UAB-built Habitat House gives Birmingham woman and her son a “magical” experience

More than 675 university workers aided in the construction of Tiffany Wells’ new home, which was funded entirely by UAB employees through its Benevolent Fund.

habitat 2Cathy Tanner, right, projects administrator with UAB Human Resources, presents a photo frame to Tiffany Wells. The frame features photos that represents of portion of those UAB employees who helped build Wells' new Habitat Home, a project funded by the UAB Benevolent Fund. Birmingham resident Tiffany Wells stood on the steps in front of her new home Wednesday — a new Habitat for Humanity House built for Wells and her 4-month-old son, Morgan — and beamed.

“It is magical,” said Wells, an eighth-grade Birmingham City Schools teacher, after the dedication of her home in Wylam. “I never thought I would own anything, let alone a house. Now, to have a home — it’s more than a blessing to me and my son. It will allow me the chance to raise him in a positive and safe environment.”

Wells’ home was built with her sweat equity and that of more than 675 volunteers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The group worked this fall to build Wells’ Habitat House as part of a project funded by the UAB Benevolent Fund, the employee charitable-giving arm of UAB. UAB employees pledged more than $2.2 million in 2016-17 to the fund, which supports more than 120 Birmingham-area nonprofit organizations and employees in need.

“It makes me proud every day to stand among our UAB employees and represent them on occasions like this when we are giving back to our community in a very tangible way,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts at Wells’ home dedication. “We know it’s a new house, but we want Tiffany to have the opportunity to make it a home for herself and Morgan. We’re so glad she has the opportunity to move in before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, to me, is one of our most favored holidays, because it’s a time when we stop, reflect and are thankful for all our blessings. We at UAB are so thankful to be a part of Tiffany’s having this opportunity.”

Wells was born and raised in Bessemer and has overcome many challenges in her life to earn a bachelor’s degree. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in education.

habitat streamWells says being a part of this process and experiencing the generosity of so many has forever changed her life.

“To UAB employees, thank you,” she said. “Thank you so much from me and from Morgan, too. You have blessed me. I’ve never seen people give that much time and energy to anything as they did to building this home. That was a first for me, and it has changed my life because now I want to be like them, and I want to give like them and help people just like they have done for me.”

Wells’ Habitat House is the fourth built by UAB’s Benevolent Fund since 2014. All the homes were entirely funded by employee contributions and built entirely by UAB employee and student volunteers.

To learn more about the Benevolent Fund, including all the charities supported, visit