The Christmas tree strapped to the roof of a sport utility vehicle will be one of the first fixtures to be moved into the Noeth family’s new home.
The house was turned over to the mother and two daughters during a dedication ceremony Saturday by Habitat for Humanity-North Central Georgia.
During a difficult past two years for the Noeth family, the Christmas tree “went by the wayside” in a move, said Mary Lamond, area director for the organization’s Lanier office.
A frequent Habitat volunteer made the donation, which brought smiles to the faces of Kathy Noeth and her two daughters, ages 10 and 13, as they were surprised by the gift.
“You’ll be able to put your tree in today once you move in,” Lamond said.
The two-story home on Leigh Lane in northeast Forsyth sits on land purchased with a donation from the estate of Arlene Harrison and was built by Habitat volunteers and the Noeths.
The nonprofit, Christian housing ministry “builds homes for purchase by low-income families who demonstrate a capacity for responsible homeownership,” according to the organization’s description.
Family members contribute 300 hours of work in addition to those contributed by the sponsors, volunteers and staff to build their homes, and receive a 25-year interest-free loan.
During closing earlier that week, Noeth “burst into tears” of joy upon seeing the truth-in-lending statement, said Russ Hayes, chief executive officer of the regional organization.
She shed a few during the dedication ceremony as well, as Noeth thanked everyone who helped her “open a new book” with her home.
Friends and family described Noeth as a wonderful and deserving woman who held strong in her faith through difficult times.
Her mother, Louise Carnesale, quoted a verse from the Bible during the ceremony.
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment,” she read. “The second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
She asked her daughter to continue supporting her family, attending church and volunteering.
Carnesale said she’s been working with Habitat in New York and Florida for years.
“I never thought it would benefit my daughter,” she said.
Hayes added that the group will continue to “hope and pray” for the family.
“It’s a blessing to be able to turn over a home for Christmas,” he said.