Antoinette Gadsen has an attitude of gratitude for all the volunteers who are making her dream of homeownership come true through Edisto Habitat for Humanity.

EHFH is continuing its mission of providing affordable housing in Orangeburg. The local housing ministry dedicated its 96th home on Wednesday.

“It still doesn’t feel real. Even though I have been going through this entire process ever since the beginning, it still doesn’t seem real, as though it’s mine,” Gadsen said of her new Kings Road home.

“It’s not overwhelming, it’s just a different feeling. It’s a good feeling, though. It hasn’t settled yet that I’m actually moving into my own home,” she said.

Kendall Perrow, human resources supervisor at C.F. Evans Construction, right, presents Antoinette Gadsen and her daughter with the key to thei…

EHFH Executive Director Jessica Burgoyne said Habitat will be building another home in the city beginning in January. She said Gadsen’s home will be the last one built this year.

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In addition to building homes, the EHFH has also been working through a Brush with Kindness program to help build ramps on homes of the needy of Orangeburg, the executive director said.

Antoinette Gadsen, left, stands with Edisto Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Jessica Burgoyne following the dedication of Gadsen’s home…

“We will have completed 15 of those this calendar year by the end of the year. We’re building homes, doing Brush With Kindness and the (EHFH) Home Store is obviously our financial stability program. We’re working with other financial stability partners to provide training and other opportunities for persons in the community. We just stay busy,” Burgoyne said.

C.F. Evans Construction and Wells Fargo are the sponsors of the 96th home that EHFH has built within the community. Gadsen was presented with a Bible and keys to her home from representatives from C.F. Evans at the dedication ceremony.

“I don’t know where to start. A lot of people came out and helped in such a tremendous way to absolutely make my home what it is. Taking the time out to actually come out and help and volunteer has been absolutely amazing,” Gadsen said.

She continued, “It is truly a blessing. I’m glad that I just stayed firm and prayed and continued to trust the Lord. He gave me what he saw fit for me to have, and I’m so thankful for it.”

C.F. Evans Construction reps were presented with a Community Builder Award, while Burgoyne acknowledged of Allied Air, which provides HVAC units for all of the EHFH homes, along with other support throughout the year.

Gadsen said she especially thanked Michael Holinko, a member of the EHFH build team who she called her “right hand man” at the dedication ceremony.

“I must say I have to specially thank Michael Holinko, who’s actually putting a lot of the time and effort behind the scenes,” said Gadsen, who will share the home with her two young children.

“He has been there throughout this entire process. Every time I call, or with anything I need, he’s become like second family at this point. If I need something, or even when I can’t be there, he’s always making sure that I have pictures. He knows that I don’t like to miss anything,” Gadsen said.

She continued, “I really have to give him his credit because he really doesn’t realize how much he has done. It means a lot to me, and that goes for everybody who’s participated in the building of my home.”

Burgoyne said, “We feel very blessed to continue to support the Orangeburg community with affordable housing because it truly is an important foundation for a community for stabilization purposes and the overall wellness of the community.”

She continued, “With the ramps, we’re allowing people to stay in their homes a little bit longer, as well. It really plays a big role, but the costs are exponentially higher, and the donations are exponentially lower due to inflation. So we’re seeking as many sponsors and partners as possible.”

Burgoyne said the volunteers are the foundation of the EHFH mission.

“Without them, we would not be able to accomplish our goals. Thanks and gratitude go to our volunteers and partners throughout our community.

“We have a lot of companies that support us in smaller ways, but consistently. So we’re grateful for every role that anyone can play. We’re just looking forward to continuing to do what we do with the help of volunteers and partners,” she said.

Individuals seeking volunteer opportunities with the EHFH or other ways to donate can call their office at 1035 Windsor St. in Orangeburg at 803-536-2300.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD

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