Kurt and Brenda Warner have much for which to be thankful. And because the NFL Hall of Famer and his wife continue to express their appreciation by giving back to the community, at least 55 other families have a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season as well.
That group now includes a single mother and her two daughters living in South Phoenix.
Miriam and girls Aaliyah (14) and Emma (7) moved to Arizona from California two years ago. They had been residing with no washer and dryer in a small apartment, where Miriam couldn’t let her girls go outside without concern for their safety in a bad neighborhood.
That’s in the past. The future looks brighter from the doorstep of their new home.
U-Haul and First Things First
The Warners’ First Things First charity and its Home for the Holidays program, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona and corporate sponsors like U-Haul International, surprised Miriam and her family by fully furnishing the home that they helped construct with Habitat volunteers.
U-Haul provides many of the furnishings and decorating services that go into the homes for the hardworking single parents and their children who get paired with the Warners and Habitat.
“We’ve had some national sponsors that have been connected with us for a long time,” Kurt Warner told media and observers who gathered for the home reveal on Thursday. “U-Haul has been following us around and doing this program for over 13 years.”
Miriam’s home has three bedrooms with a master suite; two baths; a spacious kitchen with an island; a living room/dining room combo area with a TV, couches, tables and dinnerware; an office space with a desk and computer; a new washer and dryer that were sorely missed in their old apartment; and a fenced backyard where the girls can play.
“I feel like I can’t do everything on my own, but I’ve never asked for anything,” an emotional Miriam said. “Everything so is beautiful. I’m thankful for everything. We have a home now.”
History of Thanks and Giving
This marked the 55th home the Warners and their charity’s partners have presented to a family in need.
“When we leave a house in this experience, we always go home and tell our kids about it,” Brenda said. “So to be able to know that this means something to our kids … hopefully they will live a life that says, ‘How can I give back?’ That’s important to us. We always talk about all the different families and how they respond. … But this is our 55th home and it still brings tears to (Kurt’s) eyes, so that means something to me.”
“I think we’re thankful for the journey,” Kurt added. “I think the journey that we’ve had and all the things that we’ve been through really help us to recognize around this time of year what we want to do with our lives, and what’s the most important thing.”
U-Haul enriches the communities in which it does business by assisting charitable organizations that address the most basic human needs: food, clothing and shelter. This has long been the scope of the Company’s outreach because it views mobility as a basic need for every family, and works to keep costs low to meet that need. Founded by a WWII Navy veteran and his wife in 1945, U-Haul is also a proud supporter of many military and veteran groups and causes that provide for these basic needs.
To find career opportunities with U-Haul, visit uhauljobs.com.
Movie to Share Warners’ Story
Kurt, a Super Bowl champion and former quarterback for the St. Louis Rams, New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals, will have the Cinderella story of his life, marriage and football career retold on the big screen with the release of his movie “American Underdog” on Christmas. Kurt stocked shelves in a grocery store and played in the Arena Football League and NFL Europe before getting his chance in the NFL.
“It’s going to touch people in different ways,” Kurt explained. “So I can’t wait for people to see it and be able to ask them, ‘OK, what part of the movie really gripped you? What inspired you? What challenged you with where you’re at in life right now?’ There are so many parts to it that I don’t think people really understand going in, and that will be the coolest part.
“And that’s why I think we’ve made a really good movie, because it’s not just for sports fans or football fans, or people who know our story. It’s going to be for moms and dads, and sisters and brothers, and dreamers, and football fans and non-football fans. That’s why I think it’s perfect that’s it’s coming out around the holidays – and at a time when I think our country, and really the world, needs something like this. So many people find themselves in an underdog situation now.
“Sometimes we all have our supermarket moment, and that’s really going to connect with people and where they’re at right now and push them forward … to believe that there’s something greater out there.”