ST. LOUIS — U-Haul Company of St. Louis and NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner’s Homes for the Holidays program helped make this past Independence Day a little sweeter for Kamerial Love and her daughters.
Outside the new home on Gladys Avenue in Hazelwood, some 23 miles northwest of downtown St. Louis, Kurt and Brenda Warner shared laughs, tears and prayers with the Love family.
“Watch over this family and bless them as they step into their new home,” Kurt prayed. “Fill it with lots of laughter and incredible memories.”
After the prayer, the Love family cut the red ribbon strung across the porch. Then they proceeded through the front doors into what they thought was an empty house.
Kamerial and her daughters, Heavenly and Spiritly, knew that the Habitat for Humanity house they helped build would belong to them. But they didn’t know that four U-Haul Team Members had been inside the day before, decorating and helping to furnish the home.
The kitchen was fully stocked with food and the bedrooms were decorated to each family member’s personal tastes. As a result, there was a new sense of comfort and security that was previously unknown.
“For me, the best part was watching the 10-year-old daughter carry the stuffed unicorn we bought,” U-Haul field computer specialist Colleen Reome said. “I’m sure it was overwhelming to be around so many people and have cameras everywhere, so hopefully we offered some comfort.”
The two-story home features a spacious living room, kitchen, four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a washer and dryer. Because this is the Loves’ first backyard, there is also a lawn mower in the garage to help keep the landscaping tidy.
“It feels like I’m in a dream,” Love said.
Homes for the Holidays
The First Things First Foundation, created by the Warners, assists two low-income, working single-parent families by helping them achieve their dream of home ownership each year in the St. Louis area as part of the Homes for the Holidays project. The foundation also assists families in Arizona.
U-Haul has partnered with the Warners and First Things First for much of the last 10 years as a proud corporate sponsor of Homes for the Holidays. Therefore, U-Haul Team Members were present for the purchasing of household items, the decorating and the unveiling of the Love home.
“More than a decade ago we began a partnership with U-Haul for an in-kind donation of trucks to assist us with transporting furnishings for the Homes for the Holidays program in both Phoenix and St. Louis,” said Jennifer Zink, Executive Director, First Things First Foundation. “After learning more about the program, U-Haul increased its support and has become an invaluable teammate in helping us continue to bless more and more families.”
U-Haul is proud to partner with organizations like First Things First Foundation and Habitat for Humanity to assist families in need.