Crystal Kazy clasped the keys to her new home tight in her hand as her mother and employees from Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland and M&M Mars Chocolate applauded the milestone.
“We are so blessed that our home is wonderfully designed and built by the loving kindness of all of you,” Kazy said to the smiling faces during Tuesday’s home dedication. “Thank you for your dedication in making this house a home. It wouldn’t have been possible without each and every one of you.”
Mars employees began work on the property almost three months ago. The project was a part of the company’s “M’Prove” America program. Fans and employees alike were encouraged to donate time and money to Habitat sites across the country.
More than 90 employees showed up over the course of 10 volunteer workdays.
Site Director Joe Burton said the project has been just as beneficial for Mars workers as it has been for the Kazy family.
“[Employees] took away something very special,” Burton said, “a special activity they share with their friends and family, and it is just a thrill we were able to be a part of this.”
The Kazy home is the first rehabilitated house attempted by the local Habitat.
Board President Tommy Wright said it took a lot of individuals coming together to accomplish the task.
“Everyone plays their own little part. No part is too small. No part is too big,” Wright said. “It’s bigger than any one person. We are all very pleased by any leadership you have been able to provide.”
Volunteer services manager Anna Carmichael shared her gratitude with those who put in the time, sweat and money.
“We just want to specifically say thank you so much,” Carmichael said. “And I think I speak for all of us when I say you have certainly made a difference in the community. “
Gathered guests took a moment to repeat a litany over the home.
Board member Andy Anderson led the words of dedication. He said the litany was a sign of goodwill, work and sharing.
“Because this home was made possible through the generosity of so many people — the volunteers, the donors of labor and materials and the gifts of money,” Anderson read.
His remarks were met by a collective response: “We dedicate this home.”
A special prayer was given prior to the passing over of the keys.
Bob Zwarych of Joy Christian Fellowship church handed Kazy a Bible before bowing his head.
“We thank you for this day of celebration for Crystal and Victoria, Lord. I know she looks to you as her provider and I know you will use Crystal and you will use Victoria to make this street shine brighter for the Kingdom of God,” Zwarych said. “May this home be filled with joy and laughter and the peace of Christ.”
Kazy said the process has taught her patience. She has put in her sweat equity, as per her agreement with Habitat, throughout the building process. Seeing the house so close to completion has made her eager for the final touches. The side paneling, flooring and internal walls should be constructed within a month.
Kazy expressed her desire to have the house fully constructed by Christmas — and decorated with a Christmas tree.
“Before our application even had time to be considered, Victoria and I stood together in faith believing that we already received our home,” Kazy said. “We give praise to our heavenly father for his faithfulness that brought us here today.”
Guests were invited to tour the home following the dedication.