Volunteers from across the U.S. help build local habitat home

Volunteers from across the U.S. help build local habitat home

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Lubbock Habitat for Humanity welcomed volunteers from across the country, traveling to Lubbock to help one family's dream of owning a home become a reality.

Adrian Rojas said the program is not a hand out but a hand up. He said his family was struggling to find stability.

"So this is giving me and my family a second opportunity for you know someone who has a very bad past to come and get something like this," Rojas said.

After he heard about Habitat for Humanity from him mom, Rojas applied knowing the worst they could say was no. Executive director, Marie Hanza said the family was an example of a typical client.

"Our perspective home buyers are low to moderate income, couldn't qualify for a traditional loan for a variety of reasons," Hanza said.

Hanza said the construction began in August, with the help of incoming Texas Tech students. But recently, Lubbock Habitat asked for some help beyond the city.

"We have individuals from across the United States, who have come to Lubbock to donate their time and talents through Habitat International's Care-A-Vanner program," Hanza said.

Through the program, a group of five volunteers came down to Lubbock to spend two weeks helping the Rojas.

"They travel in RV and trailers and it's on their own time and their own dime."  Hanza said. "And they go from habitat site to habitat site, working on a house."

For Care-A-Vanner Joe Thurston, He said the family is not the only one who took joy from this experience.

"They come in and they say wow, this is looking good, it makes us feel like, oh okay somebody appreciates us," Thurston said.

Thurston is a retired salesman who said he wanted to spend his time in retirement giving back.

"A few years ago, I lost my wife to cancer, and instead of staying and keeping the house we had in Pennsylvania, sold the house, paid the mortgage, and the dog and I have been on the road every since," Thurston said.

He said what makes the program successful is having everyone do their part.

"All these people have sacrificed to come and build these homes." Thurston said. "We all are at different levels of abilities and certain things, and that's kind of what makes it work."

Rojas said his family could not be more thankful.

"It's very humbling, to give up their time and come from all over United States, many, many miles to come out here and help." Rojas said. "It's awesome, it's stories we're going to tell from years to come."

The home is expected to be complete in about three months. Currently Lubbock Habitat has built 134 homes and counting.

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