Students build new house for Habitat volunteer

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Updated: 5/12/2013 11:08 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - After taking steps into their soon-to-be house, the reaction from Susie Patton can be summed up fairly easily.

"That's the nicest gift I ever got," house recipient Susie Patton said. "I am thankful for everything and everybody."

The three-bedroom, two-bathroom house -- complete with a new yard -- will be home for a family comprised of three generations.

"I'm counting down the days every day," adds Patton. "I said it's getting closer and closer."

After six months of students from Tupelo High School and colleges volunteering on this project, move-in day for the Patton family is about a week away.

"We got a few more projects to do before we move in and hopefully it's coming up this week," said James Patton.

It just so happens James Patton had donated countless hours of service for several years on Habitat for Humanity projects, making him eligible to be selected.

"I didn't realize who we picked until we had been working later," said Ashley Williams, president of the Tupelo High School Habitat for Humanity Club. "We had been working with Mr. Patton on several houses over the last year. It was really cool that we ended up helping out someone that we had been working with along the way."

The students -- who spent six months donating labor to help out a family of five and took extra time with fundraising efforts -- say it's the least they can do to help out.

"It's a great learning experience," said student Jimmy Stone. "It's just good being able to help others."

"It's really amazing to see how kids can still get out and work hard," said student Caitlin Bailey. "It's not only because they have to; they do it because they want to."

"There's never enough you can give to anyone or anything and it's our purpose in life to help other people because we have been given so much by God," said Williams. "We should absolutely give back everything we can."

The Patton family also has a new yard and will receive new appliances, all thanks to the president of the Tupelo High School Habitat for Humanity Club, who spearheaded the efforts.
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