A new home for Christmas

Brittany Whitley Community, Featured


Habitat for Humanity of Morgan County celebrated the completion of a newly constructed house that volunteers are calling “blessed”.

“I came in one day and somebody had written on the walls and two by fours in the floor,” Mary DiLetto, a member of Habitat for Humanity, told the audience of supporters. “And I’m going ‘what in the world!’” She pointed at Syreeta Lumpkin, joyous in gratitude, and her mother, Doris Lewis. “These two ladies came in with sharpies and put biblical verses on the two by fours and little prayers across them and they remain in the house. Covered up, can’t be seen, but they remain the house…”

Day one volunteers, family members, friends, and supportive locals gathered around Ms. Lumpkin and her two children last Wednesday morning to celebrate the reception of their early Christmas gift, a new home, courtesy of the Morgan County chapter of Habitat for Humanity. 

Habitat for Humanity initiated construction in June, meeting every Saturday and even during the week with the help of Ms. Lumpkin’s family, friends, and volunteers to get the house completed within 6 months. 

Hiram Johnston, Habitat’s lead contractor of 20 years, told the crowd, “We are really pleased and grateful that we got this house done before Christmas.” 

The 1102 Whitehall Street residence is complete with an open kitchen layout, three bedrooms, two spacious bathrooms, and delicately finished hardwood flooring throughout. 

“[For] every habitat family part of their agreement is to get in ‘sweat equity’ hours and that means bringing friends and families to volunteers on the house on a weekly basis and the requirement is to have 200 hours,” Kristy Jones, a Habitat member, said. “Well Reeta here – first of all, she was here every single Saturday, even the Saturday we sent her home because she was too sick to work – she [her family and friends] got well over 300 hours. And Syreeta herself put in over 100… We’re not just building homes, we are building relationships.”

Mike Conrads, a Habitat team member, presented a gift to Lumpkin and her family on behalf of the entire Habitat for Humanity team. Inside the golden wrapped box was a Bible with a note from Deuteronomy 6:7 reading “Father, teach me how to share your grace with my children.”

Babs Johnson presented the family with a personally handcrafted door wreath as a housewarming gift. 

“The love is always displayed and demonstrated between Reeta and her children, between her children, between her and her mother, her and her two brothers, and her step father always right there supporting her and us with the building,” Diletto expressed.

Lumpkin expressed her gratitude through a contagious smile, “Everybody has done such a wonderful job, I just want to tell everybody thank you from the bottom of my heart. It wouldn’t be possible without them. I’m so grateful, so blessed…All the scriptures and bible verses that are on the foundation of the home. This is going to be a blessed home from here on out, it truly is.”

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