To Give Back is to Grow
A mother's contribution of sweat equity sets example for her son
Tina and her 14 year old son shared a one bedroom apartment in Cypress where the rent continually rose. Her son slept in the bedroom, while Tina slept in the kitchen/dining area with a curtain for a partition.
In addition to being the sole provider for her and her son, Tina also cares for her ailing parents who live five minutes from the Habitat OC home Tina was selected to purchase. Now that Tina has moved to the Habitat OC home in Cypress, she is closer to her aging parents and is able to assist them more readily.
Habitat OC families are required to complete a total of 250 sweat equity hours per adult; Tina chose to complete her required hours by volunteering every morning for a few hours on her way to work as hospitality, checking in construction volunteers. On Saturdays, after checking in construction volunteers, Tina would often stay to help build her home and her neighbors' homes.
She has a spirit of gratitude for her blessings and is grateful for the opportunity to do sweat equity; sweat equity has allowed her to give back to her community in addition to setting a good example for her son.
Going Back to School
A mother's success story: education makes the difference
"Habitat for Humanity changed my life," said Sylvia, as she celebrated 10 years as a homeowner in 2005. Sylvia loves being a homeowner, especially the fun stuff like painting, decorating and choosing colors for her home. And she really likes the small town atmosphere surrounding her home.
Sylvia's affordable mortgage payments allowed her to focus on education for her children. Two of Sylvia's daughters now hold master's degrees, and one daughter holds a bachelor's degree. Her daughters successes and the opportunities that Habitat has helped her achieve allowed her to return to school where she earned her A.A. in Business Management.
"Without my Habitat home, I would still be struggling", said Sylvia. "Because of this home, I was able to go back to school. It's like winning the lottery."
Changing the Future
The next generation of Habitat humanitarians
Wendy's mom, Angela, a single mother of three, worked hard to keep her family afloat. While working three jobs to support her family, Angela had little time to spend with her children.
On September 1, 1991, Angela received the keys to the home she had helped build for her family.
“Being selected by Habitat for Humanity of Orange County changed my life,” said Angela. "I could support my family with one job instead of three. I was able to be more involved in my children’s lives.”
Angela says that the stable home Habitat helped her build and purchase gave her the opportunity to send all three of her children to college. Wendy, the middle child, graduated from Suffolk University in Boston and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Business Communications.
Wendy volunteers regularly with Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout the nation. She is part of the next generation of Habitat humanitarians and a shining example of the success that can be achieved when donors, volunteers and community members work together to offer a hand up, not a handout, to local families.