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A familys dream come true
Bill and Virginia Waters help locals get Habitat home
WHabitat photo
Virginia and Bill Waters helped lead a fundraising effort to build a Habitat for Humanity home for Statesboro's Alisha Jones and her two daughters. Pictured at Saturday's groundbreaking are, left to right, Lee Cheshire, Aniyah Jones, Alisha Jones, Takiya Jones, Virginia Waters, Bill Waters, Vince Schwager and John Ray. - photo by ROGER ALLEN/special
    When Bulloch County residents Bill and Virginia Waters got engaged in March 200, they asked their many friends and family to instead of giving wedding gifts, donate $20 to Habitat for Humanity of Bulloch County. In no time, the Waters had raised $2,000.
    The same generosity was soon applied by their friends to any party they planned, be it to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, and even their own wedding parties. Their friends responded with astonishing generosity, eventually raising more than $15,000 for Habitat.
    On Saturday, a large number of people gathered in Plantation Pointe for the official groundbreaking of Habitat's home #38: the Franklin-Waters House. In addition to Bill and Virginia Waters, construction manager J.D. Dunn, Habitat's local executive director Lee Cheshire, associate director Arliesha Lovett, and Habitat Board member Doty Dunn were all in attendance.
    Virginia Waters said, “We have been so blessed, that when we announced our marriage instead of getting gifts Bill and I asked our friends to take the money that would have been spent on them and donate it to Habitat to help a family get a home of their own.”
    Bill Waters said, “I believe that this is the first time something like this has been done, and as you can see, it has worked out real well.”
    The most important person of all was there, too: future homeowner Mrs. Alisha Jones and her two daughters, Aniyah and Takiya, were accompanied by her pastor, Minister Harvey of the Whitesville Full Gospel Baptist Church.
    Jones said, “I just praise God for this blessing. I can't help but keep thinking about how I'm going to decorate it and make it mine.”
    Minister Harvey, who's known Jones for some time, said: “I couldn't be happier for her, because there is not a more deserving woman.”
    Virginia Waters is a native Bulloch Countian, while Bill Waters was a California resident for some 46 years. Virginia owned the Hampton Inn in Bulloch County, and Bill was in the computer business out west. They are both retired now.
    Representatives of the other two sponsors of the Franklin-Waters House were present: the Statesboro Rotary Club was represented by Habitat Sub-Committee Chairman Vince Schwager; and Statesboro First United Methodist Church was represented by its Mission Committee Chairman John Ray.
    Bulloch's Habitat for Humanity buys the lots for the homes in the Plantation Pointe neighborhood from the City of Statesboro through the “Land Bank.” The city actually built the first four homes in the neighborhood, and then at the direction of then-city Manager George Wood decided to let Habitat assume the actual construction.
    Cheshire said that once the potential homeowner completes this process, they must then work a large number of “Sweat Equity” hours, helping to build other Habitat homes, as well as working in the ReStore that Habitat runs in Statesboro just to qualify for potential ownership. The money that Jones will pay for her mortgage will go directly towards the building of the next habitat home in this neighborhood.
    There are seven more sites for Habitat to build on before Plantation Pointe is full.
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