Fire hits home, couples donates land to Habitat for Humanity

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - One Grand Island couple is taking a tragedy and turning it into something positive for someone else in need.

After a fire destroyed their home, Scott and Glenda Mason decided to turn their tragedy into something positive by donating the plot of land to the Grand Island Area Habitat for Humanity. (Source: Scott Mason)

Glenda and Scott Mason visited the spot where their home of 30 years once stood on Wednesday. That structure is no longer there today.

The Masons lost everything they owned in a fire that occurred on October 25 last year.

They had recently remodeled their home. Their washer and dryer was only 2.5 weeks old, and the roof was recently replaced. The fire destroyed many of their photographs.

"I had a friend say to me, "oh Glenda. All of your memories." And I said, "no. The fire took my stuff. Nobody can take my memories." As long as I've got Scott, I've got the world," Glenda Mason said.

Instead of rebuilding their home, the Masons decided to donate the lot to the Grand Island Area Habitat for Humanity.

On Wednesday, students from Grand Island Senior High School worked on the home build as part of Career Pathways Institute.

Scott Mason joined them in putting up the first wall of the new structure.

Although an emotional time, the Masons said it's a way for them to give back to the community, and move on.

"We believe in Habitat and we also believe that you should pay it forward. I hope the family that lives here does the same thing. Passes on good deeds or takes care of somebody if they have to," Scott Mason said.

This home will be Habitat's fifth build with Career Pathways Institute, and 103 build overall.

Dana Jelinek, executive director of the Grand Island Area Habitat for Humanity, said the Mason's donation is very beneficial to their organization, and the community.

"People think that a lot of our lots are donated, but they aren't. It's actually fairly rare. So for somebody to come forward after such a tragedy in their family, to come forward and be able to donate a lot is really special," Jelinek said.

The Masons are living happily in Wood River now. The Masons said they escaped the floods that hit the area this year.

Crews will continue working on the build over the next few months. The new homeowner will move in come February.