A mother and her nine-year-old daughter got the surprise of their lives Friday evening when it was revealed to them that they are the family selected for a Habitat for Humanity home sponsored by The University of Findlay.
Julie Merrin and daughter, Rachel, were prepared for another routine interview to help organizers determine if they were the right fit. Instead, when they walked into Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore on Tiffin Avenue, a cheering crowd and orange and black balloons were there to greet them.
In her blog, Merrin described it as God “sneaking up” on her.
“After well over a year and a half of not being certain where Rachel and I would live long term, God has finally given direction,” she wrote.
Merrin, a former missionary, is an administrative assistant for Findlay City Schools.
The Merrins, along with about 30 UF Habitat for Humanity members, and faculty, staff and alumni, will start constructing and painting the home’s walls on UF’s campus in April. Building will begin in August on a lot selected in the West Park neighborhood near the Findlay Airport. The dedication is planned for October.
A total of $75,000 was raised during the past six years for “The Oiler Build.” That includes $20,000 in three matching grants from Habitat for Humanity International.
UF Habitat students are collaborating with Habitat for Humanity of Findlay/Hancock County on all facets of the project, from construction planning to volunteer coordination.
Crystal Weitz, the University’s director for service and community engagement and the advisor for UF’s Habitat chapter, characterized the project as “a dream come true,” not just for the family, but for all of those involved in bringing it to fruition.
For more information about the project, contact Weitz at (419) 376-9171.