A Gift from One Family to Another

Photo of the gift from a volunteer to a partner family.

The manger from a volunteer to one of our partner families.

It was a cold and dark night at the Habitat dedication in early December for a partner family. The lights shown brightly from the inside. The house was filled with friends, family, Habitat staff, partner families, and volunteers. So many people!

It was a fairly normal dedication for Habitat. The family’s pastor from their church was there to bless the home. It was “God’s home,” he said, and, everyone who helped to build it.

There was the normal presentation of the Bible and keys to the home for the family. Tears, applause, congratulations, and a heartfelt final blessing from a board member.

People started dispersing afterwards, but then the Christmas miracle happened.

One of the volunteers, who worked on the home, brought a gift for the family. It was a small, metal, Christmas manger on a wooden pedestal. Simple, elegant, moving.

The volunteer said, “This has been in my family for 30 years. It was a gift to us when we moved into our new home. It has always been on display in my home at Christmas. I want you to have it.”

The volunteer went on to say, “Every morning, I get a sign from God, on how to help someone today. Today, He said, give the gift of the manger, so this is for you and your new home.”

The new homeowner began crying tears of joy. The gift of a simple manger, a new home for her and her family, the Christ Child’s birth…and a volunteer giving up a prized family relic, from her family to our Habitat family.

At Habitat, we make so many personal connections, but this one? A volunteer and partner family…coming together! We make connections with families and volunteers and staff and community all the time, but, this one was very special.

by Molly Prime, Community Volunteer Coordinator