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Habitat's newest members

"Photo: The Duccini Family -- Jim Duccini; sons and daughters James, 13, Sara Goss, 11, Sophia Duccini, 4, and Alex Duccini, 3; and Nancy Duccini -- will finally have a home they can call their own, the second one on South Whidbey built through the newly formed Habitat for Humanity.Kate Poss/staff photoA family of six that has dreamed for years of owning a home saw their hopes realized when Habitat for Humanity came knocking at their door in late March with good news. The Duccini family had been selected as a Habitat partner family on South Whidbey. It would mean a house of their own by the end of the year. We feel incredibly blessed, said Nancy Duccini. We've had to jump from rental to rental. Usually we get into a house, fix it up, then it's sold. Jim and Nancy Duccini have four children -- James, 13, Sara Goss, 11, Sophia Duccini, 4, and Alex Duccini, 3. Jim Duccini is employed at the RV Outlet Super Mall in Everett. They live now in a rented mobile home near Bayview.Married young and having babies soon afterward had put such a financial strain on the family that they hadn't ever been able to buy or build a house. And the family has had to move every two years on South Whidbey, due to rent increases or the sale of the house they were renting. When they applied to Habitat for Humanity for the chance to become the next partner family on South Whidbey, they were one of about 14 families to do so, said Sharon Krogseng, a Habitat selection committee member. We hosted three community meetings, in Langley, Clinton and Freeland, Krogseng said. The selection is based on income and need for shelter. And the Duccinis are a nice family, she added.Nancy Duccini recalled that Krogseng telephoned them, asking them some questions.And then we prayed and prayed, Duccini said. We didn't hear anything for a while. Then on March 26 they came walking up with a huge potted flower in their hands. I looked at Jim and said, 'Is that what we think it is?' I started crying. Jim collapsed on the couch.Nancy Duccini turned to her son James and said, You will never have to move again.Habitat for Humanity partner families contribute sweat equity to their homes and are given a no-interest loan to repay. If someone would tell you they'd come and help you build your own home, but there are people there to make sure everything's been done properly, and your mortgage is something reasonable, it's like a dream, Duccini said. And it's not a handout, but a hand up. Habitat partner families are also asked to volunteer with the organization in the future, and the Duccinis are already signed up to help. We are not only excited about our home, but for all the ones to come as well, said Jim Duccini. We look forward with much excitement and enthusiasm to being a part of this wonderful organization.Building permits and site preparation at Habitat's Fish Road building site in Freeland should be finalized in July and August, with construction beginning in September, and the Habitat for Humanity folks are planning several fund-raisers to add to the volunteer labor and donated building materials that go into the home's construction. Most recently, Habitat raffled a Victorian Bed and Breakfast playhouse, which was won by Wendy Bramwell, a Seattle resident who has a summer home on the island. Plans for the playhouse, including a blueprint and materials list, are still available for purchase from Habitat for $20; to order, call 331-6272.This is the third Habitat for Humanity house on Whidbey, with the first two built in Oak Harbor and Freeland. We will need volunteers to help build the house, and also in-kind donations such as construction materials, backhoe and excavating services, and licensed plumbing, heating and electrical services to complete this year's house, said South Whidbey Habitat for Humanity president Bruce Jones. Interested individuals and businesses can call Habitat for Humanity at 331-6272.The Duccini family is ready for the project. We are thrilled and thanking God and looking forward to getting our home going and planting a garden, said Nancy Duccini."

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