Maria de Jesus Gonzalez describes herself as reserved and admits that she rarely lets her emotions show. Such was true when she found out that she was accepted for a Habitat house. She was grateful, but stoic.
But all that changed when Maria went to volunteer on her first build day.
Maria said she wept upon, “…seeing all the people come out and just give without getting anything in return.”
She didn’t realize what getting a house through Habitat really meant until she saw the construction site. The sight made her consider what sacrifices the volunteers had made to build her home.
Maria’s family moved to Tucson from Rio Rico to be closer to the University where her daughter studies music education. The move was tough on the family. They had to make many sacrifices to save space and rent money for their apartment.
What’s more, her musically inclined children have no place to practice their instruments. Her sons, who both participate in their high school band, know that practicing after school at their apartment could irritate neighbors.
“We need a house,” Maria said.
That’s when she heard about Habitat for Humanity Tucson from a friend. Yet, she decided to keep renting. But she realized that the restraints of renting were impacting her children’s ability to be normal kids — to own bikes, play in a yard, have pets — and soon decided to pursue the program.
Maria’s eldest daughter will be graduating from the U of A next year. One of the most important things Maria wants for her children is to succeed and have the opportunity for education.