PROVO, Utah - A team of women battled the rain and mud to build a home for a Provo family Saturday.
Habitat for Humanity launched its “Women Build Week" recently, and they asked 100 women to donate $1,000 each to raise money to build a home.
Krystle Long is a single mother of two children, 12-year-old Aliah and 4-year-old Luke.
She applied for the HFH program about two years ago, never believing she stood a chance at being selected but knowing if she tried and put forth all the effort and hard work, she might be chosen.
Her family’s story is filled with hardship and struggle.
“Two years ago my husband passed away from heroin overdose, and it was really hard,” Long said. “It was an abusive relationship, I had holes in my walls from him punching the walls.”
After he died, she knew she did not want to stay living in that same house with her children. She prayed for help.
“I cried out to God, ‘God please, I want out of here, I want to start somewhere new, fresh,'" she said. "I just felt like the heavens opened up, and he was like: ‘My beloved daughter, here.’ The third process came around I got that phone call.”
That call from HFH meant they had chosen her to build a home. It was a lot of work, as she was required to help with the process. She put in 350 to 500 sweat equity hours, along with taking home buying classes and a life planning course.
Long was eager to start.
“I am excited for the next chapter in our lives," she said. "I can’t wait to tuck my children into their new beds in their own rooms, since we are all sharing a room and a bed right now every night.”
She was surrounded on Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day, by other daughters, mothers, and friends--mostly women who volunteered their time to build her new home.
HFH reached out to local Indie singer-songwriter, Mindy Gledhill. Gledhill said she could not wait to get involved.
“My heart went out to this program and to Krystle’s family,” Gledhill said. “There are perfect strangers here helping each other. I put out a call on social media for women to join me in building this house, so most of the women who showed up [Saturday] are women I don't know, and that I am meeting for the first time.”
She paused to take a few deep, emotional breaths.
“I think it really means a lot, and it just goes to show that people are good. There is just a lot of negative sometimes that we are around, and we forget all the good that is there, and all the good that is in so many people.”
Gledhill hugged Long during the building process, showing everyone the bond they had built as they built her home together.
If you want to volunteer with HFH, visit their website.