Soldiers help build homes for Habitat for Humanity recipients - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Soldiers help build homes for Habitat for Humanity recipients

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

More than 50 US soldiers were hammering, nailing and painting on 23rd St. in Columbus on Saturday, Aug. 16, and not because the were following orders. 

Columbus Active Army and Army Reserve Recruiting Station worked with Columbus Habitat for Humanity to complete four out of the 11 new homes they are building this year.

"We have about 25 soldiers working on these homes on 23rd street from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m." said SFC Thomas Turpin with United States Army said. "And another group of 20 to 25 soldiers will show up to the site from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. to help work on these four homes."

Thomas said he wanted to give back to the community, and he felt that helping build homes with Habitat for Humanity was a good idea.

"We are out here as ambassadors asking people to join our Army. So we wanted to show that we do care about the community," Thomas said. "It really touches my soul, and my heart, because I came from an unfortunate family. I understand what it means to come from that background, but to be out here helping these recipients, and seeing what they are going to be getting… it's one of the best feelings in the world. As a soldier, and as a community member, this is something I'm proud to do."

Franchetta Brown, 25, will be one of four recipients of a Columbus Habitat for Humanity home on 23rd Street. Brown is a single, working mother with five young children. She said she is ready to give her kids a stable home.

"We've been moving to different apartments every other year," Brown said. "My kids are getting older and two bedroom apartments are not enough anymore. I want to give them a stable home, I want them to have spacious rooms, and I want them to have a yard."

Brown said she's excited to move into her new home expected to be finished by Christmas of this year.

"I applied to Columbus Habitat for Humanity in November of 2013. I was speechless when I was selected," Brown said. "I wanted to have a place to call my own. I want my children to have a place they can call their own. That's what's most important to me."

Brown said she wanted to give her children something she had always wanted ever since she as a young girl.

"I didn't have the best childhood," Brown explained. "I didn't have my dad around, and my mom was a single working mother with four kids. She never owned her home and to this day, she still doesn't. So she's proud of me. I'm a single, working mother and I'm only 25-years-old. And I get to have my own home. I thank God I'm able to give my children a home. I want them to see that I worked hard for them. That's the only thing that matters to me at the end of the day. I want my kids to know how hard I worked for them. I'm going to work to make sure they live a good life."

Recipients of Habitat of Humanity homes do pay mortgages, but the building process allows for smaller mortgages with no interest. Each recipient goes through an extensive application process, takes financial classes and provides a down payment as well as 500 sweat hours of working on other people's homes.

To see how you can volunteer or apply to be one of the new home recipients, visit their website at http://columbusareahabitat.com/

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