If I had to choose just one word that described how Chippewa Valley Habitat for Humanity (CVH4H) helped our family, it would be, HOPE! Both my husband and I worked full time jobs. We lived in a tiny 2 bedroom mobile home with our 3 children. Looking back on it now, I think that home was literally held together by love. We wanted to give our children every opportunity to live, grow, and learn to their highest potential. But the year our children were 5,4, and 1 was a year full of physical challenges! The details aren't important, now, but we faced daunting medical and financial obstacles. Yet we were determined to pay our overwhelming medical debt, even if just a little at a time.
Meanwhile, I had filled out and mailed in an application to CVH4H on the advice of an aunt who had seen it advertised that our local chapter of H4H was looking for a partner family for their next house.
One crisp October morning, we received a call asking if a small group of people from the Family Selection Committee could come for a home visit. We were ecstatic! Well, long story short, our family was chosen to be the next partner family with CVH4H! What a blessing! It was a joy to work side by side with so many selfless volunteers who gave so freely of their time and skills to help us build our new “home of hope”!
The gratitude we felt overflowed! We felt so blessed by the love and help of so many volunteers and donors that we looked for ways to help others feel this same joy. So, when we were able, we helped other families build their homes of hope; painting, mudding and sharing in their excitement. Over the years I have also served as a member and chair of 2 CVH4H committees and shared my perspective as a partner family on the CVH4H Board.
It's been nearly 20 years since we partnered with CVH4H. We are still involved with CVH4H in various ways and enjoy seeing that same HOPE ignite in new partner families every year. HOPE! Pass it on!
My name is David, and I bought my own home through Chippewa Valley Habitat for Humanity.
In the summer of 1991 I was a newly divorced father with four children - two boys, two girls - the youngest just over a year old. I was working full time caring for people with developmental disabilities. And my family was living in a small apartment.
At first we just had a one-bedroom, then a two-bedroom apartment. The girls had one bedroom, and the three of us boys had another one. Working rotating shifts and most weekends, I worried about my children. They couldn't have friends over, there wasn't really room to do much at all. It was hard to be a family.
A friend told me about Habitat for Humanity. I applied, the selection committee met me, they checked my qualifications, and they picked me! I spent several hundred hours working on the home which was hard since I only got every fifth or sixth weekend off from my job, but the hours got done.
Then the house was ready.
It was practically like moving into a castle. The girls had a bedroom, and the boys had a bedroom, and I had a bedroom. We were all here together, but they each had their own personal space to put their own things.
They were proud of their home, and they'd come home from school and have friends over if they wanted. And if they wanted a little space for themselves they could find it. I didn't worry as much about them when we had a home.
*This story has been adapted from a Leader Telegram article by Dan Lyksett on July 17, 2014
Chippewa Valley Habitat for Humanity pursues privacy for families thus in this publication, names have been changed and images do not necessarily reflect the individual profiled.
If these stories have inspired you to give more hope to more families, you can donate here.