Thunder Lends Many Helping Hands for Habitat Home Build

For the second day of the Thunder’s involvement at a local Habitat for Humanity build site, it may have been a lot colder than the day one, but at least there was an inside this time.

After framing the house for Nicole Brown and her five children in northeast Oklahoma City earlier this month, Thunder business office staff, broadcasters Brian Davis, Grant Long and Kelly Crull and some special guests came back to install drywall and to do some exterior painting.

“It’s been a really great time,” said Jennifer Watson, events manager in the Community Relations department.

“They started out with just a slab on our first day, and now we actually have what looks like a home. The volunteers have said it’s amazing for them because they really have seen their work come to fruition.”

This time, more than 50 volunteers came out to help at the Hope Crossing site, and they were again joined by Brown, who is putting her share of sweat equity into the building of her home.

“I’m just so happy,” Brown said as she stood in the middle of her nearly completed home. “I got approved [for a Habitat home] June 23 … I didn’t expect to have a home until next year, and here it is – they tell me I’m going to get my home this year.”

Brown’s children pitched in after school and were rewarded not only by getting to see their house coming together, but also with a visit from the Thunder Girls and Rumble.

While several Thunder Girls helped with the house construction, Rumble – as always – gave everybody a break from their day of hard work.

Running up the driveway with both arms full of Thunder goodies for each of Brown’s children, Rumble also presented the family with a special gift – a Thunder-themed backboard that will be installed when the house is near completion.

In the meantime, Rumble took out a new basketball, tore open the box, put out his arms and served as a temporary backboard and hoop while each child took a shot.

“He’s hilarious,” said 15-year-old Auyana of the Thunder mascot.

After getting pumped up by Rumble, and with most of the drywall installed, the children were able to tour the home and envision their rooms.

Davion, 6, and Trey, 8, will be sharing a room in the corner of the house. Hardly able to contain their excitement, they made it clear they want the room to be blue (Thunder blue, surely) and have bunk beds.

Eleven-year-old Junior and his other brother will have the room next to them, and Junior envisions a Thunder décor, as well. He wants Thunder bobbleheads in his room, including one of Rumble.

Auyana, the only girl, hopes to be a Thunder Girl someday and wants to paint her room in Thunder Girl colors, to serve as inspiration toward her dream.

For a family of six that has been sharing a home with only two bedrooms plus a garage they use as a bedroom, the visions of their rooms dancing in their heads have opened them up to a world of hope and joy.

At Christmas this year, the kids won’t need anything under the tree. “Our house is our present,” Auyana stated.

The volunteers from the Thunder office shared in the children’s excitement and were encouraged to work harder by having the family there to help.

“We started out with a basic bio of the family,” said Watson. But it made a difference having the family on site.

“To see their faces when they came into their rooms … it really has put a face to what we’re doing today, and so the staff has really enjoyed that – to see what their hard work is going to do to help this family.”

For more information on Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity, CLICK HERE to visit their website.