Habitat for Humanity surprises children with 30 playhouses
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Almost 300 volunteers gathered Saturday to assemble and decorate 30 playhouses to be given to the children of Habitat for Humanity homeowners and other families in need as a Christmas present.
In the second year of the Marking Playhouse Project, all five local Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the Lowcountry came together at the Lowe’s distribution center in Charleston.
Each volunteer team is assigned a specific child or family to create the playhouse for. Before Saturday, the teams were given the likes and interests of the child to ensure that they decorated accordingly.
Dorchester Habitat for Humanity Marketing Director Moriah Hollander says that the Playhouse Project is all for the kids.
“It’s my favorite event we do; seeing the kid, who especially may not know that it’s happening, seeing their face when you show it to them, and they know that this playhouse is going to go in their backyard, which is already something special to them,” Hollander says.
Some of the playhouses had themes like camo, Disney, space and baseball, or were split between two siblings to include the interests of both children.
Mother of two children who received a playhouse Saturday, Joy Allen, shared that she lost her job recently. She says that Project Playhouse allowed her children to feel special during the holiday season.
“There’s a lot of people out there that can’t provide for their children or have unexpected mistakes that happen, unexpectedly to everyone and just people that fall on hard times,” Allen says. “It gives them the opportunity to still get back to their kids and it takes a lot of stress off parents, in general, knowing that there’s something there for their children that they wouldn’t have been able to provide.”
To choose the children receiving the playhouse, Habitat for Humanity looks at their current pool of homeowners or qualified applicants that would possibly be in the program.
“The goal is to try to teach the kids about homeownership after their mom or dad has been working so hard to build their Habitat house,” Hollander says. “If not, they are also families that otherwise wouldn’t be able to have a playhouse like this; but otherwise, it’s a miniature version of what we built.”
Approximately 50 Lowe’s employees from 12 stores throughout the Lowcountry provided materials and the space for the entire build to take place. The employees also worked to cut the materials ahead of the event for easy assembly.
One of the 30 teams, Frampton Construction, dedicated their time to Project Playhouse for the second year. Michadle Frampton says they are dedicated to making the playhouse, so the day is special for their child.
“A lot of us are so blessed, and we have the resources and the time available to offer people who may not have the same things we have,” Frampton says. “I mean, Christmas is just the perfect time to extend that ability to share what you have with others.”
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