BY SHERI TRUSTY
As 15-year-old Madalyn Solis stood in her new home in Fremont on Jan. 24 with her mother, Janice Dorr, and her two sisters, she felt the relief of months of hard work and waiting. Their new house was acquired through Sandusky County Habitat for Humanity, and they were celebrating at a Home Dedication Ceremony with many of the volunteers and Habitat supporters who helped them have a home of their own.
“I’m feeling very excited and happy about moving in,” Madalyn said. “It was a long process.”
“Process” was the right word. Habitat for Humanity homes are not handouts. They are hand-ups. Homeowners put in many volunteer hours on the home’s construction, and they hold a mortgage on the home while benefitting from lower-than-normal interest rates and partially
donated construction materials and labor.
In the end, a hardworking family has a home they can afford.
“We want to thank everyone. It’s a really big blessing. We’re so excited,” Dorr said. “The kids have been asking every week when we’re moving in, and we’re finally here.”
The home was truly a community project. It was fully sponsored by Sandusky County Share and Care and supported by donations from Whirlpool and multiple businesses and contractors.
“I’m overwhelmed and blessed to be a part of this. It makes my heart happy,” said Share and Care Executive Director Lynette Kirsch. “Homelessness is on my heart. It’s a big burden to me.”
Sandusky County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Pam Kensler hosted the Home Dedication Ceremony for Dorr’s family, which also includes daughters Mariyah Solis, 13, and Malayah Hardin, 7. Several months prior, Kensler called Dorr with the news that she was approved for a Habitat home. On Jan. 24, she handed her the keys to her new house.
“We’re super excited for Janice and her three daughters. Now everyone will have their own bedroom,” Kensler said.
The bedrooms had been a particular point of excitement for the girls as they planned furniture arrangements and picked out colors. But it wasn’t the only room Mariyah was thinking about as she stood in her new home.
“I’m feeling good today. I’m looking forward to laying on the couch and watching movies,” she said.
Spending quiet evenings together in front of the TV will be a well-deserved reward for the family after putting so much effort into the home. For Dorr, those moments will be a tangible recompense for years of working hard to care for her daughters.
“I think she’s the most deserving of this,” said Dorr’s friend, Jessica Gilbert. “She’s busted her butt for years.”