Home for the Holidays: Welcome Home Jill and Charice!

When Jill cut the bright red ribbon that stood as the threshold between her life as a renter and a first-time homebuyer, thoughts of a global pandemic and the insecurities surrounding it were the least of her worries. This day was about hope and promises fulfilled; a lifelong dream of owning her own home and goals that she had set for herself years prior. Her dream had come to fruition, and the bright, red ribbon was the only thing that stood in her way. With a quick clip (from a gigantic pair of scissors), applause arose from a neighbor who sat on her own stoop across the way. Although this home dedication looked different than any other, with just three mask-wearing people present, it could not have been any more special. An elated Jill threw her hands in the air waving to onlookers. Even though her mask covered her smile; we knew it just may have been the biggest smile she’s had in a while. This day, all of Sandtown-Winchester knew that a new neighbor had arrived! 

Across town, in Woodbourne-McCabe, the sun beamed down on the freshly painted exterior and newly manicured lawn – it felt like home. A nervous Charice timidly climbed the steps to her new home, admitting to the four people present that she was a bit nervous. But when handed the scissors, Charice knew exactly what to do, leaving no hesitation in snipping the red ribbon from her door. As the ribbon divided in two, making way for the next phase of her life, congratulatory cheers erupted from onlookers across the street who could feel the joy emanating from outside of Charice’s new home. For Charice, her new home means more privacy and the opportunity to decorate her own space in time for the winter holiday.   

“I thank God for this program and my new home” shared Charice. “I am thankful for the process that has brought me here. Even with the Pandemic, the process was smooth and the program was great and I am so thankful.” Charice’s counterpart, Jill, shared similar sentiments after receiving the keys to her home. Jill said, “Thank you for allowing me to manifest the dream of homeownership that seemed so far away, a dream that I will be able to share with my family and friends this holiday season.” 

The joy and excitement expressed by Jill and Charice this holiday season is a true reminder of the power of home, a safe place to retreat, and the stability that is afforded. In congratulatory remarks to Jill and Charice, Habitat for Humanity CEO Jonathan Reckford echoed these sentiments: 

Jill and Charice, I am so glad to have this opportunity to congratulate you on becoming homeowners.  No doubt, 2020 will be a year you will never forget—for many reasons.  But I pray that you will always mark it as a time when neighbors in the Baltimore area reached out to help you build a better life. I know you have worked hard to get to this point, and now you can start reaping the benefits of your commitment. Now, you can start building holiday memories in your new homes.” 

It has surely been a memorable year for Charice, Jill and all of the families currently in the Habitat Chesapeake Homeownership Program. Although 2020 had many obstacles we had to work through, it taught us to never give up and to always have hope. The hope not only placed in our partner families to work diligently to meet the requirements and complete the program, but on our construction team to maneuver through the ups and downs of construction, paperwork and permits while in the midst of COVID-19.  

Thank you to each and every individual donor and volunteer, corporation, foundation, faith group, and city and state representative that supply the critical funds and hands-on work to move each construction project forward – bringing each of them one step closer to home.  

.Top: New Habitat Homebuyer Jill cuts the ribbon to her new home Bottom: Homebuyer Charice accepts the keys to her new home and stands with the newly cut ribbon at her front door.