Widow gets new home, vehicle

Published 1:36 pm Wednesday, June 20, 2007

About three years ago, a mother of six children lost her husband to a heart condition, but on Saturday she and her family received a new home and a vehicle.

Their new home is across the street from Sones Chapel church, which is the church the family attends.

The home was provided by Habitat for Humanity, which organized volunteers who lent their time and talents to its construction.

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Saturday Lana Davis and her six children became the most recent recipients of a Habitat for Humanity home in Pearl River County. The family also received a shiny van donated anonymously.

In 2004, Lana Davis’ husband died in his sleep due to complications from a hypertension heart disorder. She said her husband warned her that if he was to die it would be in his sleep. Days later her husband’s premonition came true when she found him unresponsive in his bed, she said.

Two years after the death of her husband, a relative talked Davis into applying for a Habitat for Humanity home. In May of 2006, Bob Niemi, president of the board of directors for Pearl River County’s Habitat for Humanity, and others involved in the organization, informed her that she had been chosen to receive a Habitat for Humanity home.

Construction on the new home began in February 2007 on land passed down to her by her grandfather. She said the experience has been very rewarding for her and she hopes to contribute to the Habitat for Humanity family in the future.

“Deep in my heart, I don’t feel I deserve all this. There are families a lot worse off than I am,” Davis said. “I want to do for someone else what was done for me.”

Since she has six children to care for, Niemi said he was curious how Davis would be able to contribute her 200 hours of sweat equity, work provided by the family in the construction of the home. However, Niemi said Davis and her family managed to put in about 600 hours into building the home.

Now Davis has a home across the street from her church, putting her closer to those who supported her for the past three years, she said.

There’s still some minor work to be done before the Davis family can officially move into their new home, but they expect to be moved in soon, she said.

“Lord willing, in a week or two,” she said.

After the home dedication ceremony, Niemi casually asked everyone to step outside for a minute to give Davis one last surprise. Davis, who was already shedding tears of joy during the ceremony, broke out into more tears when she saw the 1999 Ford Windstar van with a big red bow tied to it parked in her new driveway. Niemi said that typically vehicles do not come with Habitat for Humanity homes, but Davis’ was a special case. In response to her need, a donor, who wishes to remain nameless, gave the vehicle to the family, Niemi said.