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Space for a Kitchen Table

Posted: 2009-05-24 14:54:38

The VanAnda Partner Family, Hibbing • Nathan and Amy Thompson, Gilbert


Habitat address and Groundbreaking:
Look for updates this fall!

This summer will be the sixth ride for Nathan Thompson, our executive director. But this is his first with daughter Amy. They (pictured below on the right) will be riding for the VanAnda family (pictured below on the left). Jeremy, Yvonne, and their daughter, Jolene, look forward to starting their home in Hibbing this fall as the second Applied Learning Institute home.

Hi, I’m Amy Thompson and I’m riding in the Habitat for Humanity 500 mile bike ride. My dad and I are riding on a two person bike as a team. I recently met the family that we are helping to build a home with the money that we raise, Jeremy and Yvonne VanAnda. When they first heard about Habitat they asked for an application. They kept the application thinking that they would never qualify. A year later another Habitat homeowner encouraged them to put in their application, so they finally did.

When they first heard that they were chosen to build a home with Habitat they were “jumping for joy.” They are very excited to start building their home. They are nervous about all the work needed to build their home and are very happy to work with the Chisholm, Hibbing, Nashwauk-Keewatin high schools and the Hibbing Community College to build their home.

The VanAnda’s currently live in Hibbing. They had to pay $1,000 dollars a month for rent and utility bills during the coldest part of the winter. The house they are living in right now has problems with flooring, leaks, foundation, and heating. One window on the upper floor is so low to the floor they put shelves in front of it. They were afraid their young daughter, Jolene, would fall out of it and get hurt. Their kitchen is so small that they cannot even fit a kitchen table in it, a table large enough that they can all sit around to eat a meal. The VanAnda’s are really excited to be able to eat around a kitchen table in their new home. This is something my family gets to do all the time.

The VanAnda family has lived in Hibbing for three years. They moved from Aurora to be closer to family. Jeremy and Yvonne have one daughter, Jolene, who is five years old. Now they have been encouraging other families to apply to Habitat, because “you never know what could happen.” The VanAnda’s think it’s great that there are so many nice and sincere volunteers out there helping with Habitat houses around the world. 

I am really glad to be supporting them. I know now that I’m not only riding for fun, but also for a great family and a great organization! I am always amazed at how Habitat for Humanity changes so many people’s lives! I love being able to watch a Habitat house be built. From the ground breaking to the dedication the home looks amazing, I can hardly believe it’s the same place. It makes me truly glad to be able to ride for Habitat for Humanity!
-Amy