Mother Gets Keys to New Home

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A new Habitat for Humanity home for a family in Wyoming County is finally finished after building was delayed by flooding in September.

Since it began in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 500,000 homes for low-income families worldwide.

As an all-volunteer organization, the Endless Mountains Habitat for Humanity is only able to build one house per year.

Despite setbacks from the September flooding, on Saturday afternoon, one mother and her young daughter officially got the keys to their new home.

As the keys were handed over, Habitat for Humanity gave Danielle Freeman and her four-year-old daughter Chelsea a new start and a new home near Mehoopany.

"I'm very excited. I can't wait to start building memories," said homeowner Danielle Freeman.

People packed Freeman's home for a housewarming of sorts.

Her home was the eighth home built by Habitat for Humanity in Wyoming County and the first since 2008.

Donations and more than 100 volunteers made it all possible, with Freeman herself putting in nearly 300 hours of work.

"I love the fact that I can point out a wall that I built myself and I can point out there`s a board where I signed my name. It`s just one of those things where I`m in every room I stand in. I know I did something in this room, I helped this room look like it does. I helped it get here," Freeman added.

Construction of Freeman`s house took about 10 months to complete. Construction was delayed after many homes and businesses in Wyoming County were devastated by the September flooding.

"The lumber came from Herron Lumber in Tunkhannock and they were severely impacted by the flood. So of course, a lot of our volunteers wanted to help them get back on their feet. Another local business, Gay`s True Value, was completely underwater. One of the most touching images from the flood was Gay`s, and they were underwater, so I know a lot of our volunteers wanted to help with them as well. We took a little time off to focus on the community," said Lindsey Brown, president of Endless Mountains Habitat for Humanity.

Volunteers were soon back to helping Freeman, no matter the weather.

"It’s amazing what people can do when they come together. They have no idea who I am. They don’t know me from anyone walking down the street, yet they were still willing to come and volunteer and build a house for me. They were willing to come when it was raining outside and do framing, or when it was snowing," said Freeman.

"I`ve told lots of people that Habitat gets under your skin. You get involved and you don`t make a difference in a lot of people`s lives, but you make a great deal of difference in a few people`s lives," said volunteer George Macialik.

Freeman said she is thankful for all the volunteers who helped give her and her daughter a permanent place to call home.

"I can now, if I want to, put her up against the wall and I can put notches on the wall to show her growth because this is my house. I can do that. I couldn’t do that before," Freeman added. "I wouldn`t have this if it wasn`t for them and Habitat."

Freeman will be buying her home with a zero-interest Habitat mortgage, and will basically be paying for the cost to build it.

She and her daughter are hoping to move in to their new home as soon as possible.