To most Alabama football fans a 16th National Championship means yet another bragging right, but to the Taylor family of Tuscaloosa it means a new home.
Nick and Terry Saban, through the Nick’s Kids Foundation, donated $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity on Feb. 19 in order to build a new house for the Taylors who lost their home in the 2011 tornado.
According to the website, the Nick’s Kids Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness and resources for deserving organizations throughout the state of Alabama and the southeast. After witnessing the destruction of the tornado that passed through Tuscaloosa in April of 2011, the Sabans decided to build 13 homes: one for each national championship that Alabama football had at the time.
Brandon Kasterler, construction manager for Habitat said the Taylors are a wonderful family.
“We were initially going to repair the house, but it was really challenging and we wrestled with it,” Kasterler said. “We finally had the idea that maybe they should apply for a new house, and I was so excited when they applied and got accepted.”
Following each title win in both 2012 and 2013, the Sabans funded the building of another home. The Taylors’ is their 16th.
The Sabans arrived at the Taylor home on Friday afternoon in order to present the check to Habitat for Humanity. Accepting the check was the Taylor family and Habitat for Humanity workers and volunteers.
Angel Taylor, mother of the Taylor family, said the entire project was a blessing.
“They’ve done so much in so little time,” Taylor said. “I’m just so excited for the finished product, I’m very thankful and I know they’re going to do well.”
Site Supervisor Barry Stough said donations from foundations like Nick’s Kids Foundation is how the Habitat is help people like the Taylors.
“We depend on these donations,” Stough said. “We wouldn’t exist without them.”
Stough’s team started framing the house on Tuesday Feb. 16, after the rainy weather canceled their plans for the day before, and expects the home to be finished around mid-April.
Among the volunteers present were 35 students from the University of Western Ontario who, as Kasteler said, chose to come to Tuscaloosa to work instead of going out to party and mess around.
The students said they didn’t mind the 17-hour bus ride to Tuscaloosa because the work they do is worth it.
“We were wanting to help other people and do something useful,” UWO freshaman Tessa Peerless said.
UWO junior Mathoora Uthayakamar said the students chose Alabama because they knew they wanted to go somewhere warm and different from Louisiana, where they usually volunteer. Most of the Canadian students didn’t understand the impact and prominence of the Sabans and Alabama football.
“Apparently it’s a really big thing,” Uthayakamar said.
Others were in awe at the donation, and thought it was amazing how Saban supports not only the University of Alabama, but the Alabama community.
“[Saban’s donation] is heartwarming and touching,” said Amy Nagus a senior at UWO. “Especially since he’s famous and people would probably love him anyway.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports