WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Thanks to the generosity of the community, one local family will receive the ultimate gift this holiday season - a new house.
Rita and Jorge Vazquez, along with their children Mario, 10, Liliana, 7, and Daizy, 4, can start moving in after the dedication ceremony for the home this Saturday.
"They'll grow up in that house, which is really neat," said Bud Parenteau, treasurer of the Williams Habitat for Humanity (WHH).
WHH will dedicate its second home from 11 a.m. to noon at 412 E. Edison Ave. Speakers may include County Supervisor Matt Ryan, Mayor John Moore and Habitat for Humanity members. Attendees will be able to walk through the house.
Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that has built more than 500,000 affordable homes for low-income families since it was founded in 1976. The Williams chapter started in 1995. They completed their first house in 2005 and started their second house in March 2010.
About 150 volunteers helped build the house, including several contractors who donated labor and materials. The city also helped by extending the building permit for the house.
"It's just a great deal with so many people doing all these great things and not asking for anything," said Parenteau. "It doesn't matter how small a contribution it is, we get the help."
All families who receive a Habitat for Humanity house must put in 500 hours of sweat equity.
"That's probably one of the neatest parts," Parenteau said. "They take ownership of that house because they help build it."
In the past, the Vazquez family lived with Rita's mother and niece. But now the whole family is excited to be moving into a place they can call their own.
The family helped make the fence, grout the tile, paint and do yard work at the house.
"It was great, I was really appreciative of being able to help," said Rita. She added that it was exciting "painting the doors and just knowing that these are going to be our doors."
The house is 1,100 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It has a living room/dining room combination and laundry room. But Rita's favorite part of their new house is the kitchen.
"Everything's brand new," she said. "My first meal I'll be cooking on a new stove."
Since the house has a north exposure, volunteers built a 10-foot covered porch so the family won't have to shovel as much snow.
Volunteers also used spray foam to insulate the ceiling to make the home airtight. This will save the homeowners money on utility bills.
"It costs us a little bit more money to build it but they're going to benefit from it," Parenteau said.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide Williams Habitat for Humanity with the money they spent on the house and land so they can start working on a new house. The Vazquez family will pay a low interest mortgage and the USDA will guarantee the loan.
Families must apply to receive a Habitat for Humanity home. A committee selects the families "based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program and their ability to repay the loan," according to the organization's website.
The Williams Habitat for Humanity chapter is currently looking for a piece of land for their next home. If the organization finds the right piece of land, they could build a duplex or triplex, Parenteau said.
"We want to help as many people as we can," he said.
More information about Habitat for Humanity is available from Parenteau at (928) 635-4393.