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Kids earn "sweat equity" for Habitat for Humanity homes

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- As families get ready to move into their new Habitat for Humanity neighborhood, kids got a chance to earn their "sweat equity" Tuesday night.

“I’m excited for our new house," said four-year-old Isabelle Salazar.

“Really happy. Get to have my own room and everything," said nine-year-old Sierra Davis.

Those kids are part of the 23 families that will be moving into Habitat for Humanity's Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project neighborhood this coming fall..

Some of them still can't even believe they will own these homes.

“You start first with a shock, and then once you start realizing that is true, you are in this, you want to just continue and work through the hours, work through the sweat and heat and do the classes, and it’s overwhelming, but in the long run, it’s totally worth it," said Benito Salazar, a future homeowner.

Each family has to put in 250 to 500 hours of work to earn for their interest-free mortgages.

The parents have been putting in their sweat equity in the construction zone, but Tuesday night, the kids got a chance to help arts and crafts style.

“It’s actually pretty exciting, because I’ll be able to know all my neighbors. In an apartment complex, you don’t really know your neighbors...but then if you know all your neighbors, and they’re going to live with you for the rest of your life, or you know, until you go to college," said 11-year-old Nishorgo Proshun.

“It even makes us feel a little safer, too," said Jhunixa Salazar, Benito's wife.

“I did it because I wanted to be able to give something to my other children, something that we can call our own, something that is theirs," said future homeowner Kaniece Davidovic.

“I think that the subdivision...is probably going to be a lot more happy than other places, because everyone knows each other. I mean, I really hope it’s that way," said Nishorgo.

Volunteer week on the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project is slated for the week of August 26, and families will be moving into their homes this fall.

There are still openings in the South Bend homes, so for more information, click here.

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