Habitat for Humanity, DC Ranch partner to raise $100,000

Habitat for Humanity is partnering with DC Ranch to host its March event, Blueprints & Blue Jeans 2018. (submitted photo)

The glow emanating from the lighted Christmas tree in Carina Gutierrez’s home is a symbolic reflection of the warmth and light in the hearts of her family.

This holiday season marks the first Christmas Ms. Gutierrez and her four children have a home all their own. The family moved from a one bedroom/one bathroom apartment to a three bedroom, single-family home, after the single mom and local cook applied to Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona.

“We know that a home means better health, a better opportunity for kids, a place to study and a place to be safe,” Habitat for Humanity Director of Central Development Liz Pabst-Wanless said in a prepared statement.

“It’s something most of us take for granted and it’s really hard to describe, but for the families who are living in a cramped one-bedroom apartment, having personal space allows individuals to breathe, think better and improve him or herself.”

Each year for nearly two decades, Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona has been hosting its annual fundraising event, “Blueprints & Blue Jeans,” to raise money to help build homes for families like Carina’s.

The two-day affair — a work day and a celebration — has enabled Habitat to build more than 1,100 affordable homes in the Valley and make thousands of improvements to existing homes, according to a press release. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay a mortgage they can manage.

(submitted photo)

The local chapter of the non-profit organization is partnering with DC Ranch in north Scottsdale for Blueprints & Blue Jeans 2018. The Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3, event includes a wall-raising activity and evening of entertainment, food and live and silent auctions at the DC Ranch Community Center.

Cullum Homes and Phoenix Architects are also major sponsors of the event. The walls built there by volunteers will form the bones of a home for a Valley family, the press release stated.

“The New Year marks the 20th anniversary of DC Ranch,” DC Ranch Senior Manager of Events and Programs Gabi Enriquez, also a Habitat volunteer, said in a prepared statement.

“One of our values is getting involved in the greater community. We approached Habitat about a build project to provide our residents within DC Ranch the opportunity to give the gift of their time and support to a family in need.”

Habitat organizers emphasize that volunteers need not have construction experience to join the effort. Team leaders will direct the homebuilding work.

“This is a very unique, first-of-its-kind home endeavor,” DC Ranch Senior Communications Manager Jeremy Stevens said in a prepared statement.

“We’re not going to the site of the home; the homebuilder is coming to us. We will be building these walls in the parking lot. Habitat is an ever-evolving awesome organization. The people are enthusiastic about developing relationships with the larger community and being flexible about creating opportunities for individuals to be involved.”

One of the Habitat for Humanity traditions is for volunteers and homeowners to write messages on the 2’ x 4’ boards that frame the house.

“There’s a moment after the walls go up that marks the beginning of the house. Individuals write a blessing or a prayer, well-wishes or a lucky saying that gets baked into the home,” Habitat Director of Marketing and Communication Dusty Parsons said in a prepared statement. “During the wall raising, it’s an outpouring of goodwill. That’s how we observe the beginning of each build, the dedication of the home.”

Originally from Mexico, Ms. Gutierrez moved to the United States more than 15 years ago. She has been working full time as a hotel restaurant cook to provide for her children: Isaac, Leamsi, Marali and Axel.

Although they enjoy being close — they go to the movies, play in the park, have picnics, go to school and attend church together — the family members have battled excessive overcrowding in their previous living conditions. They also had inadequate heating and cooling. Her pastor recommended she contact Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity hopes to raise $100,000 at the 2018 Blueprints and Blue Jeans event at DC Ranch, March 2 and 3, the press release stated.

For more information about tickets or volunteering, visit habitatcaz.org.

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