Sep 12

Dishing Out a Huge Assist

By mikebarrett
One of the many great things about this job is getting the opportunity to brighten someone's day.  Working for the Trail Blazers, and getting the chance to share special moments with fans and would-be fans, is probably the most rewarding part of being in this profession. 

During the season, and probably more often during the offseason, we get these special chances to step out of our normal roles and do something much more meaningful.  Once in a while I take a quick moment to share these experiences with you.  I probably don't do that often enough.  There's always the fear that it'll appear self-serving or hollow.

This one, however, is easy.  Because as much as the Trail Blazers were involved in helping change some lives recently, most of the credit goes to another group of people- Habitat for Humanity.  Most likely, you've heard of this group.  But, if you're like me, you probably haven't ever taken the time to really help put the rubber meet the road with these people.

I got an education recently, and got to see lives changed at the same time.

The Trail Blazers, along with Wells Fargo, have partnered with Habitat for Humanity, to help some special people see their dreams become a reality.  It's been dubbed the Home Team Challenge, and 150 people will gather this week to participate in the largest one-day build in local Habitat history. 

I'll be there, as will many from the Blazers and Wells Fargo.  But, I was fortunate enough to get to be there a week early, to meet with Steve Messinetti from Habitat for Humanity, and one of the families who will be getting the opportunity to own a home of their own.  We walked the project together, and I had the chance to meet Maria Jaime-Aguirre, her children, and her grandchild.

Maria is a person who is doing everything right.  She's responsible, hard working, and by all accounts has done the best she possibly can with the hand she's been dealt.  But, up until now, all she could afford was substandard housing for her family.  Now, she's getting this huge opportunity to own a home, build equity, and be rewarded for building toward the American dream the right way.  Maria says she simply wants her children to learn more responsibility and have a sense of ownership and pride in a home that will be theirs.

Habitat for Humanity appeared to Maria when she was searching online for affordable housing.  The family was overwhelmed when they received their acceptance call.

In all, 40 moms, dads, and kids will get to experience the benefits of a stable, healthy home, at Victoria Cottages in Gresham.  Eight low-income families, who have met a long list of requirements, are essentially getting the opportunity of a lifetime.  They're basically being presented an affordable home, a zero-interest mortgage, and a chance to start a new life.   

I encourage you to watch the video we put together while we were at the project, and become educated about this entire process.  And, obviously, if you possibly can, get involved.

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