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‘A hopeful day’ — Habitat breaks ground on new house

More than two dozen people stood in the empty lot on Laird Circle to celebrate with a new Habitat for Humanity partner.

The faces of Vidalia Sanders and her four children showed a mixture of joyful pride and humility as a short ceremony took place acknowledging the family as the newest home-owning partner for Habitat for Humanity Lincoln County.

“My heart is overfilled with joy and gratitude,” Sanders said. “This will be the beginning of something where I can help someone else.”

HFHLC board president Sydney Wilson reminded those present that Sanders and her family were not receiving a handout.

“They have a mortgage to pay, taxes, insurance and everything else,” she said.

This project has been nicknamed “The Forestry House” by those involved, because of the 19 sponsors, all but one are directly involved in timber production or products. Craig Blair, CEO of sponsor Resource Management Service LLC, called the project an opportunity for his company to “do a little good.”

“This is a hopeful day,” Blair said. “To Vidalia and family, you’ve earned this opportunity and we are thankful for the opportunity for us to help. You’ll put in the sweat equity to build a finished home. These people here can build a house, but only you guys can build a home filled with love, kindness, compassion and humility.”

RMS donates $50,000 per year to Habitat for use in two builds. This is the company’s first involvement in a Habitat build in Mississippi, said RMS District Manager Bob Naeger.

Just before using new shovels to officially break ground on the project, city Alderman Fletcher Grice — joined by Blair, Brookhaven mayor Joe Cox, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith assistant Anna Thames and the Sanders family — thanked sponsors and everyone who would have a hand in physically constructing the house.

“It’s great to see a grateful heart in Ms. Vidalia,” he said. “Thank you for letting us be involved.”