When Ayan Mohamed walked into her new North Minneapolis house last night, she told the guests at her home dedication that she was a bit nervous. But as she spoke, it was clear that her nerves came from immense excitement, appreciation, and hope. Stories and dreams like Ayan’s are the reason we do what we do at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.
Surrounded by her four children, friends, extended family, sponsors, volunteers, and welcoming new neighbors, Ayan spoke about her time learning construction and home repair skills and shared some of her hopes for her future. After settling in, she plans to go back to school to further her education and her career. She is excited to shift from paying rent to paying her mortgage, because she knows that homeownership is an investment in her family’s future. Ayan dreams of her children going to college and always calling this place their home.
Dr. Randy Warren spoke on behalf of HealthPartners, Park Nicollet, and Dr. Jeff Mandel, the Partnering Sponsors of the home. Randy served as a volunteer coordinator for the group and brought over 270 volunteers to site. He described the beginning of his group’s work on the house when there was just a cement slab on the property. When the group was done, they could see a house with walls, rooms, and a roof. While visible construction progress is rewarding, the most inspiring part was the knowledge that “this would be your home where you would raise your children,” Randy said to Ayan.
The Major Sponsors of the home, Jim and Carmen Campbell, shared that they have been connected with Habitat for Humanity for many years and were honored to be involved in this house. In fact, when the couple first married, they lived in North Minneapolis so coming to Ayan’s house “is like coming back home for us.” They wished Ayan and her family much luck in their new house; “we know that having a home is really the beginning of making a family a family.”
Ann Senn, a member of TCHFH’s Board of Directors, asked us all to reflect on the number of hands and hearts that went into building this house. “Think about it: that’s a huge community of people.” Ann presented the family with a framed Golden Rule as a reminder of these many hearts and hands and as a symbol that “we are all guided by a spirit of giving and a spirit of sharing with many.”
President & CEO of TCHFH, Sue Haigh, expressed gratitude for Ayan’s partnership, for the generous contributions of sponsors and volunteers, and for the warm welcome from the neighborhood. The sense of community on the block was clear by the number of neighbors who attended the dedication, welcomed Ayan’s family, and shared fond memories of their time in the area.
As Ayan’s kids started to eagerly explore their new four-bedroom house, Sue said she was so glad to hear kids making noise: “That’s the point! The kids can have this whole house for making noise, growing up, and building their futures.”
These sounds of kids laughing, playing, making memories, and building dreams are the sounds we love most at Twin Cities Habitat and we are so honored to be a part of making them ring loudly. Thank you to Jim and Carmen Campbell, HealthPartners and Park Nicollet, and many others for generously supporting this home’s construction, contributing volunteer hours, and helping to build a new home in the Twin Cities.
See more photos from this event on our Flickr.