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‘I’m so blessed to be chosen’

Habitat for Humanity hands new house keys to Dixon mother of two

Published: Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Michael Krabbenhoeft/mkrabbenhoe)
Shanda Williamson, 34, of Dixon, receives a Bible Sunday from Clara Cecchetti, 57, of Dixon, chairwoman of family support for Dixon Habitat for Humanity. Williamson is the mother of two girls, Whitney, 12, and Hallie, 5.
(Michael Krabbenhoeft)
Friends, family and volunteers attend Sunday's dedication of the Dixon Habitat for Humanity house for Shanda Williamson (left). Williamson, 34, of Dixon, an office assistant at a grain elevator in Harmon, was grateful for the interest-free loan that allowed her to buy the home she and her two daughters helped build. "I'm so blessed to be chosen," she said.
(Michael Krabbenhoeft/mkrabbenhoe)
Matt Keegan, 32, vice president of Dixon Habitat for Humanity, gives Shanda Williamson her house key as daughter Hallie Williamson, 5, looks on.
(Michael Krabbenhoeft/mkrabbenhoe)
Dixon Habitat for Humanity volunteers have been worknig on this 1100-square-foot house at 227 Cropsey Ave. for 6 months.

DIXON – Although Shanda Williamson does not expect to be moved into her new Habitat for Humanity home until Friday, she already had paint in the closets ready to coat her daughters’ new walls with pink and purple.

Dixon Habitat for Humanity, which broke ground on the project April 21, dedicated the house at 227 Cropsey Ave. on Sunday.

Williamson said her interest-free loan, which covers the materials for the house, insurance and taxes, is a blessing.

“Not everybody gets that,” she said.

The house has wood laminate flooring, instead of carpet, because Hallie, 5, and Whitney, 12, have allergies, said Williamson, 34, an office assistant at a grain elevator in Harmon.

She has at least twice as much cabinet space in her new kitchen as she had in the small home she has been renting, Williamson said.

Her daughters must share a room in their current house, but in the new one, Whitney will have her own purple and zebra-print room, while Hallie will have a pink room all to herself.

Williamson and her daughters put 184 hours of work, or “sweat equity,” into the 1,100-square-foot-home, she said.

“It’s been a long 8 months, and it’s been worth every Saturday I was here,” she said.

A crew of many volunteers also pitched in on Wednesdays. At least 160 people worked on the home, said Matt Keegan, vice president of Dixon Habitat for Humanity.

Williamson’s family members also helped out, and she tearfully thanked them during a speech before she accepted the house keys from Keegan.

“I love you so much,” she said. “Where I’m at today is because of you guys.”

The time she spent on the house was hard on her daughters, she said, but “I hope you know everything I do is for you,” she told them.

She expressed gratitude to the organization which organized the construction.

“I’m so blessed to be chosen,” she said.

Williamson’s house is the 19th house that Dixon Habitat for Humanity has built in about 20 years, Keegan said.

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