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Habitat’s 200th regional build provides home for family here
Chris Hall holds up the keys to her new home at a Habitat for Humanity dedication ceremony Saturday. - photo by Autumn McBride

Chris Hall knows her new house like the back of her hand.

She helped to build the home through Habitat for Humanity, which gave her a hand up and not a handout, as the organization’s saying goes.

The keys to the house were turned over to Hall and her three children Saturday during a dedication ceremony that also celebrated the local North Central Georgia chapter’s 200th build.

Mary Lamond, Habitat’s Lanier area director, said the milestone is a big one for the nonprofit organization, which has built 16 of those 200 homes in Forsyth County over the past five years.

“That’s pretty significant,” she said. “We’ve been able to really make an impact in Forsyth County by partnering with the community volunteers.”

The 200th build had eight groups who helped out, volunteering primarily on Saturdays beginning June 27.

The house on Wallace Wood Road in northeast Forsyth allowed the Hall family to move from their small mobile home. Hall’s three children — ages 7, 10 and 13 — now have rooms of their own instead of sharing one.

“It gives us a sense of establishment and something to be proud of,” said Hall, who recently started a new job as a teaching assistant in a second grade classroom.

Since helping put it together, the single mom said she now feels like she can fix anything in her own home.

Lamond said Hall worked hard physically to build her home, putting in more “sweat equity” hours than required of homeowners selected for the program.

A few unique aspects went into the build, Lamond said, including that the home was constructed on family-owned land and that the sponsorship came from just one entity, the Bagwell family, owners American Proteins.

Tommy Bagwell donated the entire $80,000 required for the build.

He only requested that church volunteers play a part in the build, Lamond said. In this case, that’s wasn’t a problem.

Hall is a longtime member of Freedom Tabernacle. Fellow church members were eager to help, working three different Saturdays and providing food for other volunteers during the home’s construction.

“This has been a wonderful journey that we’ve all been able to experience,” Pastor Robbie Mathis said. “It’s been a blessing to participate in this, but it’s been really special knowing the recipient.”

Mathis said Hall is a faithful and committed person who has “always been one of those that gives back.”

As a former five-year employee in the nonprofit sector, Hall had a chance to experience the other side of giving through Habitat.

During the dedication ceremony, she said plenty of tears were shed and plenty of prayers were said.

“It was very humbling for me,” she said. “It was just very touching what God can do through ministries like Habitat for Humanity for families like [mine].”