Habitat presents its latest gift

McHENRY – Sharon Lee couldn’t stop smiling Sunday as she walked through her new, three-bedroom home in McHenry for the first time.

Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County built the home along Hillside Lane for nearly six months and officially handed Lee the keys during a dedication ceremony two days before Christmas.

Lee greeted the special present with gratitude, thanking the many Habitat members who attended the formal dedication. The home is the local Habitat’s 22nd house built for low-income families in the area.

“It’s a labor of love, and I do appreciate everything you guys have done for me and my family,” Lee told the 30 or so members and neighbors at the dedication.

The tan-siding home features three bedrooms, a full bathroom and a fully-equipped kitchen, including a microwave, refrigerator and dishwasher. The home has hardwood floors throughout.

Lee said she first reached out to Habitat in 2008 after a divorce. She reapplied late last year after hearing that Habitat was beginning to build homes in the McHenry area.

She said her new home is more suitable for her, her daughter, Tiffany, and her son, Ivan, because her current home in McHenry is older and prone to problems and repairs. Her oldest son, Chad, also was at the dedication, but he lives on his own.

The local Habitat organization is building another home for a different family across from Lee’s new home along Hillside Lane. The group tries to build two homes a year for families in need throughout McHenry County.

The local nonprofit is a Christian housing ministry that is affiliated with Habitat for Humanity International.

Aside from building new homes, the group does a weekly home-repair program for low-income families.

Before Lee was handed the keys, Jerry Monica, executive director for the local Habitat, gave Lee a scrapbook chronicling the construction of her new home that started in June. A reverend was on hand to formally bless the living quarters.

Lee said she will start moving into her new space this week.

“We are so happy that we could get this done, and get this house turned over to Sharon and her family for Christmas,” Monica said. “It’s a great Christmas present. We are just thrilled.”

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