The Build

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By: Laura Goral

January 24th was the dedication of a home, testimony of community, and celebration of renewed hope here in Dodge County.  That day marked the culmination of over 3000 volunteer hours graciously given by more than 550 individuals – near 300 of them completed by the home recipient alone!  Houses like the one on Walnut Street in Beaver Dam are precisely what Habitat for Humanity’s mission is about.  After a long hiatus, Habitat for Humanity is back in our area making a difference, and we are excited about it.  With the continued generosity and support of those who believe in the mission of helping others improve their living conditions, we could offer homes, hope and a brighter future to many more families in need in the years to come.

Our partner family parent – Stacy Ewert – was in a difficult place after a divorce and found herself, two teen boys, and their dog, living in an apartment above a bar in a building that was for sale.  Not having the kind of home they were used to, where the dog could go out in the backyard, where you could take off your shoes and relax after a long day, or host gatherings of friends and loved ones, compounded by the stress of not knowing when she would be told they would have to move, and the inconvenience of living above a bar for people who needed their sleep for the next day at school or work, motivated Stacy to look for other housing means.

It was during a discouraging time of searching and wondering how she could afford the cost of rent at the places she had looked at that Stacy heard an advertisement on the radio about Habitat for Humanity’s home ownership program and the open application period.  Stacy decided to give it a shot.  She completed the application, volunteered the initial 12 hours at the ReStore as part of the requirement and was told in September of her selection to be the home recipient.

Stacy says their lives were changed that day.  Having a place that is theirs, where they can make improvements to the grounds, be in a better school district that can offer more educational and athletic opportunities for her sons, the peace of mind and sense of hope that comes with owning your home are things she knows no value can be placed on, and she is determined to make sure the effects will not be limited to just their lives.  She has made many new relationships throughout the process and would like to thank each and every person who has helped make the house – that they will make a home – a reality.  She is grateful for the opportunity to provide a home for her two boys and plans to take this experience with her throughout life and use it to impact others.

Dodge County has a plethora of groups whose purpose and mission are to help others.  This build project would not have been possible without the concerted efforts of many, although I risk missing someone on the list here, I think it is important to acknowledge the groups and companies on the list I do have.  Special recognition of local groups for their donation of time and money should be given to: Thrivent Financial, Moraine Park Technical College, John Deere of Horicon, The Life Academy of Green Valley Enterprises, Grace Presbyterian Church, Trinity United Methodist Church, EK Machine Co., Horicon Bank, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Trinity Christian College Women’s Basketball Team, Drexel Building Supply, LKQ Corporation, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Neosho School, and Wisconsin Virtual Academy.

Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.  Our mission is to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope.  Habitat for Humanity of Washington County affiliate was founded in 1998, and brought on Dodge County in 2012 with their first A Brush With Kindness project in Mayville, opening the Beaver Dam ReStore in 2013, and the construction project in 2014.  The affiliate makes Habitat’s mission come to life through three programs: home ownership, home repair (A Brush With Kindness) and the ReStores located in West Bend, Beaver Dam, and Germantown.  This spring we will break ground on a home in the Juneau area for a mother and her 4 children that have been selected as our next Dodge County Partner Family.

If you would like information about one of our programs or how you can get involved, please visit our website at

You can also contact us by phone at 262.338.0690 or send an email to


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