Thanksgiving A Day Of Homecoming


Thursday, November 27th 2008, 5:24 pm
By: News On 6


By Latoya Silmon, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa mother has a big reason to celebrate on this Thanksgiving. She's the proud owner of a brand new Habitat for Humanity home.

It started with a small company's big idea. Now, three months later Shimiko Bell and her three children have a place all their own.

With praise and prayer, dozens celebrate the day a house becomes a home.

"This is my home and we are excited blessed," said Shimiko Bell.

Thanks to Habitat for Humanity and Lawn America, Shimiko Bell and her three children have a piece of the American dream.

"Our slogan is making your neighborhood more beautiful so what better way to do that than to build a habitat home for a deserving individual and her family," said Lawn America owner Brad Johnson.

Johnson says the small company recruited everyone from employees to customers to help out.

Bell and her children also put in what Habitat calls sweat equity. Now three months later its move in ready just in time for the holidays.

"My birthday was October 30th.  This is my birthday present, thanksgiving and Christmas for me and my family," said Bell.

Habitat's been serving as Santa for years, putting 42 of Bell's new Ben Franklin neighbors in homes, too.

"There's more owner occupied houses in this neighborhood than in the average neighborhood in the city of Tulsa.  That's stability in schools.  You have less turnover and with less turnover kids can learn better," said Gary Casteel of Habitat for Humanity.

They say that's better for everyone and while the road to homeownership may seem difficult

"Whew, just working hard and keep your mind focused that you're going to have your own house," said Bell.

Bell says she's proof it's possible and she won't take this extraordinary gift for granted.

Bell was able to receive a no interest, 30 year mortgage with affordable payments. She plans to move in very soon.