If you’ve been keeping an eye on our social media, you know that we had an exciting opportunity this year to provide three families with homes in Sisters, Oregon. This situation is so unique because these families will be in a triplex, experiencing their first year of homeownership together. The Farrington, Ray, and Roy families will be moving into their brand new homes this summer and were the belles of the ball at dedication ceremony this past Wednesday.

The sun was shining as we prepped for the big celebration, excited to hand over the keys to these deserving families. With the tent and tables prepped, and cookies on display, we welcomed our partners and colleagues, the three families, and their loved ones. Within minutes the kids had all made friends and were dashing around the neighborhood laughing and playing. Ms. Farrington looked at her son, tears in her eyes, and simply said “He’s so happy, he’s so happy here.”

She wasn’t the only one welling up, we could all feel the happy tears starting, but we kept them at bay for long enough to hear from Claire and all three families. They expressed their gratitude and pure happiness for this moment, a moment they weren’t sure would ever come given how out of reach homeownership felt. Sisters Mayor, Michael Preedin, and Councilor Gary Ross also joined to say a few words on the importance of affordable housing and to welcome these families as permanent members of the community.

Soon after the team from Hayden Homes who worked on these houses - Project Manager, Cody Compeau; Senior Project Manager, Jeremy Firkins; and Regional Director for Central Oregon, Tom Bennett - walked in, decked out in green bowties and carrying silver platters. Each stood beside a family and when they lifted the lids off the platters, keys were revealed! The happy families grabbed their keys and walked into their new homes for the first time.

It’s hard to beat days like this, they’re a beautiful reminder of why we do what we do. To see these families laughing with their new neighbors, kids running around, and our wonderful partners smiling, left our hearts full.