Randi Cowan cried tears of joy after receiving the keys to her new home from members of the Tulsa Habitat for Humanity early Friday.
Cowan, applied on the Habitat website shortly after learning the organization was making efforts to revitalize the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood, the same school she teaches second grade.
The three-bedroom home was built in less than two days and presented to Cowan shortly after passing inspection.
"In partnership with the HBH Charitable Foundation, who are our financial sponsors on this home, built a home. Remarkably, did it in 26 and a half hours and all for the benefit of Ms. Cowan," Tulsa Habitat for Humanity CEO Cameron Walker said.
Cowan, who has taught at Kendall-Whittier for four years, says she never thought she would have enough money to buy a new home due to the low income thousands of teachers face in Oklahoma.
"There was a lot of chatter after that bill wasn't passed, that we will move somewhere else and make more money. A lot of people I know personally, friends and teachers that are doing just that," Cowan said.
In November of 2016, Oklahoma voters had the opportunity to help increase pay for teachers, but defeated the ballot measure raising sales tax by one percent.
However, thanks to the Tulsa Habitat for Humanity Cowan has a new perspective on the image of teachers and education in Oklahoma.
"That was very disheartening and this has given me this hope and this pride for Tulsa," Cowan said.
Habitat is currently working on 12 projects within the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood and hopes to revitalize the area with good homes and great people.
"It's not just about building the house. We want to put someone in a home that will benefit the community," Walker said.
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