Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Una Mano de Ayuda: A Helping Hand

Guest Post by partner homeowner Esperanza Miramontes:

 Somos la familia Miramontes y nos gustaría compartir nuestra experencia trabajando en la tienda ReStore de Habitat for Humanity of GreaterLos Angeles.  Contribuyendo nuestro tiempo y apoyo a la tienda Re-Store ha sido muy agradable.  Tuvimos el agrado de compartir y trabajar junto al personal, voluntarios y otras familias como nosotros quienes se encuentran en el proceso de comprar su casa con Habitat.

La tienda es un cofre llena de tesoros. No solamente se pueden comprar cosas útiles para la casa, desde artículos decorativos hasta herramientas, pero también uno puede encontrar una comunidad de personas solidarias. El personal de Habitat nos incluyeron como parte de la familia y fueron muy cortez y se demostraron disponibles a ayudar y al servicio de los demás .

Esta experiencia también nos ha reafirmado la importancia de apoyar a aquellos que son menos afortunados. Todos merecemos compasión y esperanza. Cada hora que nuestra familia trabajó en el Re-Store, no solamente contribuimos al trabajo de Habitat mas nos acercamos cada vez más a realizar nuestro sueño de tener nuestra propia casa.

A pesar de que hemos finalizado nuestras horas, hemos regresado para seguir  dando nuestro apoyo. Deseamos comunicarles nuestro agradecimiento por toda la ayuda y el apoyo que nos brindaron, y por permitirnos ser parte de la familia Habitat. Gracias Habitat!

Esperanza Miramontes y Familia

A Helping Hand

We are the Miramontes family and we would like share our experience of volunteering in Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles’ReStore. Contributing our time and support to the Re-Store has been very pleasant. We delightfully shared our time and worked alongside Habitat staff, volunteers and families like us who are also in the process of buying a Habitat home.

The Re-store is like a treasure chest. Not only can you find useful items for the home, from decorations to tools, but you will also find a community of people that are helpful. Habitat staff included us as part of the Habitat family and they were always courteous and willing to help others.

This experience has also reaffirmed the importance of working to help and support those less fortunate. We all deserve compassion and hope. Every hour that we worked at the Re-Store, not only did we contribute to Habitat’s work, we also inched closer to achieving our dream of owning our own home.

Even though we have completed our required hours, we continue to help. We wish to communicate our gratitude for all the help and support we have received. Thank you Habitat!

Esperanza Miramontes and Family
  Related Posts:
ReStore in Norwalk Seeking Donations 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Our Moment

Guest Post by partner homeowner Eric Draughan

Eric Draughan recently received the keys to his home, which was rehabilitated during 2011 Lent Build: 40 Days of Building on Faith. Here are his reflections on that day:

 On April 30, 2011, Habitat forHumanity of Greater Los Angeles threw my family a beautiful Home Dedication. This gathering of friends, family, staff and volunteers was a blessing.  Our excitement about becoming homeowners was starting to be replaced by anxiousness, but the home dedication remedied all of that. We had been working on our home from day 1 and saw the majority of the transformation, but on that Saturday, just about everything was installed, finished and detailed. It was as if our dream of owning our own home had instantly turned into reality.

Jordan, Shemika and I proudly welcomed everyone to share in that special moment. Plus we took pride in showcasing our home for the first time to many of our family and friends.  We received many compliments and congratulations as we gave little mini tours through the home.

One of the coolest parts was when Ken, the site leader of our home, got up and spoke about the process and gave a few details about the home.  He seemed at ease and in his element speaking with the group and sharing his passion about the transformation standing behind him. My pastor, Charles Latchison of Light & Life ChristianFellowship WEST, was also invited to the podium to share in the celebration.  Pastor Latchison had Shemika and I stand with him as he addressed us and the group. He spoke of an Old Testament tradition of how someone's home was blessed by presenting a stone. Pastor Latchison presented us with our first mantle piece, a stone, blessing our home.

I was also asked to speak. I had prepared a few things to say, but I was consumed by the moment. As my pastor stood next to us, I was reminded of the way he stood with us as we exchanged vows at our wedding. And, I also recalled the way he stood with us when he dedicated our first child to the Lord. At the home dedication, Pastor Latchison once more stood with us as he dedicated and blessed our first home.

