When asked what owning a home means to Jonathan, he replied, “stability.” For Jonathan, homeownership is so much more than just having a place to lay your head at night, it’s the beginning of a legacy.
“Owning a house and being able to pass it down to my children shows them that the vision of owning a home is in their reach.” –Jonathan Wilson
Jonathan has always had a heart of service. As an E4 Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. stationed in Iwakuni, Japan, he dedicated four years of his life to protecting his country. Throughout his four years of active service, he received several honors and awards including: Navy and Marine Corp. Achievement Medal, Marine Corps. Good Conduct Medal, Sea Services Employment Ribbon, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Certification of Appreciation, Meritorious Mast, and Rifle Sharpshooter Badge.
As a father, Jonathan strives to instill valuable life lessons in his three boys as early as he can. As a growing man, he made his own mistakes, but as a dad, the greatest lesson he hopes to teach his sons is the ability to learn from the actions of others. When asked how being a parent influenced his decision to apply for Sumter Habitat for Humanity’s Homeownership Program, he replied, “Active parenting really gives you the opportunity to witness so much of yourself in your children. It’s amazing because everyday I recognize myself in my boys’ faces, their actions, and their personalities. If owning a home means that I can give them the chance to obtain this goal earlier in life than I was able to, then sign me up! Every parent should want the best for their kids, and to achieve that goal, you have to put in the work. That’s what I’m doing with Sumter Habitat – working for a better future for my three boys.”
Jonathan values his family and keeps the ideal of “family first” in his heart, always. He is immensely grateful for his grandmother, Geneva Walker, for providing him and his family a safe and welcoming place to stay during his homeowner process with Sumter Habitat. As a God-fearing man who enjoys praise and worship. Every day, he visits the construction site of his home and prays over it, preparing for the day he and his boys can move in. He knows that without God, his house will never be home, let alone, a safe place to raise his family. Additionally, physical health is of major importance to the Wilson family. He and his boys stay active by participating in a variety of sports. Jay, who is six years old, loves soccer and track. Josh, who at the young age of four, adores football and plays basketball as well. D’Mario, the eldest brother, at fifteen years influences both of his little brothers by playing football and running track.
Jonathan first began his journey with Sumter Habitat for Humanity as a volunteer out of a desire to give back. While volunteering in our Sumter Habitat ReStore, he heard about our Veteran Build and knew it would be a great opportunity for him and his family. Now that his home is nearly complete, Jonathan notes that his homeownership process has blessed him in more ways than just one. Working on the construction site of his home as well as the home of other Habitat partner families has afforded him the chance to work alongside a variety of community volunteers. “Meeting members of the Sumter community dedicated to making Sumter a better place to call home really touches my heart and makes me feel that much more intertwined into the soul of Sumter,” said Jonathan when he recounts memories of the worksite. Further, he thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the college students who graciously volunteered with Sumter Habitat during their spring break. “All of the students were ready to help make change for the better and that was truly amazing! They all were willing to learn and take direction. Although, my house is not a Collegiate Challenge build, I am grateful that I was able to interact with these students and make lifelong memories that I will cherish forever.” Jonathan is also thankful for the skills he has obtained on the worksite. He extends special thank you’s to Randy Wells, Lucious Davis, and Joe Williams for always being willing to teach him new skills. The skills he learned on the worksite are truly invaluable and will be used for the upkeep of his new Habitat home once it’s completed.
“To anyone in the program, give it your all. Know that all days won’t be good days; some days will have tons of volunteers on the worksite, and others might have only one or two, but be grateful for them all and be there to greet and work alongside as many of them as you can. Working consistently to complete my sweat equity hours has been the biggest blessing throughout the construction of my home because I’ve learned to appreciate all the hard work and planning that goes into building a home. Witnessing first-hand all the connections that have to be made in order to create a structure such as a home, has taught me the true meaning of community. To those who are interested in the program but not yet sure if it’s for you, I say this: It’s impossible said pride. It’s risky, said experience. It’s pointless said reason. Give it a try, said the heart.”