HANNIBAL — Before Sabrina Abbey and her two children move into their new home at 250 N. Hawkins St. in Hannibal, she will be encouraged by reading messages written on the 2x4 boards used to build her home.

Abbey and her children, 11-year-old Emmalee and 7-month-old Kolby, were at the home site Sunday when Brad Kurz, president of the Mark Twain Area Habitat for Humanity led his board members to break ground for her house.

Also on hand were Mark Lawrence and his wife, Chris, of Quincy, Ill., founders of 2x4s for Hope, which donated 294 2x4 boards for construction of the house. On Sunday the public was invited to attend the groundbreaking and write messages for the homeowners on the boards.

Construction will begin in April with Abbey helping with construction. She is an X-ray technician at Hannibal Clinic and moved to Hannibal seven years ago from Frankford, Mo.

Mark Lawrence explained donating boards for a Habitat home is new in Hannibal, and the boards will be used in framework during construction of the outer and interior walls before drywall is added. “Our goal is to try to put as many messages on the boards as we can,” he said.

He added that recipients of homes built by 2x4s for Hope are given a hand-up, not a hand-out and in 2020 the agency built and gave away 12 new homes to people in the Quincy area.

The messages written on the boards Sunday included “God is good. Best wishes. God bless your home.”

People of all ages participated, such as Tom and Becky (Kendrick Wilson and Harper Karr), who signed the boards and drew pictures.

Pictures also were drawn by kindergarten student Lane Hess, who reported his pictures were a tree leaf, house, heart, smiling face and “Uncle Ben getting bit by a turtle.”

Kurz invited the public to call him at 573-822-5841 for details about helping Habitat build houses or to sign the boards.

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