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Habitat house late Christmas present for woman, nephew

Habitat house late Christmas present for woman, nephew
Habitat house late Christmas present for woman, nephew
Ruby Stewart receives a Bible from Ian Thomson, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Harrison County, Saturday afternoon during a dedication ceremony. Stewart and her nephew, Chris, moved into the house Dec. 29. (Photo by Lindsey Corley)

Sometimes the best Christmas presents are the ones that aren’t given exactly on Christmas Day.
Just ask Ruby Stewart of Corydon. She is originally from Louisville but has lived in Corydon the past 25 years and is employed by Bridgepoint Goodwill Services in Floyds Knobs.
She, along with her nephew, Chris, are the new owners of the fifth house built by Habitat of Humanity of Harrison County. They moved into their new home Dec. 29, just four days after Christmas. It was also Chris’s 21st birthday.
‘It was a great birthday present,’ Stewart said for her nephew.
The home, a three-bedroom, one-bath plan, has been in the works for about seven months, and Stewart said she came by as often as she could to help work on the project.
‘It’s nice to be here now without the construction workers,’ she said of seeing the finished product.
Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry, has been building homes for families in need in Harrison County since the first one was built in Corydon in 2003. Since then, one more has been built in Corydon and two more in Palmyra.
At the dedication on Saturday, many from the construction crew, as well as Ruby’s friends and family, piled into her home off Franklin Street to congratulate the homeowner and see the finished product.
Loretta Fredericks, Liz Swarens and Sharon Holtman, along with Megan Jennings from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Corydon, came to give the new homeowners a homemade quilt they’ve been working on periodically throughout the year. It’s the first time the group, which also includes Marie Brennan, has made a quilt for a new homeowner, but they said they enjoyed the process.
‘We hope to continue with the quilts for the future homes,’ Fredericks said.
That involvement is something Ian Thomson, executive director of Habitat of Harrison County, wants to see expand in 2008.
‘(We hope for) more involvement with churches, church volunteers,’ Thomson said, ‘to try to grow the organization so we can build more than one house in one year.’
The two homes in Palmyra were built at the same time, and that project quickly became a bigger job than Thomson anticipated.
As for Stewart’s house, the nearly 1,000-square-foot house may have been the first home in 2008 to be dedicated, but it might not be the last.
The Harrison County Habitat team has already broken ground on a new house in Laconia, and Thomson said the foundation has been set and the plumbing done on the house off Jackson Alley.