'A true blessing'

Standard photo/Marisa Patwa

Scotty and Michelle Williams, along with their children, Bryson, 4, Becca, five months, Brennan, 8, Owen, 6 (who is hidden behind Brennan), Carley, 10, and Michelle's mother, Ramonda Bell, breaking ground on their new Habitat home on Thursday, March 28 in Chandler.

When 8-year-old Brennan Williams arrived at the build site of the new Habitat Home in Chandler for his family, all he wanted to do was help the over one dozen volunteers.

"If I could help," he said, "I would all day and night."

Brennan Williams, along with his siblings, Carley, 10, Owen, 6, Bryson, 4, and Becca, five months, parents, John "Scotty" Williams and Caitlyn "Michelle" Williams, and grandma, Ramonda Bell, all helped to break ground on their new house last Thursday, March 28, largely in part

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thanks to a $25,000 donation from sponsor Skechers, who partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Warrick County for the second year in a row.

In order to qualify for a Habitat Home, the new owners must also put in 200 hours of sweat equity themselves.

"I have put about 13 hours in helping out with another Habitat Home at Mallard Lake to get prepared and Habitat is all about helping out," Scotty Williams said. "I'm excited to be able to build this new home for my children and make new memories with them"

Unfortunately, children cannot help with the build due to safety concerns but, they can be onsite, as long as they have someone watching them.

The oldest Williams child, Carley, couldn't believe how much progress had been done on their home before the official groundbreaking, including several walls already being raised.

"Last week, we were riding our bikes through the house," she said, in awe.

Carley Williams also said she is grateful for all of the volunteers who were helping to build their home.

"I am super excited," she said. "It's really great to see all of these people coming together here and helping us. I am very happy."

Scotty Williams said their home is scheduled to be completed by the end of July.

"Of course, we're shooting for sooner," he said. "We'll be here every chance we get."

Currently, the Williams family shares a small home with only one bathroom, which has caused quite a bit of frustration, especially among the siblings.

Amy Hobbs, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Warrick County, said this house is going to be a meaningful change to the way Williams family life goes on day to day at home.

"This house is going to impact their family in more than just their address," she said.

The Williams's new home will feature six bedrooms and two bathrooms.

"For one, we are going to have enough room for everyone to be super comfy and not fight over space everywhere, breathing space," Michelle Williams said. "We [have been] surviving with one bathroom in the last five years in the home that we've been in, which has been, if anyone understands with having just one bathroom and more than two people in the home, you understand our struggle, especially with the children and everyone constantly needing to go potty."

Both parents said they think the bigger space will help stop the bickering between the kiddos.

"Right now, our living room has all of Becca's things -- the walker, the bouncer, the jumpee, the exersaucer, changing station," Michelle Williams said. "More space will cause closeness between us because we won't be sitting on each other's laps, literally."

The Williams children are also all homeschooled, meaning they will have space for a bigger school room.

"Instead of all of our stuff being in tupperware type containers, we might be able to actually showcase all of our awesome stuff and be able to spread our desk out and show off our projects more at home, instead of it being confined to a smaller space," Michelle Williams said. "A bigger school room means bigger projects, bigger learning."

Hobbs said the Williams' home is the 36th Habitat Home they have built in Warrick County since 1995.

"We will be starting the 37th in just a few weeks or a month and we are very excited about that -- that will be in Boonville," she said. "We have also built 78 USDA houses all over the county but primarily, right now, we build in Mallard Lake [in Chandler]. We have six more under construction right this minute. And for all of that together, by the end of this year, Habitat will have built 120 home for families here in Warrick County."

Hobbs said it is a privilege to be able to serve Warrick County families.

"But we could not do it without volunteers," she said. "Habitat is volunteer based. Our board is all volunteer. Our committees are all volunteer. And 99 percent of the people out here helping these families build their homes are volunteers and they are the meat and potatoes of what we do here."

Several helpers even traveled from all over the country to be the first volunteer crew on the build cite.

"We have got people here from Nashville, St. Louis, all the way from LA," Hobbs said. "So, we are excited to have you guys here in our little community, to build a home for this awesome family."

Michelle Williams's mother, Ramonda Bell, who plans to decorate the house, said the new home is a godsend for the family.

"We've had lots of prayers about this," she said. "And it is a true blessing from God."

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