A Starkville family now is sharing a new home, completed in time to enjoy during the holidays.
Through the combined efforts of volunteers with Mississippi State, Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity and other key partners, the structure is the fifth Maroon Edition Habitat for Humanity home completed as a service-learning component of the university's Maroon Edition First-Year Reading Experience.
Formally dedicated at a Monday [Nov. 18] morning ceremony, the residence at 113 Beattie St. was presented to Marcus and Raven Hendrix and their two children, Zoe and Marcus.
MSU President Mark E. Keenum said the construction of the home represented more than 5,000 man hours dedicated by MSU students, faculty and staff volunteers.
Because Raven Hendrix is an MSU employee, Keenum said the building project had extra meaning this year. "This is a true Bulldog home," he added.
Keenum also said the experience of leaving campus for the work site, getting their hands dirty in the construction and helping others in the process is an important part of learning for the participating university students.
"These students are able to see the fruit of their labor and know that they have made an impact," Keenum said. "This project helps develop an understanding of the importance of giving back."
The Rev. Joseph Stone, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Starkville, was another speaker at the dedication program. He reminded those in attendance that, with Thanksgiving taking place next week, how particularly thankful the Hendrix family is for the efforts of volunteers and partners that made the house a reality.
"This is what life is about; to give back and make life better, not just for ourselves, but for others," Stone said.
Meggan Franks, MSU assistant director for student leadership and community development, oversaw coordination of volunteer shifts at the Maroon Volunteer Center. She said about 500 students, faculty and staff representing nearly 45 different campus groups were involved with the project this semester.
Also recognized for being instrumental to the project's success were the Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity Covenant Partners, including Starkville's Cadence Bank, First United Methodist and First Presbyterian churches, Phillips Financial Advisory Inc., and MSU's Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
At the program's conclusion, Keenum presented the Hendrix family with a homeowner Bible, while Starkville resident Dot Livingston provided an MSU "friendship quilt" made from MSU T-shirts donated from various volunteers.