GLENDALE, Ariz. — Afo Crispo ran to her room and stared in amazement while brushing her hand across the fluffy comforter on her new full-size bed.
In the corner of the room was a powder blue bike, which she hopped on after spotting it.
“It’s been so long since I’ve rode a bike!” the 14-year-old exclaimed.
Afo and her twin brother, Ufo, are about to embark on a journey in their new home, a safe haven where they can grow up with comforts and security previously unknown.
Rhoda Crispo and her children were thrilled to take part in the Nov. 24 unveiling of their new home on W. Pasadena Avenue in Glendale. In a combined effort, the twins cut the red ribbon to their new home, posing for pictures in the process.
The First Things First Foundation, created by former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner and his wife, Brenda, assists two low-income, working single-parent families by helping them achieve their dream of home ownership each year in Arizona 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 nine years as a proud corporate sponsor of Homes for the Holidays. U-Haul Team Members were present for the purchasing of household items, the decorating and the unveiling of the Crispo home.
“U-Haul helps us every year and they are amazing,” Brenda said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”
Despite having emergency surgery for a broken jaw one day earlier, Kurt refused to miss the event. But he let Brenda serve as the voice for both unveilings as they welcomed the families to their new homes.
“We are thrilled to be here for a do-over; for a new start, a fresh start for this family,” Brenda said. “There is such a need for affordable home ownership and we give so much praise and credit to Habitat for Humanity. They see the need and they do something about it, and it’s a reminder that we all could do more.”
Rhoda was speechless upon entering her new home and cradled herself as she broke into tears of disbelief.
“I can’t believe this,” Rhoda whispered repeatedly through her tears. “Is this really all for me? Is this real?”
As she received the official tour, her twins snuck off to explore the property.
“I love the backyard,” Ufo noted. “It’s my favorite part.”
The Crispo’s single-story home features a large living room and a dining table big enough to accommodate the family and guests. Windows in every room of the house offer a view of the spacious backyard.
The hallway links four bedrooms, one for each member of the family as well as a guest room for visitors. The master bedroom at the end of the hallway connects to Rhoda’s own bathroom.
“I didn’t expect anything like this,” Rhoda said. “I never dreamed my house would look like this. It is a dream come true.”
Thanksgiving will be the highlight of the holidays for the Crispo family, and the beginning of many more heartwarming experiences to come. They will be able to enjoy a home-cooked meal from their new kitchen with loved ones gathered around the table.
“I wasn’t planning on making anything for Thanksgiving,” Rhoda said. “But with this kitchen and dining room, I’m going to cook. I will cook until the table is covered in food. There is just so much to be thankful for.”
U-Haul is proud to play a role in numerous community efforts this holiday season. Click here to read about U-Haul Company’s turkey distribution and donation to St. Mary’s Food Bank on the same day as the Homes for the Holidays unveilings.