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House allows Franklin County family to live out dream

Posted on Friday, May 30, 2014 at 10:24 am

A young Franklin County family accepted the keys to their brand new Habitat for Humanity home Sunday afternoon. Andre and Jennifer Reynolds were all smiles as they accepted a symbolic key to the home they had always

New homeowners Jennifer and Andre Reynolds accept the keys to their new Habitat House sponsored by Nissan. Pictured, from left, are Rick Youngblood, Nissan director/plant manager; Jennifer Reynolds, Andre Reynolds and their children Byron, Skylar and Amber.

New homeowners Jennifer and Andre Reynolds accept the keys to their new Habitat House sponsored by Nissan. Pictured, from left, are Rick Youngblood, Nissan director/plant manager; Jennifer Reynolds, Andre Reynolds and their children Byron, Skylar and Amber.

dreamed of owning. The home was made possible by the Highland Rim Habitat for Humanity, Nissan, and the hard work and dedication of many volunteers.

Jim Miller, director of the Highland Rim Habitat for Humanity, said he was happy to hand over the keys to the Reynolds family.

“Highland Rim Habitat for Humanity is proud to deed our second home this year to a very deserving family,” he said. “We are grateful to the Nissan family of employee volunteers who helped make this a reality for the Reynolds family, and we look forward to partnering with them again.”

The home is set back from the road and screened by several large trees surrounding the property. Andre plumbed the house while several of his contracting friends, neighbors, and Nissan employees contributed their own unique skills.

Nissan provided additional funding to make the house energy efficient with double paned windows, 6-inch deep exterior walls for extra insulation, additional insulation in the ceiling, and certifi ed energy efficient appliances, making the Reynolds’ home a little extra special.

Nissan Administrative Assistant Dorothy DePhillip explained that Nissan has been a longtime sponsor of Habitat for Humanity.

“Habitat’s commitment to build sustainable communities aligns with Nissan’s corporate vision to enrich people’s lives,” she said. “We are glad to work with our local Habitat affiliate to make such a positive contribution in our community.”

DePhillip said that Nissan’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity International began in 2005, after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast.

“Nissan donated 50 Nissan Titan trucks to assist Habitat’s response efforts along the Gulf and sent employee volunteers to help in home building,” she said. “Since 2006, Nissan has provided cash and in-kind donations of more than $9 million, and Nissan employees have worked with Habitat homeowners across the United States to help build more than 60 homes.”

The Reynolds’ home is the second Nissan has funded in the Winchester area. The other Nissan sponsored house is located in the habitat subdivision on Rotary Drive behind the hat factory on Davy Crockett Highway.

“Our employees have been proud to work alongside this family, and we wish them the best as they settle into their new home,” DePhillip said. The new reality of “home owner” is still surreal for the Reynolds’ family; this is their fi rst opportunity at home ownership. Jennifer Reynolds said, “I just can’t wait to move in and start making payments.”

Jennifer was born in Kissimmee, Fla., and moved with her family to Tennessee in 1997. Andre is from Wenatchee, Wash., and moved to Tennessee in 2003.

The couple married in 2005 and have three children: Skyler, Amber and Byron. All three attend Rock Creek Elementary School.

Andre is a self-employed plumber and manages Dre’s Plumbing. Jennifer is a full time stay at home mom.

In the past several years, Andre has volunteered to work on several habitat houses built in the area.

The family is excited about their new home and the kids are thrilled to have a big yard to play in after school and in the summer. Jennifer says she can’t wait to have her own garden and to start learning to can vegetables.

Highland Rim Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit t, non-denominational Christian organization that is dedicated to building simple, decent, and affordable homes in the southern middle Tennessee counties of Coffee and Franklin since 1992.

Habitat partners with volunteers and low-income families to fulfill its purpose. Homeowner families are chosen according to their need; their ability to repay the no-profit, no-interest mortgage; and their willingness to work in partnership with the organization.

Volunteers provide most of the labor, while individuals and corporate donors provide money and materials to build Habitat houses. As part of the home building process, partner families themselves invest hundreds of hours of labor or “sweat equity” into building their homes and the homes of others.

Partner families are required to undergo home maintenance and household budget training to ensure ownership success. The houses are sold to these families at no profit and with no interest. All mortgage payments are invested in a revolving fund that is used to build houses for the next pre-qualified families.

The Reynolds family said it has been a long process, but fulfills a long-time dream and was worth it.

Jennifer Reynolds said, “I grew up in a place like this, and I have always wanted the same for our children.”

Rooms have been picked, the moving process began Sunday evening and the family is looking forward to settling into their new home just in time for backyard barbecue and summer fun.