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The Villages
Thursday, May 6, 2021

The Villages Habitat for Humanity Club launches project to help single mother

The Villages Habitat for Humanity Club has dedicated its energy to construct its first home to help a single mother and her children in their time of need.

Joyce Tohill coped with homelessness and substandard housing while raising her five children. Three of her children are now adults out on their own.

Joyce Tohill, third from left, was joined by her children and grandchildren for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new house that volunteers are building for her.

Tohill’s adult daughter, Grace Ware, explained how difficult it was to find adequate housing. Her mother also had the additional worry of caring for a disabled daughter who requires that Tohill be present at all times. In order to provide for her family she became a medical transcription specialist which enabled her to work at home. The pandemic affected her income and was making it difficult to make rent payments. When she was selected to receive the first home to be constructed by The Villages Habitat Club she said it was “a miracle” and “this home is securing a future for my daughters that I am just so thankful for.”

Sally Read and Kevin Tucker present a $10,000 check to Danielle Stroud, center, senior director of Development for Habitat for Humanity Lake-Sumter, Florida. Tucker and Read are co-presidents of The Villages Habitat for Humanity, which will be building a home in Fruitland Park.

The Villages club also presented a check for $10,000 to Danielle Stroud , senior director of development for Habitat for Humanity Lake-Sumter, to help fund the Fruitland Park project. While this is the first house the group is building, President and club founder Kevin Tucker explained they have done a number of restoration and repair jobs in the community.

Joyce Tohill cuts the ribbon to start the construction of the first house to be constructed by The Villages Habitat for Humanity group.

Sally Read, co-president of the club, became active in the Women Build group after her husband passed away two years ago. She began working with The Villages Habitat group as a way of keeping busy. She said her work helping others “has saved me.” The resident of the Village of Tall Trees helped build a fence for a woman in Wildwood who had drug dealers running through her yard at night. Read’s work with the group “made a big difference in that lady’s life,” she said.

Marc Baden will be the construction coordinator for the construction of the 1,321-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bath house. He expects that there will be 15 to 20 workers on the site every day. Baden has helped build 15 to 20 houses in the 24 years he has been active with Habitat for Humanity groups. Safety is a priority on the job site, with a safety meeting being held every morning.

“Lots of skilled volunteers come out of The Villages,” Baden said.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities at Habitat for Humanity Lake-Sumter.

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