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Habitat for Humanity of North Augusta celebrates first mortgage burning

Posted: December 10, 2013 - 5:17pm
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Janie Livingston (third from left) and members of the Habitat for Humanity of North Augusta's board of directors participate in the mortgage-burning ceremony. Livingston payed off her mortgage in 16 years.   NIKASHA DICKS/STAFF
NIKASHA DICKS/STAFF
Janie Livingston (third from left) and members of the Habitat for Humanity of North Augusta's board of directors participate in the mortgage-burning ceremony. Livingston payed off her mortgage in 16 years.

About 16 years ago, Janie Livingston was the first to be chosen for a home through Habitat for Humanity of North Augusta.

On Saturday, Livingston reached another milestone with the local Habitat affiliate – she became the first to burn her mortgage.

“I’m so excited,” she said.

She made her last payment in late October.

“My goal was to pay this house off as soon as I could and that was what I was able to do with the Lord’s help,” she said.

Livingston didn’t miss a payment and would make double payments when she could, said Tom Ellers, president of the Habitat for Humanity North Augusta board of directors.

“We’re really proud of her,” he said following the mortgage burning ceremony. “She serves as a model for others.”

When she first moved into the home with her son, then 3, she wanted to have a place he could truly call home, she said.

“As I grew up, I wanted – if I had children – I wanted them to grow up in one place, because I didn’t have that growing up,” she said, noting that she grew up in a military family so they moved often. “That way my child would grow up with childhood friends, a childhood home, he would know where his home was.”

Her son, now 19, is a freshman at the College of Charleston and with Habitat for Humanity’s help, he has that home place, she added.

Being a part of Habitat for Humanity of North Augusta provided the opportunity to learn more about the organization and see first-hand the impact it has on local lives, she said.

“This is such a great program, especially for the local community,” she said. “A lot of times you may give to a nonprofit organization and you may not know where those funds are going. But, with Habitat for Humanity, the local chapters, you realize it’s affecting your local community. Someone in your local community is getting the American dream, their own home in the community.”

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