The Volunteering Page of Paris Brown-Austin
Volunteer to help build a home and a future for the Brandon - Johnson Family.
About This Campaign
Family and Current Housing
The ministry of Habitat for Humanity embodies principles like sacrifice, selflessness, and brotherly love as communities come together to help their neighbors achieve the dream of homeownership. The same could be said for siblings Brenda Johnson and John Brandon who are working toward their own simple, decent, affordable place to call home. Brenda and John’s family moved to Canton when they were teenagers and Brenda has lived in the city most of her life. In 2011, John, who was living in Minnesota at the time, decided to move back to Canton to be closer to his sister andother family. It was during this time of transition that John, a successful businessman with a master’s degree, suffered a stroke that left him with numerous physical challenges and drastically altered his independent lifestyle. Brenda immediately stepped in and took full responsibility for John’s care. She honestly admits that there are difficult days, but her love and commitment to her brother allows her be strong for both of them. The siblings currently live in a two-story rental property which is a challenge for John who would be best served by a one-story home. The rental property also has minor structural problems including a bathroom floor that is rotten and uneven due to leaking. What concerns the siblings most, however, is the landlord’s threat to sell the property if any major repairs come up which would leave them suddenly homeless. As Brenda cares for her brother, her greatest desire is to secure a safe, stable place for them to live.
A Perfect Fit
Now that they have selected a lot in northeast Canton, Brenda’s dream of having a place to care for her brother is becoming a reality. Because of John’s limitations, Brenda has worked tremendously hard to complete the required Habitat sweat equity by herself. Although it is a lot of work, she enjoys having the chance to get out of the house, try new things, and meet new people. Brenda has completed all of her education classes and is thankful to have learned skills like saving, budgeting, and basic home maintenance and repair as she and John prepare to be a first time homeowners. As someone who loves the outdoors, Brenda is excited to plant flowers, decorate, and sit on the front porch of her new home. The siblings also look forward to having a place where they can host their children and grandchildren for birthday and holiday celebrations. “I’m so thankful for this,” Brenda said, “this is something I never expected would happen in my life. I never thought I was going to own my own home, and I thank everyone very much for giving us this opportunity.”