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Southern Miss Employee Celebrates Groundbreaking of her Habitat for Humanity Home PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Contact Van Arnold, 601.266.5568   

A steady rain failed to dampen the spirits of those who gathered on Thursday, Feb. 4 to celebrate the official groundbreaking of Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity’s planned home for University of Southern Mississippi employee Melissa Carpenter.

“The way I see it this rain is just God showering me with blessings,” said Carpenter, who serves as a secretary in the Student Activities Office at Southern Miss. “Owning my own home is a dream I’ve had for a long, long time and I just want to thank everyone involved for making it finally come true.”

The raised block foundation has already been started for Carpenter’s corner lot home in the Celeste Place Subdivision just off Edwards Street in Hattiesburg. Dirt from the lot was brought into Victory Full Gospel Baptist Church across the street for the groundbreaking ceremony. Plans call for construction to begin the weekend of March 5-7 with completion targeted for mid-April.

“We’ve certainly had an awful lot of rain in South Mississippi since we began the initial phase of this project back in the fall,” said Andrea Dixon, executive director of Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity. “But we are not going to let that deter us. With the help of all the volunteers involved we are going to forge ahead and get this home built as scheduled.”

Several Southern Miss staffers joined student volunteers and community leaders for the groundbreaking event. Barbara Ross, director of the Union and Thad Cochran Center at Southern Miss, said Carpenter has been a role model for students and co-workers during her 16 ˝ years as a Southern Miss employee.

“She cares deeply about the students and this university as a whole,” said Ross. “I can think of no one more deserving of a new home than Melissa. This is our first year to partner with Habitat on a project like this and we’re very proud and excited that Melissa was chosen for this honor.”

To defray construction costs, a basketball fundraiser is planned for 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12 at Clinton Gymnasium on the campus of William Carey University. The internationally acclaimed Harlem Ambassadors will take on the Habitat Hoopsters in a basketball exhibition filled with slam dunks, dazzling ball-handling and comedic routines.

Advance tickets for students and seniors are $7 and $9 for general admission. Day-of-the-game tickets for students and seniors will be $8 and $10 for general admission. All children age 4 and under will be admitted free. Tickets are available at all Citizens Bank locations, the Student Activities Hub at Southern Miss and the Habitat for Humanity office on Highway 42 in Hattiesburg. For more information call 601.266.6467 or 601.582.4663.


PHOTO:
The raised block foundation has already been started for the future home of University of Southern Mississippi employee Melissa Carpenter at Celeste Place Subdivision in Hattiesburg. (Office of University Communications photo by Steve Rouse)


PHOTO:
Melissa Carpenter dons a hardhat in preparation for the official groundbreaking of her home being built by Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity at Celeste Place Subdivision in Hattiesburg. (Office of University Communications photo by Steve Rouse)

About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.
                                                                           
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