Jimmie Johnson meets families and volunteers at Habitat for Humanity’s Home Builders Blitz
Five days, four homes, one NASCAR champion, it was an all out blitz.
From June 22-26 the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, San Diego Habitat for Humanity with local builders, Lowe’s and the city of El Cajon partnered for the El Cajon Foundation Lane Home Builders Blitz, a project that builds four homes in five days.
Home Builders Blitz returned to El Cajon to complete phase two of the Habit for Humanity’s Foundation Lane community that began with four homes built in 2009.
Habitat partner families are selected according to their housing need, willingness to partner with Habitat and ability to repay a zero percent interest mortgage loan.
El Cajon native, NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, and wife Chandra, donated $100,000 from the Foundation. It is the time spent with the families, that Johnson said he really enjoys.
“A direct link to the individual that you’re assisting, there is a feeling that is associated with that, that can’t be replaced,” he said.
Chandra Johnson also enjoys the five-day process.
“It’s exciting to see all the energy behind getting the houses ready,” she said. “I’m so happy for these families.”
The Consuegra’s were one of those families. Former refugees from Cuba they have seen their share of adversity. Pavel, his wife Carmen, and two children, Tania and Pavel Jr. said they are grateful to be receiving a new home.
“This means security, this means prosperity for our kids so they can have a safe environment in this really nice community,” said Pavel Sr. “A big thank you to all the sponsors and volunteers.”
For Pavel Jr. it meant privacy, “I finally get my own room!” he said.
Single mother of two Zeyna Ali struggled with the high cost of California living, so she applied to Habitat for Humanity and was selected. Zeyna has two children, Amir and Ayman.
“They are excited to have a backyard and their own room,” she said.
Eight-year-old Amir was excited to express his thoughts on the matter.
“When we get a new house it’s going to be made of Candy Land,” he said. “Just kidding.”
Volunteers were everywhere and among them was Arnie Greenburg, a retired insurance broker for more than 40 years.
“I figured it was time for a change,” he said.
Greenburg moved to San Diego and decided it was time to give back to the community. He volunteers with Habitat for Humanity two to three times a week and finds the work strenuous but rewarding.
“You go home and your totally exhausted,” he said. “When your finished meeting the families, and working along side of them, that’s the most rewarding part.”
Ellen Immergust is the Communications Director for the San Diego Habitat for Humanity non-profit organization, and helps the program to build homes and communities.
“I think were all motivated by the families that we are privileged to serve,” she said. “Friday is a really special day for us because we see those families, and hug them, and cry with them when they get the keys to their own homes, it’s such an emotional experience.”