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Home for the Holidays

COAL GROVE — It was a birthday present that came a couple of days late, but it will prove a gift that will last for years.

Chance Adkins turned 6 on Friday. Sunday he joined his parents, Charles and Crystal Adkins, and sister, Ansleigh, 7, Sunday at 2 p.m. as the quartet got the keys to their new home, thanks to the work of the local Habitat for Humanity.

The three bedroom, two-bath house with gray siding was built on land owned by the Adkinses

“It is the ideal little house,” said Crystal Adkins, a corrections officer. “The house we lived in, it wasn’t the greatest in the world.”

As per the rules of Habitat for Humanity, the Adkinses had to put in what Habitat calls “sweat equity” into the building. For the couple sweat equity numbered 500 hours.

“Oh gosh, we’ve been there every day,” Adkins said. “It is unbelievable. This is something I have dreamed of since I don’t know when. My husband and I both come from struggling families. This is going to better us.”

Joining the Adkinses on the building site were the students of Chuck Lanthorn, a professor of construction technology at the Ashland Community and Technical College.

Working on area Habitat projects is part of the class work for Lanthorn’s students.

“We built it from the foundation up. This is our ninth one over the last eight years,” Lanthorn said. “At the college we are trying to train people for construction jobs. This is to give them on-site experience so they are experienced when they get to the job market.”

Habitat, started in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, has built and restored more than 200,000 houses over three decades in more than 3,000 communities worldwide. Houses are built for no profit and have no interest charged.

Owners must work on the project themselves and may receive no-interest loans provided by supporters and fund-raisers. These loan payments, fund-raisers and donations go into a revolving Fund for Humanity that finance future housing projects.