Pictured are Nicholas and Stephanie Swan along with their children receiving the keys to their new home from Bob Howe, Habitat construction foreman. The Dedication Ceremony was held on Saturday morning, February 7th in the second home to be completed at 42 North Road in Conway.
Bob Magoun, past president and chairman of the Family Selection Committee welcomed nearly thirty guests. In his welcoming remarks, Bob explained that “the Dedication Ceremony gives Habitat a chance to thank the many people from our community who help make the construction of each new home a success”. He added, “donors, volunteers, board members, committee members, staff and our local community all work together to help carry out the mission of Habitat for Humanity – building affordable and decent housing.” Most important he explained, “the Ceremony is a celebration of the hard work and determination of this deserving family who is realizing the dream of home ownership.”
After an opening prayer and Reading of the “Litany of the Tithe-Built House” by Sam Johnson, Board of Directors, Dick Ficke, Vice President presented a brief history of Habitat. Founded 1976 by Millard Fuller in Americus, Ga, Habitat’s business model was to build and sell non-profit houses, using the proceeds to build the next house, and the next, and so on. Based on Christian principles, the mission, as it is today, is to build affordable and decent houses for neighbors in need.
The Mount Washington Habitat For Humanity Affiliate was founded in 1994 and in the years following has refurbished four houses; built 11 in the Robert Morrell Dr. complex; one in Fryeburg and so far two in the four unit complex at 42 North Rd., the first occupied by the Fowler family last May. Ficke further noted that Habitat has started another house on Grison Rd. in Madison, construction to be resumed this spring. To date, 48 children have benefited from the stability and security that Habitat homes provide, knowing what school they will be going to, that they will not be uprooted every few months at the whims of a landlord, what it is like to have one’s own bedroom and share in the economic security their parents enjoy.
Jennifer Lain, Family Partner, from the NH Affordable Housing Education and Development (AHEAD) office in Conway presented the Swan family household gifts, courtesy of Proctor and Gamble and then a Bible from Habitat as a reminder to all of the Christian principles underlying the housing program.
After receiving the keys to his new home, Nick Swan thanked everyone who had anything to do with the success of this project. He reminisced about a conversation that he had with Stephanie a couple of years ago. They were talking about their then living conditions. He told her, “I don’t know how I am going to do it, but I promise you I am going to get you a house.” As it turned out, it was not too much later that he saw a advertisement announcing a call for applications for Habitat houses. He completed the application and although he met all the requirements of being a local resident for a year, had a housing need, was in the financial bracket and would agree to partner with Habitat in the construction of the house, there was nevertheless competition. Upon learning of his acceptance, Nick drew an analogy of his reaction to that of Tom Brady’s reaction on the sidelines when the Patriots secured the Super Bowl win in the last twenty seconds of the game.
“This is a dream come true, there is no other way of saying it.” He allowed that he and his family will forever be grateful for family, friends, neighbors, and most of all, the Habitat volunteers who made it all happen.