When Orbelina (Lina) Santos del Cid attended her first Habitat for Humanity informational meeting in July 2013, she walked out shaking her head. She didn’t think she could work the 500 sweat equity hours Habitat requires of each new homeowner. But, guess what – she did! By November of that year, she had already accrued half of her requirement, and she finished out the remainder by June 2014. A chunk of those volunteer hours was spent working at the Washington County ReStore, So when Lina moved into her new home in Allen Estates, many of the ReStore staff were on hand to congratulate her.
On Thursday, July 30, Willamette West Habitat for Humanity held a dedication at Allen Estates for Lina and two other new homeowners Awetash Tsegay and Ceaser and Nasmah Lami. Mark Forker, executive director of HFH Willamette West, presented each family with a homemade quilt, a “welcome” banner and a bible. Lina shared Guatemalan dishes flavored with peppers and tomatillos from her own garden that enthusiastically thrives outside her new front door. Awetash Tsegay prepared injera and wat–traditional Ethiopian food–and Ethiopian coffee. Ceasar and Nasmah served baklava.
Hal Brockman, site supervisor and environmental specialist for Willamette West Habitat described how earthquake brackets are installed at every ceiling truss of each new Habitat home, how the 2×8 bracketed exterior walls are filled with 18″ of insulation, and how the amazing heat pump systems are so incredibly energy efficient.
It was a hot day, but it couldn’t beat the warmth felt in the hearts of everyone there. There was cake, strawberry lemonade, tacos and smiles…lots and lots of smiles. Congratulations to all three families!