Callahans celebrate new house
Brandon Callahan, a fifth grader at Liberty Drive Elementary, needed no one to introduce him as a Callahan on Wednesday. He, along with a handful of city officials, as well as his mother Carolyn Callahan, gathered Wednesday to celebrate the dedication of their new house built by Thomasville Habitat for Humanity at 9 Jasper St.
For Carolyn Callahan, Wednesday was about bettering the life of her son.
"I'm so thankful for everybody who has contributed their time, efforts and talents," said Callahan. "I was with Thomasville Housing for a little over four years. During that time, I wanted something for my son, so we looked into this and got the application. We just got the process going, and I'm really thankful to many."
Students from the carpentry and masonry classes at Thomasville High School provided labor. In addition, Ledford High School sent members of its electrical wiring program to help bring the project together.
Brandon understood the commitment it took to get the house.
"We started out in the apartments for four years,” he said. “Then she went to school for, I'd say, six months. Two months afterward, we started working on the house. I'd say nine months later, it was all finished and built. We moved most of the stuff from the apartments."
Lillian Slaughter, executive director of Habitat for Humanity, thanked members of the community for their support and credited the Callahan family for their hard work to lay the groundwork for future generations.
"It's a very loved house already," Slaughter said. "Lots of prayers have been answered for Carolyn and for Brandon. It's a brand new house on a street that might not have had a new house built in many years. Maybe somebody else will decide, 'Gee, since that house looks so nice over there, I might do this to my house.'
“But it also takes a family to show them a way of life through home ownership, so the next generation grows up knowing that's the path to follow."
As a part of the ceremony, Ronnie Sink — a Habitat board member — placed a cross somewhere inside the home to remind the Callahans that Habitat for Humanity is a Christian organization. An emotional Mayor Joe Bennett offered his congratulations at the ceremony to both the family and those who provided sweat equity for the project.
"Yesterday, as I was standing out at many locations [for election]. It was overcast and windy. Today, the sun is shining on us," said Bennett. "This house, having been built by many hands, was done by love. This house is going to be yours. This is something you and your son, Brandon, are going to be able to relish for many years to come."
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.