A Family in Need

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"I'm still thinking this is a dream. I keep saying, when you dig the first hole, then I'll really believe it's happening."

For Arlene Wanger and her husband Francis, of Mason, a brand new house, free of charge, will soon become a reality.

"We are so excited. We still haven't figured out why they picked us to do it."

According to Mark Voss, of the Greater Lansing Home Builders Association, the reasoning is simple.

"We're not the ones doing the service for this community. The Wangers are. They're taking care of people that most of us would be uncomfortable and unable to do."

The Wanger family consists of eleven children. Seven of the kids currently live at home. And Francis says all but one have special needs.

"I guess you might say we're bad foster parents because we never let any foster child leave. We kept adopting."

However, their kindness has left them with little room to move around in.

"We have two kids all the time in wheelchairs. And our granddaughter is in a wheelchair. Sometimes we have other ones that have to be in wheelchairs."

Plus, their 1,000 square foot house is quickly deteriorating. So Doug Carr, C.E.O. of the GLHBA, says the organization is stepping in.

"We've lined up a builder who will supervise the project. But what we really need is cash, contributions, parts, and pieces."

It's all expected to take place starting in July, construction on a new 1,600 square foot home right next door. And Arlene says they still can't believe it.

"We just thank them from the bottom of our hearts. We are so grateful."

But though the house may be bigger, it still won't be big enough to hold the love the Wangers have for their family.

If you'd like more information on making a donation, you can contact the Greater Lansing Home Builders Association at (517) 323-3254 or log on to their website at www.glhba.org.