Pay It Forward: Texas Woman Returns Habitat for Humanity Home to Help Others

Woman Gives Back Her Habitat for Humanity Home to Help Others
Habitat for Humanity volunteers building a house
Joe Raedle/Getty

updated 02/28/2014 at 06:00 PM EST

originally published 02/27/2014 11:00AM

This article was originally published by NationSwell, a website dedicated to sharing the stories of innovative Americans who are working to effect social change and move the country forward.

It’s not every day that a person asks to return a Habitat for Humanity home.

But that's what happened recently in Kerr County, Texas. Laci Kocurek, who built, maintained and lived in the home with her children for many years, called Karen Quanstrom, executive director of Habitat Kerr County, and said she wanted to deed the house back to the organization. "I had to tell [Quanstrom] several times what I really wanted, and even after that first phone conversation, she called me back several times and said, 'I want to make sure you know what you're doing,' " Kocurek told Habitat World. "She was pretty shocked."

In return, Kocurek wanted something very simple: for the organization to sell the home to another family who needed a place to live.



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Kocurek and her new husband were recently able to buy a home for their expanding family of five. In many cases, Habitat for Humanity will take back homes from owners and return the money that they have put into the mortgage.

But for Kocurek, the family wanted to deed the home back to the organization in order to pass along the positive experience. "That was mine and my kids' first home together – just us – so it was a little sad, but knowing that somebody else who didn’t have a home was going to be moving into it really overpowered that sadness," Kocurek said. "It felt good. It really felt good."

Thanks to the family’s generosity, Habitat Kerr County is able to provide an additional family with a home this year.

"That’s the wonderful joy of it," Quanstrom said.

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