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No place like home

Ten-year-old Leah Hall goes to sleep each night on a day bed in the living room of the two-bedroom trailer her family rents in Erwin. Her clothes stay tucked away in boxes, not a dresser, for the most part.
“She’s never had her own room,” said Leah’s mom, Sandy.
That will soon change for Leah and the rest of the Hall family when Habitat For Humanity breaks ground in Jonesborough on what will be the first house the family of five has ever owned.
“Where we are at right now just doesn’t feel like home,” Sandy said. “This new house will be our home. And we plan on being there for a long time.”
Leah is already busy picking out colors to paint her very own bedroom in the house on Ridge Court off of Pleasant Valley Road.
Her brothers – 18-year-old Kenneth and 15-year-old Matt – will share one of the remaining two bedrooms while Sandy and her husband, Timmy, will occupy the master bedroom.
“It’s exciting that we’ll own the place and we don’t have to ask before we do things like paint or decorate,” Sandy said. “They have already given us a lot of options, from the roof to the siding and what kind of floors we want.”
As a part of the Habitat For Humanity program, the Hall family is required to put in 500 community service hours, nearly all of which are complete.
“We enjoyed the volunteering,” Timmy said. “It makes the kids understand that they earned something – it wasn’t just given to them.”
Now, the Halls must wait until enough volunteers are assembled to build their new house, a project they intend to be a big part of, too.
“The kids really want to help build the house,” Sandy said. “We’ll do whatever they’ll let us do.”
In the meantime, Sandy and her family are looking forward to moving into their own home.
“I can’t wait to cook in a good-sized kitchen,” Sandy said.
For Matt, painting and decorating are at the top of the list.
Having a lush yard likely tops the charts for the family’s dog, Chompper, who will also be making the move to the more spacious abode.
While the kids will have to change schools and Timmy admits he’ll probably have to use a GPS unit a few more times before he doesn’t get lost coming home, having their own house is a dream come true for the Hall family.
“This means a lot,” Sandy said. “I just want to start a new life, to start fresh.”
A Community Information Session will be held on Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m. at the Jonesborough Presbyterian Church on Main Street. Those who are interested in helping on the project but are unable to make the meeting, can call the Habitat office at 239-7689.
Volunteers are needed to help build, as well as for leadership positions, such as Project Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator and Food Coordinator.