LONGS, SC (WMBF) - Despite the gloomy weather, one Longs family had a morning to remember Monday. They broke ground on their brand-new house as part of the Habitat for Humanity Home Buyer Program.
For two years, Sonya Stanley and her three boys put in the volunteer hours required to have their own home built. Sonya worked with Habitat for Humanity, learning how to budget. She paid off her car – and the rest of her debt.
She and her boys, Tylik, Rajerick, and Terry put in over 450 "sweat equity hours," meaning they volunteered at local churches, recreation centers, and built homes for others in the program.
Executive Director Carla Schuessler worked closely with Sonya and said no one deserves a new home more.
"As a mother she is an amazing example of what a mother should be and how hard she works with her boys to keep them on track," Schuessler said.
The family currently lives in a run-down mobile home in a high-crime area, which makes Sonya thankful for her new, safe, home.
"This will be their foundation for them. A safe neighborhood where you don't have to hear gunshots or anything back here. It's just a blessing," she said.
She said she's thankful the program gave her the ability to show her boys that good things come to you if you work hard – and pray.
"We are hard workers. We like to succeed and that will show them some structure and responsibility in life. Everything is not handed to you and that's what I teach them every day. You have to work for what you want," she said.
Her son Tylik wrapped up the ground-breaking ceremony in prayer.
"Thank you for this day. Thank you for waking us up this morning starting us on our right mind. If it had not been for You we would not be here or be standing here. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen."
This is the 139th home to be built by Habitat for Humanity in Horry County. It was fully sponsored by Publix Market Charities. Students from Salem State University will spend their Spring Break working on the Stanley's home as part of the Collegiate Challenge. For more information on Habitat for Humanity in Horry County, click here.