October 4, 2013

In May, Marva Robinson stood with Jim Wells from the Lion’s Club and held a flame to her mortgage, dropping it on the pavement behind the Habitat Wake ReStore as staff and Board members applauded. “It feels good,” she says about paying off her mortgage. “I’ve achieved another goal. It was hard sometimes, but when I say I’m going do something, I’m going to do it!”

That determination and spirit is what led the Lion’s Club Clinic for the Blind to recommend that Marva be approved for a Habitat home 20 years ago. “We knew her as being a very determined and responsible individual,” explained Jim Wells, president of the Clinic for 31 years. “All of our applicants were deserving, but we knew Marva would be successful.”

Originally from Moore County, NC, Marva moved to Raleigh to go to a school for the visually impaired in 1966. She has worked with the Lion’s Club Clinic for the Blind for over 27 years, sewing products for the military. The work she does at the clinic for soldiers took on new meaning when her son was deployed to Iraq. “He told me not to listen to the news while he was gone and just think about how my work was helping people in the military. He would say, ‘You could be saving a soldier’s life!’” Marva’s son was 11 years old when they moved into their Habitat home. “My son has always been a role model to me,” she smiles. “Having a single mother who was visually impaired, he had to help me as much as I helped him.” Today, her son is a captain in the army, currently stationed in Ft. Drum, NY. He is married with two small children. “I’m very proud,” Marva beams.

Now that her mortgage is paid off, Marva looks forward to spending more time working on various projects she’s been saving for. She’s already replaced the kitchen cabinets, remodeled her bathroom, paved her driveway, and added on a back deck. “It keeps me busy,” she laughs. “There’s always something to do.”

The best part about owning a home, Marva reflects, is the simple feeling that “you worked for something and it’s yours. It’s just everyday life, sticking my key in the door, knowing I worked hard.” Marva always wanted to own a home, and when the Lion’s Club clinic recommended her to the Habitat program, she knew “that was my opportunity.” “Habitat really works,” she says proudly. “You can look around in the community and see that it works. This program will make you feel like a million bucks. My house is just as good as a house any other place. I love it.”