Touir Family

My name is Tourya and I’m a single mother of two beautiful girls. We are very appreciative that Habitat for Humanity of Dane County has given us this wonderful opportunity to help us buy our first home.

I came to America in 1997 from Morocco, I have been renting for 16 years. I have never been able to call a place a home. I have been working 2 jobs. Thank you to my sister-in-law who has been watching my girls during my night shift job. When I finally move into my Habitat home, it will be worth it. I am very happy that my girls will finally have the back yard to play with the puppy they have always wanted. They can also have sleepover parties and hopefully a graduation party someday.

I want to thank Habitat for Humanity, all the volunteers and all the people involved in helping make our American dream came true.




First and foremost, I want to thank Habitat for Humanity of Dane County and all of its employees and volunteers. This is quite possibly the greatest opportunity that I have ever received, to be selected to work with Habitat for Humanity to build my home. I have always dreamed of owning my own home, but never thought that I would be able to accomplish my goal.

I have always been very independent, and have never been one to ask for help. But with a stalled economy comes great challenges. When most of your income goes to rent, it is very hard to make ends meet, let alone try to put together enough to buy your own home. I never thought that, as a single person, there would be any opportunities for me to get any help. Thank goodness for Habitat for Humanity! If not for them, I don’t think I would be able to stay in Dane County.

I am so grateful to Habitat for Humanity of Dane County to accept me into their program. I am looking forward to working with them and all of the fantastic volunteers in building not only my home, but helping to build other homes in other communities. To be able to have my parents, and my brothers and their families come to visit, in a home that I helped to build, will fill me with a sense of accomplishment unlike any I have ever felt before. I can’t think of enough ways to say or show just how grateful I am for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Todd Barwick

Ndoye Family

Hello to everyone. I would like to introduce my family, the NDOYE family. My name is Ahmadou, my wife’s name is Thiaba and we have four girls: Soukeye (13), Khary (6), Bineta (4) and Fatou Safiya (9 months). They are all growing up happy and healthy. Soukeye, our oldest is very responsible. She loves to go to school and learn, she is sociable and has a lot of friends. She is very helpful to the family by babysitting her younger sisters. Khary, a first grader, loves to draw and to play with her dolls. She listens carefully and asks many questions. Bineta, very energetic and playful, loves to tell funny stories. She teases everyone in the house and makes a fuss. Fatou Safiya is the youngest, she is always happy and is very adorable. It is an exciting experience to raise such wonderful girls.

We are a simple family who lives a simple life; we try to live within our means. We are not rich but very happy with our life. As a family, we value hard work, self-sufficiency and sharing with the less fortunate. We never give up when confronting difficulties, we always face our challenges with dignity and sense of peacefulness. We believe in moral values such as honesty, truth, sincerity and fairness. As parents, we try our best to be good examples of respect, discipline and good manners for our kids. For us, love and compassion are the most important and beautiful qualities in human life. So we have been teaching our children the importance of loving others, even our enemies, of forgetting and forgiving others for their mistakes. We believe in the importance of education and wish that our kid will graduate from college.

We always have dreamed of having a home for our children sake. We believe that a home is the best place to raise a family. It provides that permanent and safe place, kids need to grow up and blossom. We are excited that our dream is becoming true with the help of Habitat for Humanity. Our children are excited that they will have their own house soon and feel free to decorate their rooms and organize their closets. Also they are so happy that they will have a backyard where they can run, play and hang out with their friends.

We would like to thank sincerely Habitat for Humanity for giving us the opportunity to be soon homeowners. We are very thankful and grateful to the Habitat Staff, to all the sponsors and volunteers for making our dream come true.

We are looking forward to meeting with all of you and working together to build our home.


Xiong-Chang Family

About my family:
In 1975, the aftermath of the Vietnam War caused our parents to flee Laos due to persecution.  We were both born in Laos. We were lucky enough to be young and had the privilege of travelling on the back of our parents that were already full of luggage. We had to travel through mountains and jungles; starving and living off of wild gathered plants. While travelling from Laos to Thailand, we walked through fields of dead bodies, witnessing multiple rapes and human rights violation. Once arriving at the border of Laos and Thailand, the gigantic Mekong River still stood in our way. There was no boat and no proper form of transportation across the river; rafts were made out of bamboo trees.

