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Peñitas organization volunteers build seven homes for families in need

Every home was built by a group of volunteers that traveled from various locations in Texas. Each home costs $25,000 to build. Both the labor and money for the materials are donated by the volunteers who sign up for the mission trip.

Buckner Family Hope Center in Peñitas builds new homes for families with the help of volunteers across Texas.

Seven families from a colonia in Peñitas, who live in trailers, will now have a home this spring break.

"The main thing about a home is that it provides so much more than shelter for the kids and for the family, it provides stability,” said Domestic Missions Team Lead at Buckner Missions, Diego Silva.

The project was part of a missionary effort to assist families in need. Every home was built by a group of volunteers that traveled from various locations in Texas.

"It's just been amazing to see that so many folks around our state decide to spend their earned spring break by sweating and working hard with us here in the Valley," Silva said. "This week alone we've had over 240 volunteers.”

The families had to complete the Family Coaching Program, a course taught at the Family Hope Center, to become eligible for a new home. Each home costs $25,000 to build. Both the labor and money for the materials are donated by the volunteers who sign up for the mission trip.

Retired NASA employee Merlin Merritt from Houston, came to the Rio Grande Valley for the first time to help construct one of the homes.

"The neat thing about these projects is that the local people help, so we kind of work in partnership together, and you know we don't call it a hand out: It's a helping hand up,” Merritt said.

Daniel Lopez, one of the beneficiaries, said his family of five lived in a trailer that lacked appropriate utilities.

Lopez says he is happy his family now has a real home where they can live comfortably.

Once the homes are completed, Buckner Family Hope Center ensures the families will continue to live a prosperous life by providing them with educational classes on finance and business to help them in the workforce.

"Part of the work that the Family Hope Center does with our family coaches is really prepare families to be in a place to be able to afford the extra cost that a new home brings,” said Silva.

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