In 1991 James Currie and a few friends came together to help a family in Raleigh, N.C. build their Habitat home. He had no idea that only a few years later, the community would come together to help his mother, Gladys Currie, build and own her first home. Mrs. Gladys worked as an Office Supply Clerk at Cape Fear Medical Center before she retired due to health complications. It was after retiring that she applied and was approved for Habitat for Humanity’s Home Ownership program through the affiliate in Fayetteville, N.C. As a participant, she was required to complete a number of sweat equity hours, which she chose to work through at the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
Mrs. Gladys loved working at the ReStore! And apparently the ReStore loved her back because she was offered a job there after she finished her sweat equity commitment. Executive Director, Bill McMillian said, “I wish I could take credit for hiring her but she was hired before I got here and boy am I glad that she was. She was so humble and such a hard worker.” Mr. McMillian went on to say that Mrs. Gladys was like a mother to the entire staff. “She was an example to all of us, “he said. She understood the mission and worked on eradicating poverty housing in her community until her life’s end.
In 2011, Mrs. Gladys lost her battle with cancer. McMillian and others at the affiliate wanted to find a way to honor her legacy of hard work and integrity so they began the Gladys Currie Scholarship. This $1,000 award has been given to a deserving high school senior for the past four years in Mrs. Gladys’ honor.
James Currie, Mrs. Gladys’ son, only adds to the beautiful legacy of selflessness by serving as Assistant Manager at the Smyrna Habitat ReStore. He has many memories of his mom but he says what he misses most is her strong spirit and her chocolate cake!
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