Dear Mr. Jackson,
You may not know it but among the press in attendance at the Home Dedication last week stood a long time fan. A girl who at 5 years old sat on Santa’s lap and said all she wanted for Christmas that year was an Alan Jackson CD. Who attended her first concert at 6 years old in Orlando, FL to see you. I could’ve never imagined 20 years ago when I attended that concert that I would ever be involved in country music. In fact last year’s CMAFest was the first time I covered the stadium events and I cried when you opened the first night. What a full circle moment that 19 years after my first concert I would be in a photo pit with my professional camera getting to shoot my favorite artist at one of the biggest music festivals in the nation. One of the other media outlets asked you a question last Friday about how your involvement with this project helps your fan base- As a longtime fan I have to say it only made me appreciate you more. How humbling it was to witness you using your celebrity to help touch the lives of others. If I thought I was already a huge fan you only made me a bigger one. I hope one day our paths cross where I can personally thank you, not only for the music that has touched my life over the years but for continuing you inspire me with your humanitarian acts of goodwill. In my heart you’re more than a singer of simple songs, you’re a man who so effortlessly and simply inspires. I’ll never forget where I was June 10th, 2016, because that little girl who sat on Santa’s lap so many years ago got to witness first hand why you’ve always been one of her biggest inspirations.
Country music icon Alan Jackson and Ply Gem®, a manufacturer of building products, helped dedicate a house built with a local family as part of the Habitat for Humanity national Home Builders Blitz week.
Ply Gem partnered with Jackson to serve as the ambassador of the Home for Good project, and his song, “You Can Always Come Home,” is the anthem for the program, emphasizing that having a place to call home is both fortunate and comforting.
“This is the reason why I love this country so much – we step up and we give of our time. Thank you Ply Gem and Habitat for Humanity,” Jackson said before giving the house keys to new Rutherford County Area Habitat homeowner Keosha Hendricks, and her daughter Akori’ Yanah. “This is just a house, but you and Akori’ will make it a home.”
Hendricks brushed away tears as she received keys to the house she helped build.
“I’m so grateful to be a part of this program. The experience has been amazing and my daughter is going to have a stable, healthy home,” she said through tears. “Thank you Habitat, Ply Gem and Alan. We finally have a home to call our own.”
Ply Gem, headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, is the presenting sponsor of Habitat’s Home Builders Blitz, in which professional builders in 31 states worked last week alongside nearly 250 Habitat homeowners to build or repair their homes. The sponsorship is one component of the Home for Good project – a multi-year initiative that includes the donation of more than $1 million of performance siding and windows and funds for Habitat for Humanity to use to help families build nearly 300 homes in 2016, alone. Home Builders Blitz kicked off June 6 with a wall-raising ceremony in Raleigh, North Carolina, where four homes are being constructed.
“As a leading manufacturer of building products, like siding, windows, stone, roofing, fence and rail, giving back by helping to build houses across North America makes sense for Ply Gem, and partnering with Habitat for Humanity was a natural choice,” said Gary E. Robinette, chairman and CEO, Ply Gem.
“Through the Home for Good project we are spreading the word to rally everyone to grab a hammer and help in communities nationwide. Ply Gem is reaching out to the building industry, our 8,900 associates and community members.”
Habitat launched its first Home Builders Blitz in 2006, four years after Habitat for Humanity Wake County, North Carolina and local builder Tom Gipson recruited 12 homebuilders to donate their time to each build a house in five days. To date, more than 1,500 homes have been constructed under the Home Builders Blitz model. Habitat and local families are building two homes in LaVergne.
To find out how to get involved, please visit Habitat.org, or to learn more about Ply Gem’s Home for Good project, go to www.plygem.com/homeforgood.