Homes for the Holidays: U-Haul Helps Make Robles’ Thanksgiving

EL MIRAGE, Ariz. — Rain fell as members of the Phoenix media scurried for shelter, but that did nothing to diminish the spirits of former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner and an eager family waiting to see its new Homes for the Holidays home.

“Not even a little rain can dampen what’s happening today,” Warner said.

The Robles smiled in agreement. A four-bedroom, fully furnished home stocked with food was rewarded to the family.

Warner’s First Things First Foundation has been placing low-income, working single-parent families in homes for the last 10 years through the Homes for the Holidays program, with the assistance of partners Habitat for Humanity, U-Haul and Aaron’s.

“I didn’t expect all of this,” mother Amanaranta Robles said. “I thought I would just get my keys and that was it.”

Amanaranta and her three children, Noriel (11), Zitlaly (9) and Axel (2), had been sharing a one-bedroom residence when she applied for the Habitat for Humanity program. Shortly after, the Warner’s foundation selected them for this special holiday arrangement.

“For me, having a home wasn’t something I could accomplish until I came across Habitat for Humanity,” she said. “They really help people out.”

How the Homes for the Holidays Partnership Began

U-Haul Company’s contribution in the Homes for the Holidays program has become a key piece of the process.

“This partnership started when the First Things First Foundation asked U-Haul to donate trucks for the Homes for the Holidays projects,” Jen Zink of the First Things First Foundation said.

“U-Haul wanted to be involved on a bigger level by contributing more than just equipment. We have a very small staff at First Things First Foundation. The volunteer support that U-Haul has offered over the years has helped so much. We appreciate U-Haul seeing a need (in the community) and going above and beyond that need.”

U-Haul volunteers decorated the Robles’ home in El Mirage with the personal interests and favorite colors of the family members in mind. Shopping took up a whole of its own; another day went toward decorating.

Zitlaly was thrilled to see her bedroom comforter in her favorite colors: lavender and teal. Axel would not let go of his Paw Patrol® stuffed animal.

“My best friends and I keep talking about how lucky my family is,” Zitlaly said. “I’m going to have my friends over for a sleepover very soon!”

The Robles’ one-story home includes a sizeable living room, separate bedrooms for each family member and a kitchen window with a view of the neighborhood.

“This all means a lot to us,” Amanaranta said. “As a single mom, I don’t have to worry anymore. I have something stable for my kids.”

U-Haul is proud to partner with organizations like First Things First Foundation and Habitat for Humanity to assist families in need. 

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