Plans for fifth site
A dream came true this week for one young family as they took the keys to their own home on Elm Street in Lakeside.
The Boggs family - Taylor and Heather, with their children, Kira and Hunter - moved in this week to the latest Habitat for Humanity home constructed in the Storm Lake area.
"It just amazing and unbelievable what happens when people get together and support something like this," Taylor said. "It's a dream come true."
It's an exciting time for the Boggs, looking forward to home ownership and for a chance to get started again.
Taylor and his wife, Heather, found themselves in financial trouble four years ago, when Taylor was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. After several months of treatment, the two found themselves losing their home and their car.
By 2000, things started turning around, but then both of them were laid off from their jobs.
"Those were some tough times," Taylor said.
With a growing family, Habitat for Humanity was a way for the Boggs to get on their feet again. They worked with Habitat member Lu Mittelstadt to prepare for home ownership.
Habitat for Humanity builds homes for needy families, who then repay the chapter for construction costs. Those are kept to a minimum by using volunteer labor. Many of the supplies and equipment used are donated or provided at a discounted rate by businesses.
Also, the families themselves pitch in and work on the home's construction - called "sweat equity."
"It's a lot of sweat, a lot of work, but it pays off," Taylor said. "And it can be lots of fun."
At a dedication ceremony this week for the Boggs home, the family was presented with several gifts, including a poster of "helping hands," containing the outlines of volunteers' hands and their signatures, stuffed bears for the children, and a Bible for the family.
Buena Vista County Habitat chapter president Rod Muilenburg thanked the hundreds of people who donated what he said amounted to "thousands of hours" on the home. He also thanked the businesses that contributed.
This is the fourth Habitat for Humanity home completed in the Storm Lake area. Plans are currently underway for a fifth.