Family 'very thankful' for opportunity
Maria De La Torre moved to Storm Lake from California three years ago with her two children - Adreana and Alan. She had visited the City Beautiful and her cousins residing here and was very impressed with what she saw, including the work force and the schools.
The family moved here looking for their dreams and found it when they were selected as the fifth Buena Vista County Habitat for Humanity family and given the opportunity to own the kind of home she never expected would be possible for her young family.
Groundbreaking was held in May at 612 E. 5th St. and after thousands of hours of volunteer work, the home was built. The keys were turned over to Maria and her new husband, Jose Limones, during the dedication ceremony Thursday evening.
The couple along with Adreana, 12, Alan, 6, and their two week old daughter Samantha will begin moving in this weekend.
Maria and Jose put in their time as often as possible. "It was exciting starting with a hole in the ground and putting it together stick by stick and building it up," Maria said of the process.
Many, many people from the county helped in the construction; most were new faces to Maria and Jose. "The people were very nice. They were good people. I am very thankful to them all for the way they are helping me," the grateful Maria said. She is sure she has made many friendships through the experience.
"I have never owned a house and now to own one, a brand new one, is a dream come true."
Also in the agreement, the Habitat for Humanity families purchase the home for no profit to the project and with no interest. It is possible to keep the costs down because of all the volunteer man/woman power involved in the construction.
Maria and Jose both want to show their gratitude to Habitat for Humanity and will volunteer their time to help construct homes for other families. "We are willing to volunteer, do advertising, make food, do labor, for Habitat. We want to help others like they helped us."
Maria is all for the Habitat for Humanity concept. "What they do - to help families to actually own a home and help pick themselves up, is good. Something like this brings the community together; it makes me feel like part of a big family. Because of Habitat, we plan to have a better future."