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Single mother of 4 gets dream home with help of Habitat volunteers

By By Jonathan Hinderliter -
Jan. 14, 2012 at 6:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 13, 2012 at 7:14 p.m.

The goal for Saturday morning's Habitat for Humanity "apostle build" work day was to get the whole house covered in siding.

"It's perfect right here. It's like this spot was meant for me," Angela Cantu said Saturday.

Habitat for Humanity selected Cantu, a single mother with four children, as a recipient of a house, which is in process of being built. The residence's location is right where Cantu wants it, she said. She will still be close to her family, and her children do not have to change schools, she added.

The building of the house would not be possible without the assistance of volunteers who sacrifice time on Saturdays and Mondays to do the physical building of the house.

As the sun began to shine over the treetops Saturday, volunteer workers arrived bundled up to protect themselves from an unusually chilly South Texas morning. This particular day's crew, however, came from local Knights of Columbus Council 9088 and was sponsored by local church congregations, Thus, the workday was dubbed an "Apostles' Build."

The volunteers were given the task of what the organization calls a Habitat Mission: Impossible. The day's job included the challenge of covering the entire exterior of the house in siding by the end of the workday.

Among the help was Cantu, who is required to put in 300 hours of "sweat equity." The stipulated sweat equity is time that Cantu has to spend helping to build Habitat for Humanity houses, including her own. Not only does this ensure that the beneficiary gives back for the gift they have been given, but it is also intended to teach house recipients and make them more familiar with their homes-to-be.

"I've moved a lot in my life, and I just wanted my kids to be stable," Cantu said. "This is where we're going to live until y'all are grown and move out."

Cantu says she has been through a lot, but she has also come a long way. "I'm ready," she said of the responsibility of home ownership.

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