‘Like Getting a Hug Every Day’
Whirlpool Corporation is celebrating its 20-year partnership with Habitat for Humanity this year, as well as the 10th year it has participated in the Indiana University one-week blitz build held annually on their campus in Bloomington, Indiana, in conjunction with the Kelley School of Business.
One of the people who benefitted from these builds is Carla Wyatt, whose life has changed since moving into her Habitat home in 2017.
“We have a yard where the grand daughters can play and we’ve planted gardens and have family time,” says Wyatt. “We have more room, the grand daughters have their own rooms, we purchased a small swing set, and have planted a peach tree and blackberry bush this summer.”
Wyatt says they have more room than they did before, which is nice when celebrating holidays or having family gatherings, and their quality of life has broadened since moving into the new home. There’s a daily sense of peace she feels as well.
“I believe the biggest relief is knowing that we helped in building our forever home, and the love and sweat the students put into it makes me feel like the world is giving us a hug every day. It feels like a dream come true to me still.”
Nereyda Garza, a 2015 Whirlpool Habitat home recipient, also describes the experience as life changing.
“Now we can say this is our house, and we love it,” she says. “We have our own space now and our own yard. I’m happy that I’m able to plant whatever I want. We love nature, and my baby loves going outside and looking at the bunnies that run around in the open space. My kids have their own rooms. We love having people over to our house for cookouts or birthday parties.”
The new home makes the family’s holidays special, too.
“Every Christmas my house is where my family gets together,” says Garza. “Now I’m living the American dream. I have a good job, a house and we are really happy.”
Stefani Rose, a Habitat Whirlpool home recipient from 2018, remarks on the change she sees in her kids since getting the keys to their new home.
“Both of the kids are doing great in school and bringing home all A’s,” she says. “ I was able to keep them in the same school that they have attended since kindergarten. I was only able to do that because of the location of our new home. It is dead center of all the things my family needs—my job, the kids’ school, Boys and Girls Club, and shopping.
The permanence of a new home has had an effect on her life as well.
“I have recently gotten married to my children’s father and now the family is complete. My kids are very thankful to have both their parents in the same household. Lastly, I just enrolled back into college where I am pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.. I am scheduled to begin Indiana State University in the Spring semester of 2020, and couldn’t be more excited.”
There’s a sense of confidence that came with helping to build her own home.
“Going back to school has always been a dream of mine, but I never felt like I was in a position to take on the task,” says Rose. “After building our home, I realized that I can do anything I put my mind to as long as I am willing to put in the work. I hope to instill that same thinking in my kids. I want them to know that the possibilities for them are endless as long as you always try to do better today than you did the day before.”
Like Garza, the new home provides her with real peace of mind. She says she has lived in almost a dozen different places in her life before moving into her “forever home.”
“My soul is at peace,” says Rose. “When I walk through the doors of our new home, I just feel surrounded by the love and support of all the amazing people that helped make this a reality for us. I just feel calm and secure.”