Family Farm to Family Home: The Eberharts' Gift of Land

Olivia Bowler | September 15, 2023

The Eberhart family spent years farming the land off of Rose Lane in Raleigh. “The land was sacred because my dad gardened it and my daughter gardened it,” Mary Catharine Eberhart shared. “Even my grandson, Paul, who is almost 22 now grew potatoes on the land.” 

When the family decided it was time to stop farming the land, Mary Catharine and her husband Pete decided it was time to do something special with the land because “the land needed to go somewhere we valued.” Once a friend of Pete’s recommended donating the land to Habitat Wake, the Eberharts knew it was a perfect fit. “The happy, warm, fuzzies” that comes from this type of partnership, “It’s a glimmer that happens,” Mary Catharine said, using a phrase often shared by her daughter Catharine. 

From ready to harvest to ready to build, it took Habitat Wake and volunteers no time to build a new Habitat home on the property. At the time, Rahima was going through the homeownership program and fell in love with the Rose Lane property. This September, Habitat staff, volunteers, and the Eberhart family gathered at the new home on Rose Lane for Rahima’s new home dedication.  

Mary Catharine said she and her family were happy to be part of the process. “We appreciated the house built, it fit the neighborhood perfectly. It’s an important neighborhood to me and we were pleased to be there for the homeowner dedication.”  

For Mary Catharine and her family, the donation of land made sense and she encourages others to consider doing the same. “Let it be contagious to think about other ways to support your community, she said, “be thinking and open the door to things you can do to make your community stronger.”  

Habitat Wake is grateful for the generosity of Mary Catharine and her family- husband Pete; daughter Catharine Eberhart and husband Bob Maiers; daughter Elizabeth Eberhart Szuba and husband Tom; and grandchildren.