CHANDLER, Ariz. — Twins Bobby and Roman Marin ran into their new, well-stocked kitchen and immediately tore into a bag of Oreos®.
Cookies in hand, the brothers headed upstairs to their personalized bathroom, which featured a dinosaur-themed shower curtain. The sight prompted the 7-year-olds to put their imaginations to use.
“Look at all these fossils,” said Roman, presenting a handful of potpourri to people who worked for days making sure the Marin’s house felt like a home.
The twins and 13-year-old brother, Raheem, are about to begin a journey in their new residence, a safe haven where they can grow up with more comforts and security than they have known.
The First Things First Foundation, created by former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner and his wife, Brenda, assists low-income, working single-parent families by helping them achieve their dream of home ownership as part of the Homes for the Holidays project.
U-Haul has partnered with the Warners and First Things First for much of the last 10 years as a corporate sponsor of Homes for the Holiday. U-Haul Team Members handled the purchasing of home furnishings and decorating the home, and were present for the May 2 unveiling.
The Monday before Mother’s Day, Sandra Marin and her sons turned onto S. Dakota Street in Chandler, eager to explore their new home. In a combined effort, all three children cut the pink ribbon that separated them from the surprises that awaited inside.
“This has been an amazing and incredible blessing,” Sandra said. “I really didn’t expect all of this. I couldn’t have done this on my own. I start to think, ‘This is awesome.’ But then it just gets better. I can’t put into words how thankful we are.”
“Our sponsors help make this all a reality and help us to have an impact on families like this,” Kurt Warner noted. “Mother’s Day is really all about the gratitude we have for our moms. Sometimes being a mom can be thankless, so hopefully this is a reminder to Sandra of all her hard work and the people who helped along the way.”
Established in 2002, First Things First is a public charity which serves as a vehicle for Kurt and Brenda to share their blessings with those in need. Brenda was once a single mom living on food stamps. She knows what it’s like to struggle. She also knows how it feels when people are there to lend a helping hand.
“Single moms rock,” Brenda Warner said. “I was a single mom when I met Kurt, so I know the sacrifice and how hard it is. It means so much that Sandra sees that people out there care. That will change her life.”
Sandra has worked diligently with Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona, which assists the Homes for the Holidays project. Given her years of dedication to the cause, it was obvious she was the perfect candidate to become a first-time homeowner.
The Marin’s two-story home features a spacious living room, a dining table big enough to accommodate the whole family plus guests, and even a bunk bed for the twins.
“This whole experience has been great and everyone who helped is amazing,” Sandra said. “This will be the best Mother’s Day ever.”
U-Haul is proud to play a role in numerous community efforts like this one. Click on the links to read about our work with Homes for the Holidays to benefit the Crispo family and the Gil family last November.