In honor of each Alabama National Championship win, Coach Nick Saban and his wife Terry Saban, along with their Nick's Kids foundation, have partnered with Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa to build a home.
The partnership began following the April 27, 2011 tornado. At the time, Alabama held 13 national titles, which resulted in 13 homes. For each additional national championship win, Nick's Kids has raised funds for another home. Now, championship house number 17 is in the works.
Nursing student Donna Smith, along with her two children, will live in the home on Juanita Drive. Smith now thinks back to watching the national championship game in January. She was excited about the win, and knew about the Habitat home that would be built, but she never imagined the personal impact it would have on her.
"At the time just not even knowing, but happy that that is something that they do, that they are committed to, " Smith said. "So it was going to affect a family one way or the other, it just happened to be mine."
Smith's 18-year-old son was born with Spina Bifida, as well as hydrocephalus, so the family needs a home that is accessible to him. The home is being designed to meet those needs.
"It's a life-changing event…for the accessibility, it is just going to be so great for him. It will give him a whole newfound independence, and any parent wants that for their children."
Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa Executive Director Ellen Potts also remembers watching the game, pulling for Alabama, for two reasons.
"I was watching in the hope that we would win, just because I'm an Alabama fan and I love our team," Potts said.
"But I was also watching hoping that we would win another national championship, so that another family would be able to have a new home."
"This will be our 17th family that will own their own home, because of Nick's Kids and their wonderful donors, and our wonderful team and coaches and staff."
The Smith's home will be surrounded by other "championship homes" on Juanita Drive. Potts says she expects the house to be framed later this month,
and construction to progress quickly after that.
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