On a gorgeous fall afternoon, Amber and her family were celebrated with a home dedication ceremony.
Amber grew up in a military family and says, “I never really had a ‘home’ – it was one rental after the next.”
During the difficulties of the pandemic, Amber and her children moved into a studio above her dad’s garage. While she was grateful for the space, Amber knew it wasn’t a sustainable, long-term living situation. One night, up late worrying, Amber remembered a friend mentioning Habitat for Humanity years before. Newly intrigued, Amber thought she might like to build her own house and looked into it.
Amber was quickly accepted into the homeownership program, and began her sweat equity. Matched with house #8 at Madison Meadow, Amber’s house was sponsored by Windermere South Sound, a group of owners who banded together, including Windermere Tacoma Narrows, Windermere Federal Way West Campus, Windermere Puyallup, and Windermere Abode. Representatives from Windermere attended Amber’s wall raising in December 2022, and continued to show up for build days throughout the construction of the home.
At the dedication, Anne Jones of Windermere Abode, spoke on behalf of the collective, “Working in the housing market, we understand where the prices have gone and how the lack of affordability has impacted our community. The very least we could do is step up both financially and with volunteering. When I went to the other Windermere offices in the area, it was no question. They put their hands up right away and said, ‘we want to participate’. It was not something that any one of us could have done alone. It was a really special opportunity. So, thank you to all of you who have given time and donated. And thank you, Habitat, for the opportunity to be involved.”
When it was her turn to say a few words, Amber shared, “It has been a long time coming. It’s pretty awesome, remembering the jobsite from when I first got here to seeing what it looks like today. All these homes finished; it’s looking like a community. It’s probably one of the coolest experiences that I’ve ever been a part of. I can’t thank all of you enough – everyone who pitched in and helped swing hammers with me, to the Windermere group who helped fund it. Thank you to everybody. I can’t wait to make this our home! I’ve been dreaming about it for over a year now.”
And about her children, Amber says, “They are both very excited for the house. But Chase … Whenever I say ‘our house’ he says, ‘no it’s your house mom.’ He wants to give me all the credit. But it is our house.”
Pastor Jonette Blakney who serves at Trinity Lutheran put a bow on the day with this blessing, “Creating God, we give you thanks for bringing us to the newness of this day, with all its gifts. We gather with hearts filled with gratitude and love for the vison you gave to the pioneers of Habitat for Humanity, those who faithfully pursue this mission and the amazing, fruit-bearing ministry it is today. We give thanks for the minds that designed the home and the financing, and the hands and hard work that built the physical structure, and the hearts of love that turned this from a physical structure into home for Amber and her family. We rejoice with Amber, Chase and Kiya as they settle into their new home. Grant them joy, and security and comfort as they live out their daily lives in this beautiful house for which they have hoped and dreamed, worked and sighed, laughed and rejoiced. May their home be filled with your love, made known through the love and hard work of all the people that made this home possible. In your holy name we pray, AMEN.”
Welcome home, Amber!