"I put at least 500 hours into building this house," said Karry Hollaway-Voice Wednesday afternoon.
An experienced welder, now working in home healthcare and raising her 11-year-old son, Hollaway-Voice said, "My family members are all bricklayers and I grew up around construction and worked as a welder when I was younger. My experience with Habitat For Humanity was all good. Waking up in this house every day is like getting a hug every day. It has allowed me to have positive dreams for my son."
Her son, Hunter James Voice, 11, is a student at East Side Elementary. He said, "I love my room and I love the way I am having fun with my mom right now."
Karry said, "I was living in Carterville to be close to other family members and to be close to the college while my daughter was in college. She is an architect now but she was going to John A. Logan and SIU-C then."
Her daughter, Tara Riggio, 27, is currently a stay-at-home mom.
"Art Hatfield brought me an application for Habitat's program and to this day I can't thank him enough," she said.
She has a long list of other people who helped in the two years that the South Land Street home was under construction.
"Bruce Allen donated the property. He is such a gentleman," she said.
High on her thank you list is Bruce Boone, president of the local Habitat chapter.
Next comes Curtis Roland, building trades instructor at Southeastern Illinois College; "Torch" Wilson who did the electric; John Hollaway, a bricklayer and older brother; and her nephew Sid Hollaway, an experienced construction worker also pitched in.
"I have worked construction all my life and I am very fortunate to have had the help of family in this project," Karry said.
"Keri Boatwright excavated the foundations. Attorney Mike Dorge helped by doing construction labor. Dick Jones did labor too. A man named James from Carrier Mills did the siding. A group of special needs children from a church in Eldorado came in and one girl without arms helped paint. She painted by holding the brush in her mouth. Cardinal Builders donated a really well-built storage building.
"We started a few years ago and because of the hard economic times it took a little longer to complete. Lots of people from the Habitat group came in and helped.
"Mike Sutton's company did the painting. Alecci Builders helped with the flooring.
"Living in this house is awesome. I love the floor plan. It is so homey," she said.
- Follow Kane at twitter.com/tkane_DR