The dedication was amazing. Chris Untiet organized a great event that not only honored us, but the efforts and contributions made by countless volunteers and faith groups during the Lent Build. Everyone shared their thoughts, prayers and good wishes. The dedication was a very thoughtful gift from all those involved with Habitat. We met some wonderful and dedicated people and we were re totally blown away at how much attention Chris and Habitat poured into our home dedication.  

Let me end by saying thank you. Thank you to the best pastor ever, Charles Latchison. Thank you to all those who dedicated and blessed our home with their presence on that day.  And, thank you to Habitat. Each and every Habitat volunteer and staff person has been absolutely amazing to my family and I since our first day. You are an amazing group of people.  

Thank you 

The Draughan Family

P.S.: You are all invited to our housewarming party!

Learn How to Apply for Homeownership with Habitat for Humanity in Greater Los Angeles

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Gift for Valentino

Guest Post by partner homeowner Alma Carazzco

The Carazzco family will soon be moving into one of 10 green homes in the City of Lynwood. The Imperial Highway development has a beautiful playground that was donated courtesy of Sprite Spark Parks. Here is Alma's thank you note:

I am very happy and excited for my son, Valentino, and all the children who will enjoy the playground that Sprite so generously donated.
Valentino does not play outside because our apartment building does not have a play area. The alternative is to take him to the park when we can. Now, with the support of Sprite and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, we are not only achieving our dream of homeownership, but we will also be able to offer Valentino and the other kids a dedicated and safe play area where they can imagine, discover and have fun.
The day the playground was built I was overjoyed to see Valentino’s face when he saw and realized that his home would also have a playground. Valentino was ecstatic and he shared with everyone who would listen that he will have a park where he can play with his friends. 
The smile and the happiness of my child is priceless. Sprite has delivered joy by bringing smiles to children like Valentino. Thank you Sprite and Habitat for giving us a gift that we will never forget. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Related Posts: 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What the Burbank Wall Raising Means to a Family Who'll Live There

Guest Blog by Rose Trihn, Habitat Partner Homeowner:

It was fun, exciting and interesting; watching the wall raising (watch the wall raising now on YouTube) and knowing that our homes are about to to standing soon. It was an amazing experience.

The Trinh Family
It was an emotional experience, because that day we got to see that soon we would have a home that will be a safe place to come home to.  No matter what, we have each other and, once we all complete the building of our homes, we will be safe from all our fears and nightmares.

The wall raising is our first step to freedom. 

Thank You,

Rose Trinh

To find out how you can apply for homeownership, visit our website.

Related Posts:
Lending a Hand Up, All Part of Our Mission
CNN Profiles Habitat Homeownership Success Rate
Sylvia Bautista: 11 Years of Homeownership

Friday, May 6, 2011

Deconstructing with Ed

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting with Ed Begley, Jr., his wife Rachelle and daughter Hayden during the pre-demolition documentation of their Studio City home.

Ed has been so generous of his time in support of our affiliate for many years and being included in this project will bring great exposure for us to raise even more awareness for our mission. I love the way they emphasized the importance of our ReStores and wanted to show the donated items being loaded on the truck for our ReStores.

Ed, Rachelle, Hayden and the producers were so gracious and we are thrilled to be a part of this show. Ed really believes in what we do here at Habitat and always goes above and beyond to help us in any way he can. Being included in this show with the Begley's is great exposure for our affiliate, our ReStores and a wonderful platform to highlight our volunteers and youth programs. The Begley's are a delightful family and I cannot adequately express our gratitude!

Related Posts:
Habitat's 21 Ways in 21 Days Tip #21: Recycle Your Home
Things a Shopper May Find at the ReStore
Video Tour of Letty's Home in Lynwood

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Check us out on Sinbad Tonight

Please tune in tonight or set your DVRs to see our partner homeowners, the Draughan family, and our own Dave Neary on the new episode of the Sinbad Reality Show on the WE channel. 

Sinbad’s wife Meredith and daughter Paige came out to volunteer with our affiliate on one of our rehab homes in Lynwood during this fun episode.  Be sure tell us what you think and join us on Facebook where you can interact with the Draughan family and other partner families and volunteers.