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St. Jude Dream Home builder asks for help with messages of hope: ‘More than just a house’

Updated: Feb. 10, 2021 at 6:12 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - With construction on the 2021 St. Jude Dream Home underway, you can help offset some construction costs while making sure the walls of the home are filled with hope.

Each year, Dream Home Builder Jeff Newton has people write “messages of hope” for the children treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on the 2x4s that will go in the walls of the home. Last year those messages were written by students at Stanfield Elementary School in Stanley County.

“You’ve heard the old saying, ‘If these walls could talk,’” said Newton. “Well, there’s a message in the walls of this house and in the bones of this house, if you will, and it’s almost in the spirit of the house that -- this is more than just a house.”

Because of the pandemic, this year the 2x4 project has gone virtual. While many supplies for the home are donated from local sponsors, Newton says about half of the cost of the lumber is not.

However, for $10 you can sponsor a 2x4 and also include your message of hope.

“Our biggest cost every year is the land for the lot and this year is no different,” said Newton. “Then our next biggest cost is the lumber, and we get a good bit of it donated -- probably half of it but there still some we do not get donated. So, I would love to pay off the lumber with the 2x4 sales, and that’s about $30,000.”

Newton says while that’s a big number, if 3,000 people donated $10 it would be covered.

“That $10 adds up and adds up and adds up,” said Newton. “Before you know it, you’ve given a child hope for the future and you’ve treated a child and you cared for a child.”

If you’d like to help, you have until the end of this month to sponsor a 2x4 and send your message by visiting stjude.org/newtoncustomhomes. In the beginning of March, students at Metrolina Christian Academy in Indian Trail will decorate the 2x4s with your messages.

“One of the things we do with each winner since we’ve been doing this, is we tell them that [the messages] are in there, and we show them the pictures that they’re in there, and so they know when they’re living there that it’s a part of their life now,” said Newton.

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