Attend the Curry Family Dedication

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Shana Curry lives with her two children, aged 8 and 5, in a cramped two bedroom apartment on Bridgeport’s East Side. The yard behind the building is often flooded so it is difficult for the children to play outside. Inside, the landlord is slow to make repairs so there are holes in the walls.

Shana has strived to make a better life for her family for many years, seeking a medical career where she could use her compassionate nature to help people. Although she was unable to land a job with a Medical Technician certification, despite the promises made by the school, she kept searching until she found a CNA training program with The Jewish Home for the Aged with guaranteed employment at graduation. She has now been employed there for 4½ years and was honored as 2012 CNA of the Year by the Alzheimer’s Association for her job performance.

Her children are Shana’s pride and joy. Her son John is in 2nd grade and is the little man of the family. He loves spending time with his mom and helping her out. He has battled epilepsy since a severe attack at the age of 2 and Shana remains on alert for the various triggers that could bring on a seizure. Shana’s daughter Armoni just started kindergarten this fall and loves coloring, dolls, and Dora the Explorer. She does her best to keep up with everything her big brother does too!

Being accepted as a future Habitat homeowner is a day Shana will never forget. She had been excited to apply after hearing about Habitat for Humanity from a co-worker but couldn’t believe she might be able to make her dreams a reality. She has always hoped that her children might grow up in a better environment than she had, with more financial stability and security. Now that they know their new address, 16 Laurel Court, Shana makes a point of driving by everyday on the way home with her kids to take a picture.

Completing the 500 hours of volunteer work required for Shana’s sweat equity has been a challenge with her work schedule, no other adults to help, and her surgery in May following an injury at work. Although she has every other weekend off, she always works an additional shift then to make ends meet. Shana was happy to develop a plan this summer where she can keep making progress on her sweat equity by working at our ReStore for a few hours each weekday before picking up her children from her sister’s home where they go after school. With their home nearing completion, Shana almost can’t believe her dream is finally coming true. She will finally have a backyard so her kids can play outside and a home they can call their own. As Shana says, “We’ll have our own foundation for the future and I can start working on my next goal, going to school to become a nurse.”

6th Annual Gourmet Tasting & Expo Goes Above and Beyond

On Thursday, November 14th, 2013, Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County hosted the 6th Annual Gourmet Tasting & Expo to benefit its Women Build program at Aitoro Appliances in Norwalk. This annual event is a major fundraiser for the Women Build program, which encourages and empowers women to make a difference by building homes and communities.  Our coalition of Fairfield County women is addressing the critical shortage of affordable housing by volunteering their time to raise funds for, and build, Habitat homes in their communities.

The addition of the Women Build Expo this year gave local women-owned and women-oriented businesses a chance to showcase their products and services in a fun and exciting environment full of Habitat and Women Build supporters.  Throughout the night, guests were able to experience a variety of local restaurants and caterers, as well as sample services and products from over 20 local businesses.  Additionally, over 30 local businesses donated a gift for our Raffle, which helped raise a good portion of proceeds for the night.

In an inspiring fashion, Tony Aitoro, played auctioneer for our Parts of a House Auction.  With genuine passion and emotion, Tony moved guests, vendors and many of his own employees to bid on the doors, windows, insulation, toilets, sheetrock, paint and more needed to complete the program’s 9th home.  When all was said and done, a total contribution of over $29,000 was raised to complete the construction of the Burgos family home.

Tony jokes with Luis Burgos and his 2 girls as he tries to encourage a guest to bid on the home's insulation

Tony jokes with Luis Burgos and his 2 girls as he encourages guests to bid on the home’s insulation

The event, sponsored by Aitoro Appliances, Mitchells of Westport, Lillian August Designs,  Hemingway Custom Cabinetry,  Vincent Palumbo Salon, and Garcon Photography, will help a deserving, low-income family of six achieve their dream of first time homeownership.  Luis and Elizabeth Burgos and their four children currently live in a two bedroom apartment on the East Side of Bridgeport with a kitchen so small they cannot share a meal at the same table. When they move into their Habitat home, their children, Manuel, 17, Keyla, 16, Alisha, 10, and the youngest Xavier, 2, will finally have the opportunity to play outside in the backyard and invite their friends over. They will each have a desk where they can complete homework and, in the future, write their college essays. The Burgos Family is eagerly awaiting the first night in their new home where they can actually sit together and enjoy dinner as a family.

For more pictures from the event, click here!

 

 

This Veteran says ‘Hats off to Habitat’

I have been a Habitat volunteer for many years and have had a chance to work on many of the 177 homes built by Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County. As a Viet Nam Veteran, the project that has given me the most personal satisfaction is the recent completion of the first home built specifically for a deserving military veteran.

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