The last day of summer marked the beginning of a new life for 18-year-old Adil and his father as they helped volunteers from Christ the King Church and Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity build their first home in the United States.
To celebrate the church's 50-year anniversary at 8005 Dorset Drive in Oklahoma City, Christ the King Church donated $80,000 to Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity and parishioners are helping to build Adil and his family their future home.
‘Feels pretty good'
“To see it being built yourself and to see it all come together feels pretty good. It gives us a sense of its value,” Adil said.
Adil's parents emigrated from Russia six years ago with the hope of giving their children more opportunities.
One of Adil's parents works at Windsor Hills Nursing Home and the other works at Oklahoma Blood Institute.
Adil helped the volunteers unload construction material from trucks onto the Hope Crossing site that he soon will call home while his father took pictures of the house in its beginning stages.
Ann Felton Gilliland, Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity chairman and CEO, said the home is expected to be finished by November.
“My favorite part of the process is the house dedication, when the new homeowners move in. It's a time of celebration,” she said.
Gilliland said Christ the King Church has been a partner of Central Oklahoma's Habitat for Humanity for many years.
“Sometimes we'll have one organization donating and separate individuals volunteering, but this time for the most part it's all them. Christ the King is providing the donation as well as the volunteers,” she said.
The Rev. Rick Stansberry, the church's pastor, said the idea to partner with Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity came after he realized the substandard conditions many Oklahomans live in.
“When I was serving another church, I would visit people's homes to do anointment or communion and I realized that so many people live in substandard conditions. I know that we can't solve the world's problems but one thing we can do is give some people safe and decent homes to live in.”
Stansberry said parishioners responded strongly to the idea, and they raised the $80,000.
“It's all from the parish,” Stansberry said. “I think people really like the idea of actively giving back.”
Christ the King church member Louis Gasbarra, 34, said he has been volunteering with Habitat for Humanity since he was 16 years old.
“I think it's a charity that helps people who are trying to help themselves, they truly give a hand up and not a hand out,” he said.
“I'll always remember this,” Adil said. “When someone helps you out like this, it just makes you want to help others as much as you can.”