Six Habitat for Humanity of Simpson County homeowners gathered Sept. 10 for a Mortgage Burning ceremony in the “Habitat Haven” neighborhood on Emilin Lane.
It was the first such event for local Habitat homeowners since before the Covid pandemic.
“The mortgage burning event is a tradition for Habitat for Humanity organizations, created to honor families who met their personal goal of paying off their loans in full,” said Simpson County Habitat for Humanity of Simpson County Executive Director Dana Hester. “Mortgage fulfillment is a testament to the Habitat homeownership model. Not only does it emphasize the long-term commitment between Habitat and its partner families, but it also speaks to the valuable knowledge new homeowner’s gain through housing and financial counseling.”
James Savage, president of Habitat for Humanity of Simpson County, opened the ceremony with a song and introduced habitat board and staff members. Hester congratulated the families on their accomplishment and thanked them for partnering with Habitat.
The Rev. Donzella Lee, habitat board member, read scripture and blessings and spoke a word of encouragement. Habitat vice president Caren Gibson assisted the homeowners in burning their mortgages originally signed more than 20 years ago.
As the papers burned, attendees joined together singing a hymn “Jesus is the Light of the World.” The ceremony ended with a closing statement by Rev. Lee “And in His light, we see light.”
After the ceremony, families enjoyed fellowship and were treated to a cookout style dinner, with burgers provided by the Simpson County Cattlemen’s Association, which were delivered by the Meador family.
“Congratulations to the Hassell, Gosnell, Massey, Rice, Tipton and Wix families for their hard work,” Hester said.
Habitat for Humanity of Simpson County provides strength and stability through shelter to local families. Using volunteers, donations and partnerships — selected low-income families are able to pay an affordable mortgage. Habitat plans to begin taking applications for a new family later this year.
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