One way to know what people value is by looking at what hangs on their refrigerator doors. On many, you’ll find family vacation pictures, report cards, school photos, or an aced exam. Many of these objects hold their place for years.
On Rob Nichter’s refrigerator door, you will find one very important piece of paper—their original acceptance letter for Habitat for Humanity.
This letter of acceptance has been found in the heart of the Nichter’s home for three years now because it’s not just any piece of paper, it’s the promise of a different life.
The story behind this paper on the fridge is one that the Nichter family will never grow tired of telling.
A Chance to Upgrade
Rob Nichter and his wife Jamie have three kids: Austin, a freshman in college, Tiphanie a sophomore in high school, and Allie in eighth grade. The five of them live together in Warsaw, Indiana in a not-so-ideal situation.
“In our current home, there is not a window that does not leak air during the wintertime. We look forward to coming home in the winter to enjoy a house where the heat is not constantly running,” Rob explained. He added, “We have to make sure our doors are locked, being in a neighborhood where the police are being called every other day.”
Rob works at Lowes full-time as a flatbed driver, although a recent injury has forced him to work as a cashier for the last month and a half. Being a driver is a job that keeps you on your toes, but Rob never expected it would bring him a new home.
Three years ago, Rob was delivering a shipment of roofing to one of Habitat’s job sites. He went above and beyond the demands of the delivery, helping David (from Habitat) haul the roofing to the most convenient spot for the job. Unsure of what would result in the comment, Rob boldly let David know that he and his family could really use a step up as well. Prior to the interaction, Rob didn’t even know that Kosciusko County had a Habitat.
After a conversation with Habitat’s director, an application submission, and a hopeful year of waiting, the Nichter family was officially accepted into the program. Two years after that, the foundation of the Nichter’s new home was built.
Hope of a New Home
Now, the house has a roof, but there is still a lot of work to be done. That’s where Grace comes in. Nearly 30 Accounting students from the Grace College School of Business volunteered during their class period to help out the Nichters.
“Grace College is helping out a lot with volunteering,” said Rob. He had the chance to work onsite with them. “They were definitely eager to learn and very helpful in what they were doing. What they did in hours would have taken us days to do,” Rob added.
There will be additional Grace college volunteers on Wednesdays and Saturdays for the foreseeable future to get the siding on, and other community members/organizations will join in on the efforts. Rob hopes the project will be completed early next year.
Every day until then, Rob sees his acceptance letter on the fridge, and anticipates the day he moves into his long-awaited home; “It’s going to be wonderful. I can’t even describe how good it’s going to feel!” He says this with vigor, and a giant smile to match. – from grace.edu