Mother’s Day Gift: U-Haul Helps Kurt Warner Charity Furnish Home

May 11, 2024

In celebration of Mother’s Day, Kurt and Brenda Warner’s First Things First Foundation worked with Habitat for Humanity and longstanding corporate partners like U-Haul® to provide Gabriela, a single mother of four, with a fully furnished home in Peoria, Ariz.

The Homes for the Holidays program takes a house built by Habitat, volunteers and the family who receives the home, and fills it with beautiful furnishings, comforts and necessities supplied by corporate partners like U-Haul, Aaron’s®, Brooklyn Bedding® and Sprouts Farmers Market®.

U-Haul has supported this generous initiative since 2008 by providing funds, equipment, volunteer hours and home furnishings. Each year a group of U-Haul Team Members go shopping for a family the Warners select and make the home décor purchases based on a preference letter from the receiving mom.

Gabriela and 4 Boys

This May, that meant decorating for Gabriela and her four boys: Julian (14), Gabriel (13), Otoniel (12) and Liam (6). U-Haul bought bedding and other items that matched their desires. Once purchases are made, Team Members make the house feel like a home by staging everything prior to the big reveal.

“Once the items were driven to the house in a U-Haul truck, of course, we were responsible for putting it all together,” said Michele Ramirez, U-Haul Truck and Trailer Development Specialist. “This was the first time I have volunteered for this event, so it was a completely new experience. But I loved it.”

For the reveal, U-Haul Team Members, the Warners and other sponsors gathered at the house to welcome Gabriela and her children. There was a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and a prayer offered by NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner as the home was dedicated. Then the front door was opened.

Touching Moments

Tears were flowing as Gabriela noted she had begun her journey as a single mom four years ago with just one suitcase and her boys. She couldn’t believe that everything in the house was now theirs and expressed her gratitude to those involved.

“The most touching part of my experience was seeing the joy and excitement from the family at the reveal,” Ramirez added. “It’s amazing to see all of the companies that come together to support this project.”

First Things First Foundation has helped furnish homes for 61 families since its inception. Many of those have been in Arizona, where Warner played pro football for the Cardinals and where U-Haul has been headquartered since 1967.

“This was a wonderful volunteer opportunity,” said Yasmine Esparza, Media and Public Relations Specialist. “I was raised by a single mother and know firsthand how much work, time, love and money it takes to raise children. It’s wonderful to see U-Haul help provide what can be a pipeline dream for a lot of single parents.”

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