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Habitat for Humanity answers area families dreams

By Ed Brock

At 49, Anita Drayton found herself the legal guardian of four girls, two nieces and two granddaughters, after the girl's mothers died.

“I was alone in a one bedroom apartment off Garden Walk,” said Drayton, whose own children were all grown up.

The Department of Family and Children Services gave her a list of aid agencies to help her find a bigger place.

“I just went down the list calling. I didn't know what to do,” Drayton said.

Sue Grady moved down to Clayton County from Vermont seeking warmer weather for herself and her three boys, 14-year-old Thomas, 12-year-old James and 11-year-old Dalton.

“I've been renting my whole life,” Grady said. “I was ready to settle down and give (her sons) a home.”

For both women their dreams were answered when they found the Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity. Thanks to that organization and about 600 volunteers from Delta Air Lines, on Wednesday Drayton and Grady took possession of brand new houses.

“It's wonderful,” they said in unison when asked how they felt.

Delta executives and Clayton County Juvenile Court Judge Steven Teske who is president of the Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the women in the back yard of the two homes that stand side by side in Faith Cove subdivision in College Park.

Delta Vice President Jerome Miller urged the crowd to see the families in the houses and see the houses becoming homes.

“I can envision the children doing what I did when I was a kid and that's sitting on the floor and playing with Mom and Dad and playing with friends,” Miller said. “When you see that picture, that's when you see the real beauty of these homes.”

As is the policy of Habitat for Humanity, both families helped with the construction of their new homes, something the organization calls “sweat equity.”

“We actually picked our own flooring and lights,” Drayton said.

Grady said she wishes she had been able to help more.

“I'm still working on my sweat equity,” Grady said.

And she was certainly appreciative of all the help from the Delta employees.

“It went up so fast,” Grady said.