantage of this new system is that volunteers will be able to put the outer styrofoam structured walls together much like legos and they won’t have to rely on framing contractors. Once the styrofoam framing system is in place, walls are poured solid with cement.
There are many people and organizations who contribute in various ways to the completion of a Habitat for Humanity home. Quilting groups donate quilts, artists donate paintings, churches donate gift baskets, garden clubs help with landscaping, local nurseries donate plants and sod. Among the organizations that contributed to the White’s home are Publix and Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Brooksville Garden Club, Sandhill Crane Chapter of the Embroider’s Guild of America Inc., The Withlacoochee Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, Quilting for Charity Forest Oaks Lutheran Church, Suzanne Bailey; Crafty Ladies of Forest Oaks Lutheran Church; Kurt and Emily Thomas from Christ the Savior Greek Orthodox Church; Lowes; and Hildreth Nursery.
Artist Laura Gabel, donated a painting to the family. Gabel likes to know who the person is she brings her artwork to so that the piece of art matches the personality of its owner. She relied on a description of Misty, never having met her, and it was a match.
The painting was a bright, beautiful, colorful painting of flowers in a field, which represents Misty’s sunny and positive character perfectly.
Misty’s daughter Arabella, chose a passage from the Bible to show her appreciation to the community for her family’s new home,
Samuel 2:6 “May the Lord now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this.”
Misty remarked, “Just so blessed to have this opportunity. It’s an awesome experience to help others build their homes and then it was my turn- it was just an awesome, awesome experience.
“I thank everybody at my work, my family, my pastor, my church family. I thank everybody who was in full support of being there for me.”
Misty is the financial secretary at Victorious Church of God by Faith, where she is also a member of the church. The church’s pastor, Pastor Malachi, said a blessing over the White family’s new home. “Heavenly Father, we thank you Lord for this industry. Father, we pray that you will bless, Lord, the helm of this project. Thank you for making many families have a home and we say thank you, Lord, all the donations and I pray God, that you are blessed; Misty and her family, every inch of this property. I pray God… let their family live well. We ask all this now in your son’s Jesus name we pray. Amen.”
Habitat for Humanity is always looking for volunteers to help in the Restore or contribute to home construction. Habitat for Humanity’s annual golf tournament fundraiser is coming up on Oct 7, 2021, at Southern Hills Plantation. For additional information about volunteering for the organization, golf tournament sponsorships, team, and individual registrations, email Richard Savanero Sr. at [email protected].
“This is the end game. It’s great because now you have families having roots. Kids don’t have to be bounced back and forth to different schools. They can make friends, long-term friends, and the county wins because of taxpayers,” said Sanvenero.