BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — Work is just beginning on a brand-new home for a young woman about to become a brand-new mom, thanks to Blount County Habitat for Humanity.
“This is truly a God thing, ” said Callie Grace Watkins, “it really is.”
Callie Grace is seven months pregnant and has been sick the entire time. Until now, she’s been worried about where she and her baby would live.
Callie said, “My landlord wanted me out as soon as she found out I was pregnant, and so I found out I was pregnant back in February and, luckily, she has let me stay for as long as she has.”
This caring nurse who always gives to others has a hard time having so many people give to her.
“It’s very tough!” Callie said. “Very tough, actually overwhelming, very overwhelming.”
A sea of pink at a construction site in Blount County represents volunteers from popular clothing store Altar’D State. The team is determined to bring the best for Callie. The home is being built in the loving memory of longtime Blount County resident Lola Garland, thanks to a significant donation from daughter-in-law Vicki Hall and her husband.
“We thought it was a great way to pay tribute and honor Lola and the Garland family in this area and also to support the community,” Hall said.
Support for Habitat builds is critical. The cost of building a habitat home has gone up so much over the past few years, mainly because building supplies are so high. Right now, one home costs $160,000 to build.
“Over the pandemic, the cost of construction skyrocketed,” explained Mona Nair, Development Director for Blount County Habitat for Humanity. “The cost of lumber went up 250 percent, building materials were really hard to find, costs went up, but we made it, and we made it because of our donors,” Nair said.
These builds are more than construction projects. A new home will open up so many new possibilities for Callie and her child.
“Honestly, the only thing there is to say is thank you so much for everything,” Callie said. “Putting in the time to build this house and sponsor it, it’s truly a blessing.”
Even though Callie is so far along in her pregnancy, she is still putting in the required “sweat equity” on her home, by doing some work inside and volunteering at Blount Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore thrift shop.
To volunteer, donate, and learn more about the mission, visit blounthabitat.org.