Do you have a success story like this to share?

By Chris Johnson
Director of communications

One of the great things about working in the communications department of The Fuller Center for Housing is that you hear success story after success story. It’s a constant reminder that your work matters … unlike in the newspaper business where my work was important but the best validation I’d get were letters and emails that started like, "Dear ignorant hillbilly journalist wannabe …" Well, you get the idea. (The exact wording was usually not so nice and polite.)

Unfortunately, I can’t always come face to face with those success stories because they’re in Haiti and Indianapolis and Sri Lanka and Shreveport and El Salvador and Yalobusha County, Mississippi.

Not that it’s unheard of to visit such faraway lands as Yalobusha County – I just haven’t gotten around to it.

But that’s why it’s great to see Thad Harris roll into the office. Thad’s got a huge smile and a bigger heart.

If you don’t know Thad’s story, here’s the basics:

A hard-working man in the construction business, he was left paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair after being thrown from the back of a truck in an accident. After living in cramped quarters with his parents for nine years, he eagerly took on the job of becoming a Fuller Center homeowner through the covenant partner in our headquarters’ backyard, Americus-Sumter.

Like any other homeowner with whom we partner, Thad worked hard on his home, logging more than 500 hours of “sweat equity.” As a former construction worker, Thad has skills on the site that I only wish I had.

But Thad’s story was just beginning when he became a Fuller Center homeowner. Riding a wave of joy, freedom and courage, Thad asked fellow church member Leala to marry him. The newlyweds were able to celebrate their first Christmas in the home last December.

And Thad is now a dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer for our local covenant partner.

Those are the kind of stories I’m looking for right now, in fact. What happened after someone got a decent home with the help of The Fuller Center? Do you know of such a story? Do you know someone who’d like to share such a story?

If so, please contact me at Or give me a call at 229-924-2900.

Success breeds more success. Sharing the stories of what happens after someone gets a Fuller Center home or Greater Blessing repair just might inspire someone else to donate to or support The Fuller Center in ways that beget more and more success stories like Thad’s.

Read a blog from this spring in which Director of U.S. Field Operations Kirk Lyman-Barner talks about Thad’s efforts to help others after he moved into his Fuller Center home.

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