On a chilly Thursday evening, Habitat supporters celebrated the warmth of friends, family, and a new chapter for Mohamed and his wife Mariam.
Last week's home dedication was celebrating new beginnings for both the family and the sponsor of the build, Sunrise Banks. The program began with Twin Cities Habitat's board member, Judy McNamara, welcoming Mohamed and Mariam and the large group of employees and volunteers from Sunrise Banks. "I'm so happy to be in this home with you all."
As Mohamed prepared to speak, he pulled out a piece of paper to read to his guests: "Thank you everybody. My family has been given a new start on life and given the ability to achieve our dreams. Thank you all, and we will never forget."
Applause filled the room as Mohamed finished his heartfelt letter.
Ashley Rose, Site Supervisor for the house, was grinning when she reflected on the experience of this build. "This house was different than any other house I've worked on, because of Sunrise Banks. They redefined what community looks like on this build." Ashley spoke about how Sunrise extended their build volunteers to more than just company employees: "They had Sunrise customers, clients, friends of employees, relatives. The theme of this house was connections."
Ashley never worked directly with Mohamed on his own home, but met working at another site. "I worked side by side with Mohamed on a different house, and I was the one who signed off on his last 16 hours. It was awesome!"
Sue Haigh, President and CEO of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, spoke to the crowd on how this is a meaningful, shared experience. "This has been a long time coming for Mohamed and his family, but also for Sunrise Banks. Both had big ideas come through because of hard work and courage."
Sunrise Banks' big idea was to fully sponsor and build a Habitat Home, and they were successful. Sunrise's dedication to supporting affordable homeownership for lower-income families has led to the bank being involved with Twin Cities Habitat in several ways, including partnering on the annual Entrepreneur's House, which brings together many Twin Cities companies each year to sponsor and build a home. Sunrise will also be the mortgage originating partner for all Twin Cities Habitat homes over the next four years.
Nichol Beckstrand, President of Sunrise Banks, was so proud of all those who helped build the home that will provide so much for Mohamed and his family. "Home means safety, health, and education. Home is a stepping stone to so much more."
It was a beautiful program celebrating many accomplishments
The evening ended the way any great gathering should—with conversation, cake, and cookies! Thank you, Sunrise Banks, for your hard work and time put into this beautiful home. We look forward to continuing this adventure of affordable housing with you.
Good luck to Mohamed, Mariam, and their family. We wish you all the best!