Dora Tomchak and Pastor Alan Jackson of World Outreach Church present check to Annie and Rutherford Co. Area Habitat for Humanity
Don’t Ever Count Yourself Out
Ms. Annie was twenty-two years old before she lived in a home with indoor plumbing.
A native of Murfreesboro, Ms. Annie remembers what life was like when the town was small and there was land everywhere. The middle of three children, Annie and her siblings spent a lot of time playing outside. At a young age, their mother passed away and they moved in with their grandparents. The home was very small; the three children shared a room, they collected their water from a well, and they used an outhouse for their bathroom. Ms. Annie lived with her grandparents for seven years.
Annie was thirteen years old when her father longed for a second chance to be a good parent. He rented a home on the south side of town. Once again all three children shared a room and there was no indoor plumbing. However, Ms. Annie never let her circumstances get her spirits down. During middle school and high school, Annie spent all of her free time reading, working, and playing sports. While at Oakland High School she won first place in the 440.
Upon graduation, Annie found a steady waitressing job, got married, moved to LaVergne, and started a family. For five years she lived in a home that was part of a family community. It met their needs but she still did without indoor plumbing. In 1978, Annie and her four children moved back to Murfreesboro. She continued working in the food industry, applied for Section 8, and was placed in a duplex. It was the first time in her life that Ms. Annie had indoor plumbing. In some ways she was happy but there was so much more she longed for.
In the early 80’s, Annie was able to purchase her first home. She and her children lived in that home for twenty-one years. She did not live an exuberant life but Ms. Annie was content and settled. After twenty plus years at Borders, Ms. Annie hurt her back and was unable to work. Due to the injury, both her financial and housing situations changed. After years of stability, she found herself at square one and began moving from apartment to apartment. In 2014, she decided to move back to Murfreesboro. She found an apartment complex for individuals 55 and older and she also joined the National Council of Aging. Through this group she has been able to work light duty at places she loves; The Linebaugh Library and Greenhouse Ministries.
Ms. Annie has truly lived in a multitude of living conditions and under a number of circumstances. Even though she thought her age may be a factor, Ms. Annie decided to apply for the Habitat Program on a whim. She knew that with her limited finances, this may be her only hope for true homeownership.
When Ms. Annie found out she was indeed accepted and would become a homeowner, she was overcome with joyous emotion. “I knew what it was like to live in a house, I knew what it felt like to have Sunday dinner with my family, and I wanted that again…in my own home,” Ms. Annie said with a smile. “I am looking forward to growing a garden, opening up windows, and being still with the Lord in my space.”
Ms. Annie would like to thank her family, especially her children, for always pushing her. She is also extremely grateful to World Outreach Church for funding her build and to those that are giving of their time to bring her this blessing.