By Kathi Bliss
Some people wish for expensive cars and new electronics. Others, like Regina Samilpa, simply wish for a home of their own.
After several years of small projects and fundraisers, Caldwell County Habitat for Humanity is finally ready to help Samilpa and her two daughters, Sabina and Alyssa, make that dream come true.
Under Sunday’s blazing sun, Caldwell County Habitat for Humanity joined the Samilpa at a groundbreaking ceremony, turning the first earth under what they hope to soon be their new home. This is the first such house to be built in Lockhart, and it is the product of years of hard work, sweat and love invested by CCHFH.
In cooperation with the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas and the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, CCHFH has raised funds to build the home through a series of local dinners, fundraisers, raffles and silent auctions.
The Samilpas will have to do their part, too. In addition to qualifying for a loan on the house, each of the family members will have to put in at least 300 hours of sweat equity in the project before they can call the residence off Kennedy Street their own.
At least 100 hours of that work has already been done, reported Site Leader and Construction Committee Chair Pat Horne. Regina was already hard at work filing, helping with paperwork and volunteering her time, well before ground broke on Sunday.
Now, though, CCHFH and the Samilpa family are looking to the community once again, as construction begins on the home, which will be a three-bedroom, 1,100-square-foot construction project. Instead of money, though, they need hands, and they need time.
Work is expected to commence immediately, and will begin every Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. Those who wish to volunteer are asked to register, though, as the number of on-site workers will be limited to the number of available crew leaders.
To register to volunteer to work on the project, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and a Volunteer Coordinator will respond with the live links for the registration page, as well as the Safety Orientation and Release of Liability waiver required by the Austin Habitat for Humanity office, under which CCHFH operates.
In addition to the house, CCHFH plans to continue to be active in the community with their small “Brush With Kindness” projects. In addition, they hope to actively seek other families they can help to build homes of their own.