Community Breaks Ground on Princess Anne Grandmother Home Expans - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Community Breaks Ground on Princess Anne Grandmother Home Expansion

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Groundbreaking at the home of Valentina Downing in Princess Anne. (Photo: WBOC) Groundbreaking at the home of Valentina Downing in Princess Anne. (Photo: WBOC)
Valentina Downing and her granddaughter, Naomi. (Photo: WBOC) Valentina Downing and her granddaughter, Naomi. (Photo: WBOC)

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - Friday morning there was a ceremonial groundbreaking at the home of Valentina Downing.  Downing will soon be in the care of her two young grandchildren who are recovering from a brutal hammer attack that took place in December.  Downing's granddaughter, Naomi, was in Princess Anne Friday to be a part of the ceremony.

"I am so excited," Downing said.  "I just give all the glory and honor to God.  He did it.  I saw him and he did it.  And God can take credit for everything from the beginning to this very moment."

Naomi's four-year-old brother, Aiden, was paralyzed on the left side as a result of the attack and is still recovering.

"Aiden, we're still working on things," said Downing.  "He's kind of moving that left side and he's able to put some weight on it now.  So, things are a little bit better now than where we were a couple of weeks ago."

Princess Anne Police said Aiden, Naomi, and their mother, Airealle Sells, were attacked in December by Sharef Hayward.  Sells died as a result of her injuries.  Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County is spearheading the project to expand Downing's home in Princess Anne.  The plan is to add an additional 500 square-feet to the home for two bedrooms and a handicap bathroom for the kids.  

The project came with a hefty price tag but Habitat officials said the community has stepped up in a big way.

"I feel a huge sense of relief," said Molly Hilligoss, the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County.  "There's a large donor that stepped forward yesterday that said they would close the gap with the fundraising efforts."

The plan is to start construction on the expansion later this month.  Saturday, the Chesapeake Housing Mission will be at Downing's home building a handicap ramp and will repair Downing's back deck later this spring.

There will be a fundrasier for this project on February 26th at 4 p.m. at the Bennie Smith Life Celebration Center in Princess Anne.

There will also be a benefit fundraiser held on February 25th at the Pocomoke American Legion Post 93 from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m.

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