After arriving to the refugee camp in Thailand life was no better off than before. The refugee camp was exactly like a concentration camp. Everyone had curfew and limited excess to the outside world; many people were brutally beaten and tortured. We were not allowed to work or find farm land to grow food. Our lives depended on the United Nation. Every week, we waited patiently for the donated food distribution. We looked towards the sky, waiting for the day when we can regain our freedom and equality.

In 1992 we got married. In 1994, we were blessed with our first child, Vang Xiong. We lived in the slum of Wat Thamkrabok, sub-district of Phra Phutthabat, Saraburi Province, Thailand. In 2005 we immigrated to the Madison, WI United States as refugees. Our family has been in the United States for 8 years and since our arrival, we have lived in subsidized housing. We have always wanted to own a home; however, George is the only one working and we never thought we would be able to reach our dream until we heard of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County. Although we were not sure if we would be one of the lucky applicants, we applied anyways. We are so grateful to be accepted.

Our new life in the USA gave us the opportunity to create a future for our family, specifically our children. Our oldest daughter, the only child we had in Thailand currently attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition, we are blessed with an additional four children in the USA. Our children are our hope and our future. We are extremely happy our children are receiving formal education and all the opportunities which we never had.

We want to thank Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, the staff and the volunteers who have given us the opportunity to reach one of our many goals. We have always dreamed of owning a safe and comfortable home for our children; a place that belongs to us, a place we can call our own. We appreciate the kindness and compassion of every staff member and volunteer involved in building sustainable and wonderful homes for families like ours. Thank you once again Habitat of Humanity of Dane County for fulfilling our dream.


Cameron Family

Craig (Red to his friends) and Rose have three grown kids, a daughter in law and a granddaughter in Madison.  Our path hasn’t included house buying money and we couldn’t see a way to have a stable homey place for family gathering until we saw the Habitat for Humanity of Dane County flier at the library.

Red and Rose have had many positive communal building experiences and look forward to becoming a part of that again in the city where our kids are. We appreciate our mortgage payments going towards helping the next family get a home. We look forward to plugging into an interwoven chain of helpfulness in this community.

Rose enjoys doing tile mosaics and loves the idea of a place to do it and having a place to hang all her stuff! (this stuff is heavy and Red ain’t getting any younger) We both have a great love for gardening and we are looking forward to planting a garden and watching it and our granddaughter grow up together. We love walking and look forward to walks in our own neighborhood. We are sure our kids are glad we will have a good place to grow old. (but not too old)

When Rose got the call of our acceptance into the program she could hardly stop laughing from happiness to say thank you! So we both want to say we are grateful and Thank You for the happiness we already feel and for all the work we will share!

Corbett-Strand Family

I am very excited to be working with Habitat for Humanity of Dane County to build a home for my son, Keegan, and me. We have dreamed of having our own home for many years. A coworker told me about Habitat for Humanity and this past Christmas we were told we would be owners of our home.

I am a single mother to my son Keegan, 12. I work third shift, so Keegan spends most night with his grandma and sometimes with his aunt. I am lucky to have the support of my wonderful mother and sister who help watch Keegan so I can work to provide him with everything he needs. Keegan has a special bond with his grandma and enjoys going camping with her during the summer and helping out around her house when he can. Keegan earned his Black Belt in karate from Kicks Unlimited this past April. He had to work hard, be disciplined and be respectful to earn his belt. Keegan is a caring thoughtful boy who tries every day to be the best he can be. He is a great child and I am proud to be the mother of him.

The past year Keegan and I learned how important it is to a person’s mindset and health to have a home you are proud of. We noticed how much harder it is to have a positive outlook on life when you are not happy with where you live. Luckily we were able to stay positive with the help of family and friends and now live in an apartment we feel better in. However, to afford this better place, I have to pick up additional hours at work and so miss out on spending time with Keegan.

I look forward to be able to reduce the hours of overtime I work to afford a house we are proud of. I look forward to the additional time I will be able to spend with Keegan helping to shape him into a caring, responsible adult. The homeowner classes will be so helpful and will give me a step up in feeling as if I can fix/keep up with all the repairs that are needed throughout the years. Keegan is looking forward to being able to paint his room and have a garden. He can’t wait to plant flowers and vegetables.

