By the time you are reading this, Marissa Wilson and her two teenage girls will have settled into their new home and started decorating for the holidays. But, this morning as I write this, they are getting ready for “Dedication Day” – the day our deserving families get the keys to their new Hayden Home and celebrate their dreams coming true. The day is filled with smiles, tears, hugs and laughter. Our trade partners who donated to the home join employees from Hayden Homes and New Home Star to congratulate and celebrate with the family. It’s our favorite day of the year!

Marissa is a hardworking, single mom who works full-time while raising two bright and spunky teenagers. She started her quest to buy a home nearly 2 years ago and kept hitting one roadblock after another finally realizing that a home was just too expensive on her solo income. Marissa began working with NeighborhoodWorks Boise who are housing specialists and advocates in the Treasure Valley. After completing their housing program, Marissa learned about First Story and our zero-down, interest-free loan program for hardworking families. She applied immediately!

“When we found out we had been chosen to receive a First Story home we screamed and danced around our living room for a very long time,” Marissa told me. “Even before there was a piece of lumber on our home site we would go visit the lot almost daily.” Marissa beams with pride having achieved homeownership. It is a game changer for her and her girls, putting them on a solid path made for growth, opportunity and wealth building.

As the holidays approach, I will be thinking about Marissa and all of our families who will welcome trick-or-treaters at their own front door, who will feast around their own dining room table and who will start new holiday memories. I can’t think of a better gift than waking up in a home, that you’ve worked so hard for, knowing that you did it! This is why I work and give to First Story – we empower people to believe in themselves because we know dreams do come true!

Happy Dedication Day, Marissa! You make us #HomeProud!