Santa Came Early for Esther Pardo and Family
The American dream recently became reality for Esther Pardo – with a little bit of assistance from Habitat for Humanity and the Town of Davidson. Her life is a story of faith, determination, perseverance, and hard work.
Twenty-three years ago, Ms. Pardo came to America seeking a better life for her four teen-aged children and herself. Trained as a nurse in her native Colombia but unable to speak English, she got a job bagging groceries at a Bi-Lo supermarket in Cornelius and learned English by listening to a cashier interact with customers.
The house she is purchasing with an affordable Habitat mortgage has a story of its own, too. Built in 1916, the historic home needed to be moved based on North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and town plans for development of a future roundabout. In an effort to preserve the historic property, the Town Davidson purchased the home from the owner and donated it to Habitat Charlotte Region with the intent of keeping it an affordable home. The Town moved it to a Town owned parcel last January.
Habitat began the renovations according to current building code, and made it available for purchase by a qualified Habitat homeowner-in-waiting. For Esther Pardo the cozy two-bedroom home—just 10 minutes from her job—was perfect.
Always with a heart for serving others, Ms. Pardo volunteered as a translator nurse at the Ada Jenkins center in Davidson for eight years. She has also served as a Red Cross volunteer and has logged 300+ hours of “sweat equity” with Habitat. This home dedication was unlike any other, and for an equally unique home buyer. The extended Pardo family, Davidson elected officials, and Habitat Charlotte Region leadership were present for the celebration.
Jennie Clifton, a Concord native, taught high school Latin in Georgia, where she was a Tar Heel in exile until she and her husband Cecil, a Davidson graduate, retired here in 2011. They are now enjoying life at The Pines.