GROWTH Story: Why Our Life-Changing Mission is so Important to Me.
Our Story: What People are saying about GROWTH.
Why Our Life-Changing Mission of Affordable Homeownership is So Important to Me.
by: Growth Employee, Florida
I want to share an uplifting story with you, one that’s very personal to me and really solidifies our mission of creating more affordable homeownership. In fact, our mission is the main reason I came to GROWTH. And I’m sharing my personal story so you’ll have a full understanding for why this life-changing mission is so important to me.
I grew up extremely poor but didn’t realize it until later in life. My father, who left an abusive home at 14 (my son’s age) was in construction and my mother stayed home to care for five children. They did a wonderful job doing the best they could to provide a happy life for us. They bought their first and only home when I was around 5-6yrs old. Unfortunately, they fell on hard times, and we lost our home to foreclosure when I was 10-11. After that, we moved A LOT!
I started my first job at 15 and worked my butt off to help them, buy myself a car and save to eventually buy my own home, and I finally did at 26yrs old. At 29, I walked away from everything but my son. I walked away from my savings, the home I worked so desperately to buy and the equity I had in it. Everything. But it was worth it to leave the troubled, unhealthy marriage I was in. I started over from scratch as a single mother with $50 in my bank account after rental deposit, furniture etc. Since then, I have worked my fingers to the bones so my son wouldn’t feel like he was being raised by a single mom. Now, I am once again a homeowner and my son is happy, healthy and doesn’t have to worry about paying for college.
Time for the uplifting part…
Today I went to one of our GROWTH homes that is about to start renovation. When I pulled in, I saw a tree that brought back so many wonderful childhood memories of the home we lost and I was emotionally overwhelmed. Not because we lost the house or knowing how heartbroken my parents must have been losing the home they were raising their children in. I was happy and thankful for the time we had there making memories that last a lifetime.
We called this tree an “ear tree.” It produces little seed pods shaped like ears. My siblings and I would have “ear fight.s” We would gather them up, run around the yard hiding behind little forts/command stations, that our father built from leftover jobsite materials, and spend countless hours pelting the crap out of each other with these “ears.” The tree also has tiny little leaves that I would use as sprinkles to decorate the mud pies I made in the playhouse that my father built.
I’ve spent more money than I probably should have trying to create childhood memories for my son, but I realize now that those dull in comparison.
It sank in for me today that our mission is not only providing affordable housing but it’s educating families on how to buy and keep those home.! I cannot wait to get a family into this home to start creating lifelong memories. My heart is full.
This is not an “oh poor me” story. It’s the opposite. If GROWTH was around when I was a child, or when I was starting over, it would have been life-changing for me and my family. Now I am helping to change lives!
Oh, and I spent a couple hours gathering “ears” so my son, nieces and nephews can have the same memory—even if it’s just for a day. I have a ton of ant bites and possibly suffered a mild heatstroke, but it was totally worth it.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to contribute to our wonderful mission. I am beyond proud to be part of the Growth family.
THIS IS SUCCESS!
Growth Employee, Florida Market