“You helped build our home – you have to be in this photo with us”
What a task it would be for us to try to write an article that fully articulates the meaning of home dedication days! But we think these words above spoken by Messay to her soon-to-be neighbor, Catherine, just a few seconds before this photo was captured on Saturday, May 6that our four-home dedication celebration in West Pullman give a glimpse into the dedication story.
To be able to write an article that tells the full story of May 6th would require the understanding of everything these four homebuyers have thought, felt, experienced, and done leading up to May 6th. To do so would require the full understanding of the reasons behind their decision to take on homeownership and the sacrifices made to enroll in the Habitat Chicago homebuyer program.
To do so would require pages and pages of space to thank the thousands of volunteers whose hands touched these four homes. To do so would require the understanding of what brought these volunteers together in the first place, what motivated them to make the space in their lives to lift others up.
To do so would require us to highlight where every single dollar required to build these homes came from. To do so would require the understanding of why each and every donor chose to invest their own money in stronger, stable futures for these four families.
There’s no possible way to cover all the amazing intentions that go into a dedication, so here are just a few:
One of these four homebuyers was diagnosed with bone cancer halfway through her time in the homebuyer program. It forced her to take a pause in the program, to focus on her health. But she came back, and the cancer she still fights proves no match to her strength and her resolve to build and own her home.
Over 350 women came together last July as a part of Women Build to fund and begin building the home of one of our woman-led families. And they came together with a shared motivation: to voice that it is utter rubbish that wealth looks so different between men and women and that, despite type of family structure, marriage, age, or education, significant wealth differences among white and black women still persist.
Employees of Thrivent Financial, a full sponsor of 1 of the 4 homes, have invested over 4.7 million (MILLION) volunteer hours working on Habitat for Humanity projects across the globe. We’re looking at numbers like 5,000 new homes built, renovated, or repaired and 21,000 families building better lives because they have a safe, affordable place to call home.
Dedication days call us back to all of this. They give us the time and the space to recognize the unique pasts that have brought us to this mission and to celebrate the stronger future we all share together as a result.
If we missed you on May 6th, here are some photos. They tell a much better story than we ever could.