Pastor James McCraney of Sones Baptist Church introduces the family who will receive their new home in the Spring.

Published 5:45 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Groundbreaking ceremony for “Project Grace” was on Feb. 10 in Carriere on Sones Chapel Rd. The new project of Habitat for Humanities will be for Lana Davis and her six children. The family is excited to see their dream of a home of their own becoming a reality.

Bob Niemi, president of the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity will direct the project, and Donna Fischer is Executive Director.

The nonprofit group is a ecumenical group of Catholics, Baptist and Methodists. “This nonprofit group believes that every resident of Pearl River County deserves decent and affordable housing,” Niemi said. “It is a matter of community conscience that makes it happen. We believe in putting our faith into action.”

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Pastor James McCraney of Sones Baptist Church opened the ceremony with a blessing and words of commendation. Niemi introduced the Davis and her children: Brec, 15; Gabe, 12; Enon, 9; Abel, 7; Zechariah, 6; and Olivia, 3.

Davis gave her thanks first to God, then her mother and uncle and the others who are making this dream possible. She said it was her husband’s dream before his untimely death to provided a home for their family.

Pauline Rogers, Vice President of the American Society of Travel Agents, Southeast Chapter; Jim Royal of the Hertz Corporation, and Dana Smith of Coca Cola, Hattiesburg Division sponsored the ceremony providing filled book bags for the children and a special surprise for Davis.

The Board gave Davis a shovel and each of the children a trowel so they could dig into the earth that marked the location of their new home. Emotions ran high, visible from the tears as the family realized they would have a home.

After a closing prayer, the group adjourned to a tent for King Cake.

Volunteers and funds are welcome to help finish the project, Niemi said. “The land is secured, now workers are needed.”

One enthusiastic member of Habitat said, “Get Habititus. It’s contagious and oh, so rewarding.”