Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. presented Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa with a $200,000 donation to support the efforts of the nonprofit's Operation Transformation initiative Monday afternoon at a house site being built for a Tuscaloosa family.

Among other things, through Operation Transformation, Habitat partners with the Tuscaloosa City Schools to provide students at the Tuscaloosa Center for Technology Academy the opportunity to build parts of homes for families in Tuscaloosa's West End neighborhood.

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One house at a time, this initiative will allow 40 families to purchase homes with 0% interest, 30-year mortgages, provided the family puts in at least 250 hours of labor during the house's construction.

MBUSI CEO Michael Goebel, who presented the donation, said the opportunity to help Barbara Bonner, who works in environmental services at DCH Regional Medical Center, become a homeowner is a "dream".

(Brittany Marshall|Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Brittany Marshall|Tuscaloosa Thread)
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​Ellen Potts, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa, said the partnership will allow "young people to develop skills to get certifications whereby they can make an excellent living for themselves and their families moving forward and change the trajectory of their lives."

Tuscaloosa City School superintendent Dr. Mike Daria said he is thrilled that students are able to use home sites as classrooms through this partnership and hopes this partnership will continue for years to come.

"The idea that our students who are pursuing the trades at TCTA  partner with Habitat for Humanity to build houses and give back to their community -- it's a win for everyone," Daria said.

Stay connected with the Tuscaloosa Thread to learn of other community events happening in and around the Druid City.

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