Community unites to build Habitat homes
by TCT Staff
August 28, 2013 12:45 AM | 1570 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Rodriguez-Mora family is surrounded on the left by family friend Virginia Smith and on the right are members of the Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church.<br>Special to the Cherokee Tribune
The Rodriguez-Mora family is surrounded on the left by family friend Virginia Smith and on the right are members of the Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church.
Special to the Cherokee Tribune
WOODSTOCK — North Central Georgia conducted a First Nail Ceremony for three families Saturday at the Villages of Park Creek neighborhood in Woodstock on the border of Cherokee County and Fulton counties.

More than 100 community members, sponsors, family members and Habitat staff and board members attended the ceremony.

“It was a beautiful day and everyone was extremely excited to put the first nail into the frames of three new homes,” said Kristyn Johnson, spokeswoman for Habitat.

Construction will be completed on Dec. 14, in time for the families to enjoy the holidays in their new homes, she said.

Two of the homes will be part of an annual ecumenical build where about 12 local churches join together to raise the funds and provide volunteers to build the homes. The third home is being sponsored by local businesses.

The first home will be built in partnership with the Rodriguez-Mora family. Tina and Victor Rodriguez-Mora have two children, Victor Jr., 12, and Victoria, 8.

“The family has faced many hardships over the years including caring for an ill relative and, most recently, taking custody of a relative’s child in need,” Johnson said.

Tina work’s as a medical assistant. Victor is looking for work after losing his job when he had to take care of his ill relative.

“The family is living with Tina’s mother right now and is very excited with the prospect of having their own home where they can raise their children,” Johnson said.

Their home is part of the ecumenical build and is being sponsored by the following churches; Alpharetta First United Methodist Church, Northminster Presbyterian Church, Roswell Presbyterian Church, Roswell United Methodist Church, Saint Aidan’s Episcopal Church, Saint David’s Episcopal Church, Saint James United Methodist Church, Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

The second home will be built in partnership with Sylvia Koch, who is a mother of four. Two of her children are adults and the other two live at home with her — Melissa, 19, and Mary, 16. Sylvia Koch teaches music and pre-K at a local school.

She said she loves working with children and volunteering in the community.

“I pray each day to help this world be a better place for you and me,” said Koch. “It starts with each one of us sharing God’s words and love.”

The Koch home is being sponsored by Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church and Saint Brigid Catholic Church.

Habitat is partnering with Bahaa Shafik and his wife, Sahar, on the third home. The two are proud parents of two children, Mariam and Androw.The family emigrated from Egypt about five years ago so that they could provide a better life for their children.

“Everything has been wonderful except for our current living situation,” Bahaa Shafik said. “Our apartment is unsafe for the children. The windows leak and the air conditioning doesn’t work. There have also been several burglaries in the apartment complex.”

The family is looking forward to having their own home, they said. Bahaa Shafik has been working at a local supermarket for several years. The Shafik home is being sponsored by several businesses including;, GEICO, Schneider Electric Foundation and Employees, State Street Foundation and Wells Fargo.

Habitat for Humanity – North Central Georgia is a nonprofit, Christian housing ministry. For more information on Habitat for Humanity, visit

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