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Habitat for Humanity, students build home for family of White Pigeon crash victim

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WHITE PIGEON, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Volunteers in St. Joseph County are building a forever home for a five year old whose mother was killed in a tragic crash last summer.

Kalan Rider died in August 2016 after being hit by a car while walking home from work on US-131 in White Pigeon.

Kathy Rider, Kalan’s mother, said, “My whole world just fell apart.”

Kalan was a single mom with a four-year-old daughter named Lily, who has special needs. Kathy said it was always Kalan's dream to give Lily a stable home. That dream is now becoming a reality thanks to a caring community.

"I put them to the challenge of seeing if we could build a house in a little over a month's time to help the family out," said Jason Trosper, a building trades instructor with St. Joe County Intermediate School District.

Trosper brought in 17 students from White Pigeon, Constantine, Sturgis and Centreville to partner with Habitat for Humanity and help give the Riders a forever home.

Kathy, who is currently living in a rental mobile home in White Pigeon, says the new home is an answer to prayer.

Kathy said, “I promised Lilly I would try my best to take care of her and give her everything her mama would have given her.”

Nick Metzger, the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County, said, “It gives them roots in the community. It makes them part of the community.”

Kathy says in their current trailer there is nowhere for Lily to play. Her new house will have three bedrooms and a playground outside.

Lily gives the new home two thumbs up.

Habitat for Humanity hopes to have the home ready by early July, but there is still a lot of work to be done. If you'd like to volunteer or donate to this build, visit their website: http://www.habitatsjcmi.org/

Kathy said, “I'm overwhelmed. I don't know how to say thank you enough for everything they've done.”

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