A house becomes a home; Knoxville car dealerships helps build 500th Habitat for Humanity house

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Despite the rainy weather, dozens of volunteers from Toyota of Knoxville and Lexus of Knoxville came out in force to build the 500th home for Habitat for Humanity.

“Even with the rain today and the nasty weather, we’re way ahead of schedule. The volunteers that came out from Toyota and Lexus of Knoxville did a great job,” said Phil Watson, Partnership Director with Habitat for Humanity. Watson said the 500th build is a major milestone for their organization.

WATE 6 On Your Side is teaming up with Toyota of Knoxville, Lexus of Knoxville and Rocky Top Air for the special build. The home is for the Lanxter family, a family of six that is counting down the days until they can move in.


Tateanna Laxter said all of her children are excited to be able to play in their own yard, but her daughters are especially eager to have their own rooms. “My youngest daughter,” said Tateanna Laxter, “she has Disney posters she wants to hang up on her wall and my oldest daughter won’t allow her to.”

A far cry from the sales floor, dozens of volunteers from Toyota and Lexus braved the rain and mud to put siding and vinyl on the house. They said the build was something they have been wanting to do for a long time and the experience was worth their time.

Still1021_00001“I have zero experience with construction, but luckily they’re patient teachers and they’re giving good instructions, so we’re getting a lot of accomplished,” said Joshua Moss, a volunteer with Lexus of Knoxville. “Habitat’s a great organization. This is a great family and a beautiful lot, so we’re really excited that we’re able to help with this and come by to visit and see when everything is done.”

Tim Lanxter, Tateanna’s husband, said the change has been dramatic. “You know, the first weekend, you put up the walls and stuff, but now you turn around and see a house back there,” he said.

Tateanna Lanxter said her family is appreciate of all of the volunteers that took time to help them build their home. “Just to see that people take their time to come out and help us and they don’t know us. I mean that’s a heartfelt experience,” she said.

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