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Getting to know .. a Habitat for Humanity House family PDF Print E-mail
Monday, October 28, 2013 12:00 AM


Herald Editor

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DELPHOS — As the prayers were said and the home blessed Sunday afternoon, Tom Stanton and Melanie Martin’s dream came true — they were officially homeowners. Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Bruce Hilty had a another surprise — the keys to the couple’s new home.

“We don’t get to hand the keys over on this day very often,” Hilty said. “This is a nice surprise for Tom and Melanie. The paperwork all went through on Friday.”


Stanton and Martin had longed for a place to call their own since their oldest child, Thomas Jr., now 7, was born. Soon his sisters, Leanne, 5, and Samantha, 3, joined the family. While not qualified for a traditional home loan, the couple had applied for the last Habitat Home built in Delphos three years ago but were turned down because the paperwork had not been submitted in the right order. This time, everything went smoothly.


“I think everything happens the way it’s supposed to,” Martin said Sunday as she slipped the keys to her family’s new home into her pocket. “This place is perfect and the lot and is amazing and this is where we belong. We are so happy.”

The new four-bedroom home will allow each of their children their own bedroom and an ample yard for running and playing. Newly-poured sidewalks are also exciting for the children.

“They can’t wait to ride their bikes up and down the sidewalk,” Martin said. “Tom Jr. has been picking up sticks in the yard every time we stop by here and he was always worried about his piles of sticks.”

Tom Sr. is also a little sad the home is done.

The new home of Thomas Stanton Sr. and Melanie Martin.“It was great to meet all the people from Habitat and the volunteers,” he said. “I am amazed at how all this comes together. I’m going to miss working with all these guys.”

Melanie enjoyed learning new skills.

“Before when I though about building a house, I just imagined putting up walls and doors and windows and there it is, a house,” she said. “Now I know exactly what’s in the wall and where it is and how it got there and why it’s there.”

The couple praised Construction Manager Roger Calvert for his patience.

“I can remember when Roger told me numerous times to hold my hammer a different way and it would work better,” Martin said. “He just kept working with me to get it right.”

What surprised the couple the most was the willingness of others to help them.

“We knew our friends and family would be coming to help on work days but the other volunteers were amazing,” Martin said. “Whenever anything needed done, Roger would send out a few emails and everyone would show up. Sometimes the volunteers were here before our friends. It’s wonderful to see these people come and help us and they don’t even know us. They all volunteered their time to better my family. That means more than anything to us.”

The couple will begin moving their things in this week and hope to be organized for their first Thanksgiving. Once settled in, the couple hopes to return the favor when they can.

“When they start the next Habitat House in Delphos, we are there. Now at least we know what we are doing,” Tom Sr. said with a laugh. “We won’t be the rookies.”

Hilty and Calvert both said they would welcome the couple’s help.

“Tom and Melanie were so eager to learn,” Calvert said. “They never backed down from a challenge.”

Hilty said Melanie was an asset on the project.

“This girl is organized,” Hilty said. “She knew exactly what was going on, when things should happen and kept us all on track.”

Habitat homeowners are required to put in sweat equity on the homes they purchase. Tom Sr. and Martin performed theirs at their new home during construction and Martin also worked at Restore in Lima.

Tom Sr. is employed at Lakeview Farms and Martin is a stay-at-home mom. She hopes to start college courses once the youngest, Samantha, is in school.

Last Updated on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 1:27 PM

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