For some, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a time of darkness and despair. For the Burrow family, it has been a time of hope.
Anthony and Kara Burrow, along with their five children, are the recipients of the first home built by the newly formed Pennyrile Region Habitat for Humanity.
During the house’s dedication Wednesday, Executive Director Heath Duncan said that the Burrows put in more than 500 hours of sweat equity into their new home.
“During the pandemic, we’ve had to slow our construction schedule quite a bit, but we were able to get this done,” he said. “We started this in March, right during the beginning of the pandemic. We’re excited to still get a project done and get a family in. They’re a beautiful family, and they’ve worked really hard to get here, to the dedication. It’s special.”
Kara Burrow said the new house means a lot to them.
“It’s something safe that our kids can grow up in. The house we had before wasn’t safe for them; it had structural issues,” she said. “It’s going to be good to have a house that we can live in safely.”
During the dedication, Kentucky Habitat Executive Director Mary Shearer said she was happy for the Burrow family and knows the house will make a difference in their lives.
“No Habitat home gets built by itself,” she said. She mentioned that it took work from the affiliate, the Pennyrile Region, the Home Depot Foundation’s critical home repair for veterans program, the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, the state’s energy and environment cabinet, the federal department of agriculture, and LG&E and KU, and many others.
Each of these partnerships helped create the new home for the Burrows. Their home features Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS), which allows their home to be super energy-efficient, said Shearer.
“Also, in addition to it being a SIPS home, this is one of the first homes in Kentucky that is benefiting from a partnership with LG&E and KU for community solar shares that will be attached directly to your utility bill from a field actually in Simpsonville, Kentucky, but you will reap those rewards,” she said.
Shearer hopes this will help reduce the family’s utility bill by 30 to 40%.
“We’re extremely happy for this family and everything that they are going to accomplish, further accomplish and do here in this home,” she said.
Duncan said in a typical year, this would have been their fourth house to complete, but because of COVID-19, this is only their first.
“We were impacted, but we’re looking forward to getting busy and doing what we can, it’s just going to be different,” he said. “This is our first house as Pennyrile Habitat, and it’s gone great. We’re looking forward to doing more. In fact, we have plans to do three more houses this fall, if we can manage it.”
Duncan said they are always accepting donations and that the best way to help raise funds for the Pennyrile Region Habitat is through their ReStore in Madisonville. For more information regarding Habitat, be sure to follow their Facebook account.