Sharon Belair’s Story
For years, Sharon and her son Kevin lived in sub-standard housing. Sharon lost sleep nearly every night hoping, praying that this would not be the night when the faulty electrical gave way and set the house on fire… as had happened in a previous apartment.
Kevin wasn’t allowed to play outside because the neighborhood where they rented was becoming increasingly unsafe. Drug deals were happening right out in the open. The other children in the neighborhood were unsupervised and almost constantly causing trouble. Their small, rundown apartment was their only refuge.
And then Sharon discovered Habitat for Humanity.
“Before I applied [to Habitat], my life was at a stand-still and my dreams were starting to fade,” Sharon said. “I saw little hope of ever being able to move somewhere safer. My get up and go was going.” But entry into the program sparked a fire in Sharon that even she didn’t know existed. She completed her GED, then applied for, was accepted to, and graduated from the LPN program at Hagerstown Community College. Kevin has since gone on to graduate from high school and is currently enrolled in college, seeking to fulfill his dream of entering law enforcement.
“I dreamt some day of becoming a homeowner and moving somewhere safer,” Sharon said. “Those dreams were slowly fading away until I learned about Habitat and all the wonderful people that volunteer their time, their hard earned money to help others. Dreams do come true from outstanding people like you.”
We know that what we do relies on so many people. Our mission – Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope – is but a pipe dream without our partner families, without our volunteers, without support from our community. We know, all too well, that this is a journey we must walk together in order to be successful.
In Sharon’s own words, here is a brief snapshot of what that journey looks like from raising the walls to becoming a homeowner:
“Raising the walls, to me, means so very much. It proves dreams do come true. With faith, strength, determination, positivity, dedication, and teamwork anything is possible. It also proves good does exist in a world we sometimes say is so bad. Personally, I felt that way for years. But, I have learned so much from Habitat and the volunteers that have made the seemingly impossible possible.
Raising the walls is the strength of the home. The strength built by volunteers who are friends, for a family they don’t even know and sometimes never met. The roof that provides the shelter keeps out the rain and holds in all the love they leave behind. The home itself serves as a message that people not only care; they teach us that we should give back. In giving, we receive.
The finished product is a home that was built with love, dedication, faith, and hard work. It is a fresh start for a family in need. It gives hope and everlasting positive impact to our life.
I am blessed to have a home. One that is being built by materials mainly donated or bought through donations. It is built by volunteers – people coming together to build my family a home. They did this because they want to. Imagine if we all did this. No one would have to be homeless. For this reason, they are heroes. They are helping pick up the pieces and helping us keep our heads up.
For so long we lived mainly isolated from our surroundings, feeling that was the safe thing to do. Now, we have a place to call our own – a safe place. Habitat has opened my eyes and heart to the positive in life. Being part of Habitat has been one of the most important things in my life. I have met wonderful people. It built my self-worth back, when I had lost it. I have found the good in mankind as well as myself.”