If you could use a smile and a happy ending, read this.

Ruthann Tarver became a mother in her teens. She could have done what is legal and what tens of thousands of pregnant teens do every year in the United States and terminated. She toughed it out. She became a single mom at a young age and did the hard work.

The places where she had to live to raise her children were violent and getting worse in recent years. Tarver and her kids had to live behind doors where shootings happened just outside. No one should have to live that way.

Now she doesn’t.

She finally owns her own home and will be paying a mortgage on a beautiful house in Hamilton Township erected by Habitat for Humanity. She just received the keys from Mayor Jeff Martin on a ceremonial day all caught on video. It included a blessing of the home via Zoom by Pastor Joseph E. Woods of St. Phillips Baptist Church and a presentation of housewarming presents by Habitat for Humanity Homeowner Services Department.

In the video Tarver is heard saying, “This is a great community and provides better education. It’s a lot of work and a process, but you have to be patient and be willing to do it. There’s a lot to be learned.... Now I can teach my boys the value of owning.”

Oh, the lot of work she’s referring to? She’s right. Don’t for one minute think this was some free home just handed to her and the kids. She has to pay a mortgage like anyone else. And she had to do a lot of volunteering and helping others through the same Habitat for Humanity program. 250 hours of volunteering by painting homes and installing appliances. Sweat equity it’s called and it is a requirement. She met and exceeded that requirement. On top of it she also co-taught financial workshops to help others.

Habit for Humanity has been helping people since 1976 when it was launched by Millard and Linda Fuller and is a Christian-based organization. Since its inception they’ve helped 29 million people. President Jimmy Carter is a big supporter of this group and often did volunteer work with them on projects even at a very old age, perhaps in part because they were founded in his home state of Georgia. They have helped put up homes for economically deprived families internationally and in all 50 states.

I would say their latest recipient is very worthy of the cause. Find more information on Habitat for Humanity of Burlington and Mercer Counties here.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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