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Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay picks mother-daughter team for 2018 build

A mother and her nine-year-old daughter, who is legally blind, are the partner family for this summer's Habitat for Humanity build in Thunder Bay

"I'm hammering the first nail," says nine-year-old Donna-Lynn Laughton at groundbreaking ceremony for new home

Shelley Laughton, and her nine-year-old daughter Donna-Lynn, who is visually impaired, are the partner family for the 2018 Habitat for Humanity build in Thunder Bay, Ontario. (Cathy Alex/CBC )

A mother and her nine-year-old daughter, who is visually impaired, are the partner family for this summer's Habitat for Humanity build in Thunder Bay.

It is the 31st build in 30 years for the northwestern Ontario city's chapter of the international non-profit organization, which strives to give everyone a safe and decent place to live.

Shelley Laughton says she's looking forward to living in a house which includes special safety features, such as railings on the stairs, and grab bars in the bathroom for her daughter, who is legally blind but can distinguish light from dark, and recognize a few colours.

"Right now, where we're living, I'm holding onto the toilet paper roll," explained Donna Lynn. "It helps a lot if that's [railings and bars] there so that I could hold onto something instead of feeling like I'm going to fall in."

During Monday's groundbreaking ceremony, both mother and daughter said they're eager to pitch in and help build their new home.

"I can't wait for it to start, " laughed Shelley, admitting she has zero building skills so far.

"My Poppa Jim he has been teaching me all this stuff so I know what to do," said Donna-Lynn, explaining she will be allowed to assist as well, as long as she is wearing a hard hat and steel-toed work boots.

"I'm hammering the first nail, and sawing the first board and screwing the first screw, so I am able to help to help out a bit."

In exchange for an interest-free mortgage, Laughton and her family will contribute 500 hours of sweat equity to the construction of the house, which is scheduled to begin mid-June.

Habitat for Humanity is looking for more volunteers to help during the build, which they hope to complete by late September or early October.

You can hear the full conversation with Shelley and Donna-Lynn from CBC's Superior Morning program here.

They've already picked out the spot where the Christmas tree will stand. Shelley And Donna-Lynn Laughton watched as construction began on their new home being built by Habitat for Humanity. 4:57