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Working on a new home for the holidays

Bessie Marshall couldn’t have been any happier Saturday, even if there was a big red bow on top of her Bagley Street Habitat for Humanity home.

This Christmas will surely be one to remember not only for the Marshall family but also for the families of Tammy Jackson and Wanda Cone, two recently-selected Habitat partner families.

All were on site Saturday, helping to install the last of the Marshall home’s siding and to put down the sod — some of the many finishing touches to the second home constructed by the Habitat for Humanity of Covington County (HFHCC).

Inclement weather over the last several weeks had all but stalled construction progress; however, Saturday a crowd of nearly 20 turned out to volunteer.

For Jackson and Cone, both single mothers from Opp, the day was an opportunity to get in “work hours” as each began the process of earning their Habitat home.

Jackson said she and her 15-year-old son, who are currently living in a rental home, were ecstatic to learn their dream of a home was going to come true.

“I have always worked hard for my family and I have always wanted to provide a home for my son and something for myself for the future,” Jackson said. “For us, that’s what Habitat is.”

Cone is a disabled grandmother who was given custody of her 9-year-old special needs grandson about two years ago. She also lives in a rental home.

“It’s been pretty rough,” Cone said. “But this Habitat house, it’s going to open up a whole new world for us. I live on a fixed income and look forward to the day that I don’t have to worry about having the money to heat the house. This home is going to be a tremendous blessing.

“When I got word we had been selected, I fell on my knees and praised God,” she said.

Saturday, Dale “Flip” Pancake, HFHCC president, said the workers will return in the coming days to complete dry wall inside the Marshall home, and more volunteers will be needed after the first of the year to help with painting the home’s interior.