I want to thank the volunteers and Habitat for Humanity of Dane County for helping make our dream of owning our own house a reality. The volunteers and Habitat for Humanity staff we have met are friendly and have expressed such hope and joy it makes our experience even better than we had imagined. I am excited to share this experience with everyone and have my son learning the joy of giving.

Rebecca Corbett

Schultz Family

My name is Stephanie and I am the proud mother of a beautiful, clever and outgoing little girl named Jayla. We are very excited to be working with Habitat for Humanity of Dane County to build our new home. We are especially appreciative to all of the donors, volunteers and staff of Habitat for Humanity because without them none of this would be possible.

Although I have been working full-time since I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2012, the income I provide to our family has not been enough to purchase an affordable home in an acceptable neighborhood. I have been renting for years and it is disheartening to see thousands of dollars being spent just to live in a place that we do not own.

Owning a home will mean several things to us. It will mean that we have reached a HUGE goal, a secure place for our family, a safe backyard to play in, slumber parties, birthday parties, barbecues and much more. We especially look forward to getting our first puppy, planting a garden, and painting our rooms whatever color we’d like.

Again I want to say THANK YOU to everyone involved, and we look forward to a long-lasting partnership with Habitat for Humanity Dane County!


Stephanie and Jayla Schultz

Ahmeti Family

Hello, my name is Ardian Ahmeti.  I came to the United States in 2006 with my daughter, Anesa from Kosova.  I lived through the war in 1999 in Kosova where my family lost their home and was forced to hide from the Serbian Armies.  I came to the United States so that I could provide a better life for my daughter, Anesa.  I have dreamed of owning my own home for many years.

I have been working at Market Street Bakery for more than 5 years.  Anesa is 8 years old and attends school in McFarland.  Anesa likes to ride bicycles with me and to go to the park to play.  I like to take Anesa to the pet store and to play at McDonalds every week.  We go swimming and go to the zoo.

Habitat for Humanity has provided me a wonderful opportunity to make this dream come true. I am very thankful to Habitat for Humanity.  I would like to thank all the people who volunteer at Habitat for Humanity of Dane County.  It means the world to me to have this help.  I feel like I am around my new family to get this help.  I do not miss my family as much because I have the Habitat for Humanity family and community. I want to have my own home so Anesa can know the security of having a home.  I want her to have a back yard to play in.  Thank you Habitat for Humanity.

Ogunmola Family

My name is Nadjim Ogunmola and my wife’s name is Laure. We are blessed with three cute boys Amir, Habi, and Adil. My wife and I came to United States in May 2004 from Togo our original country. After a year in New York, we moved to Madison and now we are in Fitchburg. Kossiwa, my mother-in-law lives with us.

We have been thinking about owning a house since we came to Madison in 2005. We realized we could not afford one at that time and knew we have long way to go. We never lost hope and faith into the future. We are a happy family and very optimist that one day, sooner or later, we’ll be called homeowners. When we heard about Habitat for Humanity we did not hesitate to apply and now we are among the happy and sure to be homeowners sooner than we thought. We are grateful for that. It’s amazing; nothing is better than having our own house that we can maintain ourselves, where our children will grow up and call home. That is our first goal.

We take this opportunity to thank Habitat for Humanity for giving us a chance and helping us build our own house. We also thank the staff, whom are always there to help and give the best of themselves, and the sponsors, near or far who make this happen. Our thanks go to volunteers who by love, sacrifice their times and energies to build houses for others. God bless you all.

The Chairez Family

Hi, my name is Manuela, my husband’s name is Misael and our children’s names are Daisy (10), Misael Jr. (6), and Yahir (1) who is the baby of my family.

Our kids are the most important thing in our lives and this is why we want to become homeowners, so our children can have their own bedrooms. My daughter would like to invite her friends and cousins for a sleep-over and Misael Jr. would like to have a yard to run and play with his little brother Yahir and his cousins, but the most special thing for our children is to have a dog!

Thank you HABITAT!  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all the volunteers, to all the donors and to all the people that make up this program for making our family’s dream and many families’ dreams come true!

Thank you again Habitat!