"I would like to begin by thanking Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio and all that the organization does for the community. Also, thank you for allowing me and my family the opportunity to express our gratitude and appreciation for your help in making it possible to realize the fulfillment of homeownership. For many citizens of this country, owning a house is a big part of the American dream. Yet, for many, the realism of homeownership seems farfetched from ever becoming a reality during these tough economic times, even more so for a single income family of four struggling to make ends meet.
"My family’s encounter with Habitat was purely on impulse. My wife (Veyanira) noticed new houses being built not far from where we currently live and one day decided to check out the neighborhood. It was there that she met Pete, a house leader for Habitat, and after a brief introduction about the organization, Pete gave her directions to the office where she could pick up an application. Little did I realize the voyage we were about to embark upon; a journey that would change our lives forever, not only with the prospect of owning a house, but also by the people with whom we would work side by side to make it possible.
"We filled out the application, submitted it, and within a few days thereafter we received a letter from Habitat by mail, notifying us that we had been pre-approved to participate in the program. I became emotionally overwhelmed. It was breathtaking just knowing about the opportunity which had been given to us! The chance of owning a house! A place we can call a home of our own! If someone were to ask “what a home meant to me?” I would tell them, a home is where love exists; it is a place where I can raise my children; a place of belonging, all the while giving us a sense of security and warmth. A home is where lifelong memories are made.
"Next, it was time to settle the “sweat equity.” From day one it was go, go, go. From working at the warehouse cleaning or pulling materials for house orders to restocking the store, working at the construction site helping with the assembly of walls, hanging doors, installing windows, laying roof shingles or painting – there was always something to do and lessons to be learned. It made me feel productive and a part of a team with purpose.
"A special thanks to my house leader, Pete, for all of his hard work, dedication and support. What a job! Thank you, Valero, for your sponsorship, both financially and physically. Thanks again to the volunteers. Know that your hard work will forever remain in our minds and in our hearts (that would be every time I look at my house!). Through our combined efforts we have made a house into a home.
"The desire and willingness to accomplish my family’s goals has made our experience with Habitat meaningful – leaving us with an enhanced sense of purpose, as well as strengthened unity amongst my family, friends and others who helped build our home and our community.
"Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio is holding steadfast to their mission of “working in partnership with God's people in need to build simple, decent and affordable houses... thereby witnessing God's love in action.” This mission is truly symbolic of what this organization represents, and is without a doubt recognized by all who have had the privilege to be a part of this team. I thank God, for all those who volunteer their time unselfishly, giving of themselves that which money cannot buy – the kindness of one’s heart and soul. Ultimately, their intent of seeing others prosper is admirable, and will always be appreciated by me and my family as we journey to Emmaus Trail. We feel truly blessed."