- 1-Home sponsors
- 5-AmFam Community Investment Director Judd Schemmel and family
- 4-Sony with daughter Jaynessa and son Devilen
- 3-Sun Prairie Mayor Paul Esser addresses the dedication attendees
- 7-AmFam community investment team Anne Whisner-Jordan Bauer- Judd Schemmel-Jeff Voelkel
- 6-Family receives traditional housewarming quilt from Christina Ortega Habitat family services director
- 9-Celebrating new homeownership
Habitat for Humanity of Dane County dedicates home sponsored by American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation
Thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, financial support from the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation, and American Family volunteers who helped with the panel build, Sony, Julian (Jay) and their three children have a new house to call home.
“Partnering with organizations like Habitat is part of our company’s long-standing commitment to investing in communities across our operating territory. We want people to be able to say this community is better because American Family is part of it."
In September of 2016, life for Julian (Jay), Sony, and their three children changed forever. Jay was involved in a motorcycle accident and sustained life-threatening injuries. Instead of looking towards homeownership, the family’s focus quickly shifted to recovery.
Thanks to sponsor American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation, the family enjoyed a home dedication and moved into their new wheelchair-accessible home in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, in late April. Last year volunteers from American Family worked on the panel build in the headquarters parking lot and other AmFam volunteers helped later during the build as part of United Way Days of Caring.
The homeowners, Jay and Sony, met in high school and have been together ever since. They have three children – 15-year-old Samantha, 13-year-old Devilen, and 10-year-old Jaynessa.
“Our plan was to guide our children to grow up with good heads on their shoulders, graduate high school, and go off to college,” said Sony, who has been a phlebotomist at UW Hospital for 10 years.
“In 2016, my family’s life turned upside down. First responders said Jay swerved to avoid something on the road and crashed into a metal guard rail while on his motorcycle. A truck driver found him unconscious and he was airlifted to the hospital with life-threatening injuries,” Sony explained. “Now suddenly, our future responsibilities had changed and finding handicap-accessibility housing was difficult.”
The family is excited about the completion of their four-bedroom, wheelchair-accessible home. “The children and I were visiting their Dad at Clearview Rehabilitation when we received the most amazing news that we qualified for the Habitat program,” said Sony. “We were so excited with the news, we screamed and jumped up and down with joy. The children got Dad to laugh and smile from cheek to cheek for the first time since the accident.” Sony, Jay and their children are also extremely grateful for the support received from the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation.
“The American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation is proud to join Habitat for Humanity in making the dream of home ownership come true for this deserving family, and it’s great to know the hard work of AmFam volunteers also helped make it happen,” said Judd Schemmel, American Family Insurance community investment director. “Partnering with organizations like Habitat is part of our company’s long-standing commitment to investing in communities across our operating territory. We want people to be able to say this community is better because American Family is part of it. Our best wishes to Jay, Sony and their children, as they make happy memories, and dream new dreams in their home.”
Watch the video below to see this family's journey to home ownership.
About American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation
The American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation, Inc. builds on our long-standing commitment and support of our communities. As our mission has evolved from corporate giving to community investing, we’ve turned our focus to creating strong partnerships with nonprofit organizations that have helped us strengthen both families and communities.
About Habitat for Humanity of Dane County
Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County builds and rehabilitates safe, decent homes with the help of our partner families to provide affordable housing. Habitat partner families provide labor and make monthly mortgage payments on their homes at a low interest rate. Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. the Habitat home repair program helps homeowners in the community who are struggling to afford exterior home repairs essential to the maintenance of their homes