The bright, sunny day felt like a good omen.
After months of working through all kinds of weather, a number of people who had swung hammers, wielded paint brushes and landscaped the yard came to dedicate the Habitat for Humanity house on Village Crest Drive on April 8.
Homeowner Beshir Ibnaouf and a volunteer raise a wall on the first UNCG work day.
The Beshir Ibnaouf and Maarif Abbas family proudly watched as well-wishers kicked off their shoes and walked into the house to explore the completed home. Some friends and family bustled in the kitchen, warming trays of food that would be presented at the end of the dedication.
Outside, members of the UNCG community, Well·Spring Retirement Community, Habitat and other family and friends mingled and shook hands. Well·Spring funded the project, while UNCG and the family provided the labor.
It's amazing what a team can do when a team comes together, said Chancellor Linda P. Brady, a short time later during the ceremony. Turning to Beshir and Maarif, she said, I hope you have many years of happiness here.
A crowd of well-wishers gathered outside the home during the April 8 dedication.
Dr. Anita Tesh, associate dean of the School of Nursing who served as the liaison between the university and the family, noted the family has been working toward the goal of having their own home since 1997, when Beshir first emigrated from the Sudan.
I can think of no more perfect family for this, she said. These are folks we are going to be very happy to have as neighbors.
Steve Fleming, CEO of Well·Spring, noted that this was truly an inter-generational undertaking, with supporters ranging from ages 100 to 18.
Times are tough and partnerships like these are going to be more important than ever, he said.
Amanda Albert, the Habitat construction staff member who led volunteers step-by-step through the home-building process, presented the family with a Bible and Quran. Later, when Beshir made his remarks, he singled her out. Amanda, you did a great job.
The two-story, four bedroom house spans 1,550 square feet. It's green certified, Energy Star certified and has non-toxic/sustainable wood cabinets.
And now the family of seven can finally call it home.