St Paul’s 14th Habitat House
St. Paul UMC is helping to build its 14th Habitat for Humanity House. To volunteer to work at the site, please review the available slots at the Signup Genius form below.
If you have questions, you may contact Ray Fore at 458-2702 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to help with providing lunch for the workers, please contact Glenna Heimerdinger at 777-2776 or email@example.com.
If you would like to volunteer on one of the future work dates, please sign up here:
You may donate by mailing a check to the church or online at our secure website Giving page. Choose “Habitat for Humanity” from the Fund menu:
Meet future homeowner, Ardo Samriye!
Ardo has been working relentlessly to provide her children with more opportunities and a stable home. Her children range in age from 20 – 14; Abdulahi (boy) 20, Tahani (girl) 19, Abdiaziz (boy) 17, Isse (boy) 16, Fehimo (girl) 14 and Ali (boy) 14.
The family is from Somalia and as the war began to escalate, Ardo and her husband began to discuss moving their family to an Ethiopian refugee camp. Unfortunately, right before they were to leave, Ardo’s husband was involved in a car accident and suffered a severe spinal injury. Ardo had to make the difficult decision for her husband to stay behind and seek treatment while she and the kids fled to Ethiopia. It’s also worth noting that at this same time, Ardo was pregnant with the twins and had the two babies right after the accident and before the family was set to move.
Once arriving in Ethiopia, Ardo and her six children would spend the next 8 years living in a refugee camp. “It was hard because this was not our home and I had now become both the mother and the father of the family,” shares Ardo. “My children would ask me every day when is daddy arriving and I would say, ‘one day, we will reunite with him,’ but in the back of my mind, I was worried because I didn’t even know if he was dead or alive.”
Life in the camp was tough but Ardo was thankful that her children were safe from the war in Somalia. The children began attending school within the refugee camp and Ardo started walking into the city every day to work by cleaning people’s clothes. “We lived in one small room – girls slept in the front, boys in the back. Our shelter was destroyed once due to a flood so we had to completely rebuild it.” After 8 long years of living in the camp, Ardo received the joyful news from the UN that her application had been approved to move the family to America. The family arrived in Louisville on October 1, 2015.
Since arriving to Louisville, Ardo and her children have settled into their new life. In those early days, Ardo immediately began working at Tyson Food to begin bringing home an income for the family. Her six children have also done well to adjust to their new life. Her oldest, Abdulahi currently works for Amazon and attends classes at JCTC. Tahani is entering her second year at JCTC this fall. Her next two boys, Abdiaziz and Isse will be entering their Senior and Junior years at Iroquois High School. And finally, her twins, Fehimo and Ali are entering their 8th grade years.
Ardo has always dreamed of providing her children with a home that gives them stability and security. “Home is the heart of life. It’s a safe place where you are protected from the elements and where, at the end of the day, we can all come together, even if we build our own families.” For the past 4 years, the family has lived in a 3-bedroom, 1-bath apartment. Ardo’s currently sharing a bedroom with her youngest son. Becoming a homeowner will give Ardo not only financial stability, but it’ll provide her children with more opportunities, space and their first backyard. “My boys love to play soccer,” shares Ardo. “So, a goal is probably the first thing they’ll want to install in our backyard.”
“When I finally received my acceptance letter to Habitat’s program on my second time applying, I was so overwhelmed with happiness,” Ardo shares. “This has been a dream of mine for so long. I can finally be proud that all of my hard work was worth it.”
Ardo and her children’s home will begin its construction this October in partnership with several United Methodist Churches. “Words can’t describe what this means for my family. I’m grateful and thankful for your support. You are helping make my dreams come true.”
As for the best news of all, when the family arrived in the U.S., Ardo created a Facebook account and contacted an old friend from the family’s Somalian hometown. Ardo and the kids learned the wonderful news that their dad was living and they were able to talk to him for the first time in more than 8 years. And as for Fahimo and Ali, the twins, they finally had the opportunity to meet their dad for the first time over Facebook video. Since being reunited over the internet, Ardo’s husband now lives in Uganda and is in the process of moving to the United States; he’s currently at the interview stage with the UN and the family is anxiously waiting for the day when they can reunite, in-person, as a family of eight.
St Paul Complete’s 13th Habitat House
This spring St. Paul and other Methodist Churches in Louisville completed their 13th Habitat For Humanity House. Thanks to all the volunteers who donated their time to make this a successful build for Erika and her boys.