It was a community-wide effort when more than 30 friends and family turned out last week to help Pensacola State College employee Angela McDaniel dedicate her new home.
Located in northeast Pensacola, the three-bedroom two-bath home is handicapped-accessible for Angela and her husband, James McDaniel, who are both disabled and use wheelchairs for mobility.
Constructed by the Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, the Building on Faith home was a joint effort among the non-profit Christian ministry, the McDaniel family, and area faith-based organizations including Cokesbury United Methodist Church and Angela’s home church, Greater Mount Lily Baptist Church.
“I volunteered more than 500 hours at the Ronald McDonald House,” said McDaniel, a Pensacola State telecommunications operator for the past 17 years. “I’ve owned homes before but when I became disabled at age 24, it was difficult maneuvering in a regular house. This new home is a dream come true — my favorite room is the bathroom. It’s extremely large with a wider doorway, a lower vanity, and a big shower.”
The entire house also has wider doorways, lower counters in the kitchen and easy-to-reach appliances. It also comes equipped with a large laundry room.
The “Faith Build” home is a testament to Angela’s life. A woman of extraordinary faith, she never hesitates to share the impact God has had on her life.
“I was shot four times when I was 24 years old and here I am at 64 – 40 years later – God is still keeping me,” she said. “I could have died but God is great. He has been so good to me. To God be the glory!”
Those who know Angela are quick to point out her faith is evident and the love she has for everyone shines through.
“Angela is a woman of strong faith who is a blessing to everyone who meets her. She is always so upbeat and encouraging,” Pensacola State President Ed Meadows said. “I have worked in the same building with her for more than eight years and have never known her to have a bad day. In fact, some days when I was feeling a little distracted or preoccupied, she was a ray of sunshine for me.”
Sandra Randall, a Pensacola State administrative assistant in biological sciences, has known Angela for many years and echoes Meadows’ sentiments.
‘This is a lady who is determined not to let her disability keep her from accomplishing anything she desires,” said Randall.
Under the Building on Faith program, the Pensacola Habitat for Humanity works with up to 20 faith partners to raise the funds for and then actually construct a home for a local family. Those faith partners include churches, temples, mosques or other faith-based organizations.
Founded in 1981, Pensacola Habitat’s mission is to build homes and improve communities in partnership with low-income families in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. More than 1,000 families have purchased homes through Habitat programs since the organization began.
McDaniel, the mother of two daughters – retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Shenita Johnson, 44, and Kendra Johnson, 43, a manager for Avis Rental – said she is most excited about decorating her new home.
“I’m getting a lot of help from my family, everyone is chipping in to help us with the decorating, McDaniel said. “Family is so important to all of us. “Stay faithful, treat others with love and respect, and your blessings will come.”