habitat_web.jpgSOUTH MIAMI HEIGHTS — Tomeka Smith held back tears as she thanked volunteers and sponsors who helped to build her house in the Habitat Landings community.

In an emotion-filled ceremony, all 10 recipient families addressed the crowd to express gratitude to the sponsors and to the hundreds of volunteers who worked on their individual homes.

“I told myself I wasn’t going to cry, but once you see how much love is put into my new house, it’s hard not to,” said Tomeka Smith. “When someone walks into the home where I live, it will be my house, more importantly it will be God’s house.”

Following two weeks of accelerated construction, Habitat for Humanity of greater Miami concluded its annual Blitz Build 2014 with a dedication ceremony that celebrated the hard work of the 10 homeowners who will purchase the completed homes. More than 1,500 volunteers participated in the Blitz Build, where the 10 homes were completed. Once completed, the Habitat Landings community will consist of more than 50 single family homes, all built and owned by low-income families. 

“The fact that so many people came to celebrate with us reinforces the fact that Habitat for Humanity is a program that works and that rewards hard work and dedication,” said Habitat CEO Mario Artecona. “Everyone pulls for our families and wants to see them succeed. Habitat is a hand-up, not a hand out, and everyone can get behind that principle.”

In addition to the partner families, representatives from presenting sponsor Baptist Health South Florida, as well as those from the donors who sponsored the 10 homes, shared in the festivities. County Commissioner Dennis Moss, Rev. Dr. Alphonso Jackson of Second Baptist Church and performers from Christ Fellowship Church also helped make it a joyful and heartwarming celebration for the homeowners.