Nissan workers build a Habitat home in Canton as part of an 8-week build.
Nissan workers build a Habitat home in Canton as part of an 8-week build.
CANTON — A 44-year-old widow will soon become a homeowner here, thanks in part to efforts by Nissan and Habitat for Humanity.

Mildred Daughtery lost her husband, Eddie, on Veteran’s Day in 2002 when he was killed along I-55 near Gluckstadt while aiding a stranded driver.

Eddie Daughtery, a mechanic, was helping an out-of-state motorist whose car had stalled when he was struck and killed by another vehicle.

Mildred Daughtery moved her then seven-year-old son Eddie Jr. from Gluckstadt to a rental unit in Canton all the while dreaming of home ownership she and her husband always wanted.

“The community was wonderful to us,” she said. “They helped us find a house to rent, made sure we had food and furniture for our house, and donated money to help with Eddie’s funeral expenses.”

Mildred Daughtery currently works at the Agape Educational Center in Canton, saying she loves teaching children.

She learned about Habitat for Humanity through a friend and Habitat homeowner.

“Instead of paying rent every month, I want to be paying a mortgage on a house that can one day be mine and that I can pass on to my son,” she said. “Where we live now, people hang out in the parking lot at all hours and are loud and noisy. This really is not the kind of environment I want for my son and for myself.”

Mildred Daughtery has completed more than 50 of the 250 hours of sweat equity required by Habitat for homeowners, in addition to completing a financial boot camp.

Work began on the home on Feb. 22 and is taking place over the course of eight Wednesdays, concluding on April 12.

“This is a wonderful blessing that Nissan and Habitat are doing for my family,” she said. “I know my husband is looking down from heaven, smiling, and he is grateful to everyone who is helping us.”

Mildred Daughtery’s home is the 10th built by the Canton Nissan plant since 2005 when the automotive manufacturer began a national partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Hundreds of employees participate in the construction efforts.

“Nissan is very proud and fortunate to call Canton our home for the last 14 years,” Steve Marsh, vice president of manufacturing for Nissan Canton, said. “We are honored to again have this opportunity to partner with Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area and to work alongside the Daughtery family so that they can call Canton home, too.”

Merrill McKewen, executive director of HFHMCA, said Nissan was a very generous sponsor.

“Nissan employees demonstrate the highest ideals of volunteerism, putting their hearts into action as they work alongside partner families, helping them build new homes,” McKewen said. “We are proud to be their partner.”