GREENFIELD — Christine Camacho hopped up and down a few times, trying to shake her nerves and keep from growing emotional.
Speaking before a crowd of about 75 people, a red ribbon waiting on her front door a few feet away, Camacho’s voice brimmed with gratitude — for the organization that had chosen her to receive a second chance, for the church family that had surrounded her with love in her darkest hours and for the coworkers who supported her day after day.
Those who stood alongside her came through one more time for the Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity Home Blessing Celebration held Friday to celebrate the completion of the second Habitat house built in Hancock County in as many years.
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Camacho, who has lived in Greenfield for about five years, burrowed close to her two children as she thanked the organizations for the blessings bestowed on her, from the months of educational courses preparing her for home ownership to the three-bedroom home on Tague Street completed with hours of help from about 300 volunteers.
“Despite the challenges I had this year, I had my children with me all the time. There’s a lot of love here.”
She paused. “Can we go inside now?”
Habitat, a Christian organization that partners with communities to provide housing for people in need, relies on donations of both cash and materials, as well as volunteers for its building and renovation projects, said Abri Hochstetler, Greater Indy Habitat marketing and communications manager.
Businesses, churches and other area organizations contributed groups of volunteers to help bring the house to life, including a group from Greenfield Fire Territory, which helped with the roof trusses, putting the project ahead of schedule, Camacho said.
Marc Petry, Hancock Regional Hospital building services manager, thanked all of the community members who made the project possible. Petry, a leader of Caring Community Partners, a group of hospital staff members who volunteer for service projects, said Camacho is one of the hardest workers he’s ever seen.
The gathered crowd, the steam of their breath puffing into a cloud above them in the icy air, was relieved to move inside the house after Camacho cut through the ceremonial ribbon on the door. It was a sharp contrast to the first Habitat house dedication, held in July 2016, where volunteers huddled together under umbrellas from the hot summer sun and fanned themselves with programs.
Construction for Camacho’s house was moved to later in the year because high temperatures taxed the contractors and volunteers who built the first Hancock County Habitat, said Ted Mosey, Indy Habitat director of development in May.
Camacho and her family received housewarming gifts of food, appliances and more from local businesses and friends to help them get settled. As soon as the door was opened, members of Camacho’s church and coworkers began bringing in furniture and boxes, placing them in the bedrooms Camacho and her children claimed.
It was a rush to realize the home was really theirs, she said.
“The program is a godsend for families trying to start a new life,” she said. “It’s a second opportunity, a foundation for the children, leaving them something of value.”