Durham Herald Sun
By Blake Strayhorn, executive director at Durham Habitat
We made introductions at Joe’s Diner recently, a diverse group coming together around a new Habitat Build. The Capers are new friends buying a Habitat home, the Bumgardners old friends who are sponsoring one.
Quashun Capers was born and raised in Durham and is employed at Duke Cancer Center in housekeeping. Quashun is very family oriented and focused on building a home for son Khalie, 6, and his new baby sister to grow up in. Quashun's mother, Terry, works for the City of Durham as is the executive assistant to City Manager Tom Bonfield. The City of Durham builds with Habitat on many Fridays and Terry looks forward to helping her daughter build her home.
As with most Habitat partnerships, the ice was broken quickly, connections were made and we realized how much we have in common. After enjoying our hot dogs, we traveled a couple of blocks to the vacant lot which will soon be home for Quashun Capers and her 6-year-old son, Khaliel. Quashun is expecting her second child, a girl, within the next week.
The Capers and Bumgardners admire Quashun's new lot in North East Central Durham. Isaiah and Alani Bumgardner are excited for their new friend, Khaliel.
We walked the lot and visualized Khaliel’s bedroom and a bright future for the family. As we left, the Bumgardners invited their new friends to their 50th wedding anniversary party this weekend. Quashun quickly accepted, saying “I’ll be there, unless I’m having my baby!”
Larry recently wrote about their motivations for sponsoring a Habitat home:
“One of the great pleasures of my life has been my relationship with Durham Habitat. I’ve been a volunteer and a donor for years and have been impressed with the impact Habitat makes on my community, and in the lives of families who never imagined they could become homeowners.
“I grew up in rural North Carolina as one of six. My father, a veteran of World War II, died at a relatively young age. My mother died a little over two years ago. I inherited some of the property and we realized this was an unexpected gift that we had no true need for. Nancy and I decided to pass the proceeds of the land sale to Habitat for a home for one of Durham’s families. It wasn’t enough to provide all the funds for a home, but it was a great start.
“Our incentive was our inheritance, but Nancy and I realize our parents gave us something even more valuable: a great start in life and a set of values that we both maintain today. We were introduced to churches in our youth, were taught to accept responsibility for our actions, received encouragement for our education, and received advice and support when we experienced difficulties as we grew up.
“I think a lot of folks like to see themselves as self-made, but it isn’t so. So we designate this home as the Becton/Bumgardner home in honor of our parents.
“We encourage our family and friends to help build this house and to help close the fundraising gap. We encourage you to consider that you probably owe much of what you are to your parents or to some other caring people along the way.
“Many in our community do not have the great advantage that Nancy and I had, yet they soldier on. They do their best to provide for their children something they were missing growing up. A safe place to call home is key in making this happen.
“Let us all do our part to help meet these kinds of goals. We all will be better for it.”
Larry Bumgardner is one of my heroes.
Congratulations to the Capers/Becton/Bumgardner partnership! Happy 50th anniversary Larry and Nancy! The Bumgardners invite you to join their partnership. Donate on-line at events.durhamhabitat.org/bectonbumgardnerhome or call Roxanne at 919-689-3910.
Blake Strayhorn is executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Durham Inc.