Bessie Cochran received one of the greatest Mother’s Day gifts anyone could ever get when she and her husband, Eddie, moved into their Habitat home in Abbeville a week before Mother’s Day. “A friend told me about Habitat and their work a few years ago, but I didn’t think there was any way we’d actually be selected to receive a home,” says Bessie. After some convincing from her friend, Bessie took the first step and went by and filled out an application.
After receiving word that they had indeed been approved for a home, the Cochran’s knew full well the 500 hours of required “sweat equity” they had to complete helping build other Habitat homes. Not only did they go well above the required amount of hours, they made the work a family affair.
Linda Ward, Homeowner Services Director with Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity (WHFH) says, “The family as a whole, parents and children combined, put in an excess of 800 hours of volunteer assistance during their partnership with WHFH. They were always willing to assist whenever we needed their help. In fact, they became our go to for any cleaning projects we encountered, and also represented our affiliate well during fund raising and informational outreach events.”
Bessie says the extra hours were well worth it to help others and both she and Eddie continue to volunteer with WHFH. Ward states, “Serving families like this one, who need a hand up, but are not asking for a hand out and who consistently demonstrate attitudes of cooperation and gratefulness, is certainly the most rewarding part, for me, of working with the Habitat for Humanity housing mission.”
Bessie says her favorite thing about having her home is cooking for the family on Sundays. When asked how becoming a homeowner has affected her life, she exclaims, “It’s a blessing. I really enjoy our home. When we used to be moving all over the place, I didn’t feel like I had anything that was mine. And this is mine – I can pass it on to my kids.”