Family Eager to Celebrate First Thanksgiving in New Home

By: Morgan Demmel Email
By: Morgan Demmel Email

One Grand Island family moved into their new Habitat for Humanity home just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving.

It's a time when most families are cleaning the house and making last minute meal preparations or getting ready to travel to visit family. But one Grand Island family is more excited than ever about this year's Thanksgiving celebration.

The Marquez family has something brand new to be thankful for this year.

They just moved into a new home. It's the first they've owned since moving to the United States two years ago.

Jose Marquez says his family is very excited.

"It's a dream that's come true, we worked hard to have this house, we basically built it," says Grand Island Senior High freshmen Oscar Marquez.

With the help of Habitat for Humanity, sponsors and local volunteers, the Marquez family is able to make their dream a reality.

Grand Island Area Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Dana Jelinek says the Marquez family has gone above and beyond what's required of them to receive a Habitat for Humanity home.

"They're putting in at least 600 hours of sweat equity and they've worked so well with other people in the community," Jelinek says.

Jose says he's thankful for all the volunteers who helped each week since construction began in August.

And all that hard work paid off just in time for the Marquez family to celebrate Thanksgiving with about 18 of their relatives who are in town for the holiday.

"We wanted to spend this Thanksgiving with them and say thanks, thanks and give that thanks to all the people who supported them, all the people, volunteers, sponsors," Jose's sister Maria Marquez says.

Family members say they have a lot to be thankful for.

Jose's daughter Carla says she's thankful for parents for their hard work.

"And I'm thankful for Habitat for Humanity for giving us a home, for helping and giving us an opportunity to have a home," Carla says.

Carla's twin brother Carlos says he likes the new house, and is thankful for the big space.

Oscar says being able to move into the new house right before the holiday makes it extra special.

"We will always be a family, but now we have a home that we can share and enjoy," Oscar says.

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