Kurt and Brenda Warner worked their Christmas magic again, with U-Haul International playing a small role in helping their foundation place another Arizona family in a beautifully furnished home.
Sherika and her children Brandon (18), Steven (14) and Kylee (13) spent many hours working on their new home in South Phoenix, which they acquired through Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona’s home-ownership program.
The Warners then stepped in to provide a special treat through their Homes for the Holidays program, an initiative of their First Things First Foundation. U-Haul, headquartered in Phoenix since 1967, has teamed with the NFL Hall of Famer and former Arizona Cardinals quarterback for more than 14 years to furnish homes for single-parent families who could use a hand up.
“This is so much better than the last place we had!” Steven exclaimed while touring his new bedroom with sister Kylee. “This is nice.”
Heartwarming Home Reveal
The Warners dedicated the home to Sherika and the kids on Dec. 12, blessing the home with a prayer and holding a ceremonial ribbon-cutting on the front porch. The family was then surprised to walk in and see their previously empty home full of beds with linens, dressers, couches, TVs, a washer and dryer, a fully stocked kitchen, a dining room table, a home office with computer, and countless personal touches.
There was even a Christmas tress with presents underneath it.
“I just want to say how thankful I am,” Sherika noted.
Sherika and her family recently moved to Arizona from Wisconsin. She works as a scheduler at a doctor’s office. The family had been renting a place to live, but with rental costs rising and operating on one modest income, the goal of home ownership seemed out of reach until this opportunity materialized.
From Humble Beginnings
This is the 58th family the Warners have helped through the Homes for the Holidays program across Phoenix, St. Louis and other locations. U-Haul supports the program with financial commitments and provides volunteers to shop, buy furnishings and decorate the Habitat homes before the reveals.
“I think the biggest thing is you try to never forget where it all started and the people that helped you along the way,” Kurt Warner said. “This was kind of where (Brenda and I) started when we got together, trying to figure out what life was going to look like. And would we ever be able to afford our own home, and give our kids a place to call home and make memories?
“It’s so easy to do this program. We’ve got a lot of people that help us, that make this possible. To see a family, to know that it’s a big challenge to be able to get to this point. But there’s also another huge challenge of, ‘OK, now how do I get beds for my kids in their rooms? And how do I fill up the cupboards.’ That can add a whole other burden, even though you’ve accomplished something incredible by receiving home ownership. It is so cool to be able to partner with the different groups that we’ve partnered with and go, ‘Now you don’t have to worry about any of that. Now you can take a step forward.’ That, to me, is the coolest part.”
View other Kurt Warner home reveals alongside Team U-Haul by clicking here.