The Cathedral of St. Philip - Atlanta, GA


Lisa Reyes, homeowner

“Words cannot express the level of gratitude my daughter and I have for family of the Cathedral of St. Phillip and the partner churches sponsoring our build and volunteering time.”

     

Words cannot express the level of gratitude my daughter and I have for family of the Cathedral of St. Phillip and the partner churches sponsoring our build and volunteering time.

I’m a second generation Mexican-American who was born and raised in southeastern Iowa. I am very proud of my roots which stretch from both Zacatecas and Jalisco, Mexico all the way to the rolling hills of the Midwest. In 1990, I moved to Arizona and I lived there for 16 years. . . but never really liked the heat, and I missed the change of seasons. During those 16 years I was a mentor in the Big Brother Big Sister program where my Little Sister and her mother were having their own Habitat for Humanity home built. . . and that was the first time I learned about the program. My daughter was born in Arizona in 1997. We were living in a trailer that was literally falling to pieces, and I applied for a Habitat for Humanity home.  I was approved, but they were waiting for land donations and I was on a wait list. 

“I’m a second generation Mexican-American who was born and raised in southeastern Iowa. I am very proud of my roots which stretch from both Zacatecas and Jalisco, Mexico all the way to the rolling hills of the Midwest.”

While on the wait list, I accepted a job transfer to Atlanta in 2006. I’m so happy I did. I fell in love with Georgia. It reminded me of Iowa, minus the frigid winters (except for maybe 3 days out of the year when we are hit with ice storms). One year after moving here, I lost my job. It was the most humbling of experiences. After getting back on my feet again, I decided to check into home purchase programs and 20 years later I have come full circle back to Habitat for Humanity. 

My daughter is now 20 and I have a hard time remembering she is a person, an adult, and no longer a child. She is everything I wish I could be and more than I could have ever wanted her to be. She is my opposite. She is humble like me, but very open with people, a born performer, and fearless. 2016 was an exciting year for her. She received The President’s Volunteer Service Award Gold Medal for her many hours of community service, the Porsche Driving Force award, and was named Atlanta Magazine’s Rising Star for the 2016 Women Making a Mark edition. When things didn’t go as planned, college wise, she decided to take a gap year to continue what she enjoys. . . serving others and saving the environment. She completed 10 months in AmeriCorps NCCC SW where she traveled to the southwest region states to complete community service projects and also Gatlinburg, Tennessee for disaster relief. She’s only been home 7 months, and she is off again with All Hands and Hearts volunteering for hurricane clean up in Aransas Pass, Texas. Her feet don’t stay on the ground long, but as long as she is happy and is making the world a better place, I cannot complain. College plans are to study art and environmental science.

“My daughter is everything I wish I could be and more than I could have ever wanted her to be.”

As far as hobbies, I enjoy genealogy research and DIY projects (which sometimes turn to fails, but at least I had fun trying). We both love art and the environment. Alexandria is very passionate about the environment, eco-friendly products, and the three R’s. She would one day like to open a community art center with a focus on environmental sustainability. We dream of one day having our own organic garden or being a part of a community urban garden, and starting a Little Free Library in our new neighborhood. I am a senior court clerk and have been working for the Fulton County judicial system for over six years. 

“Thank you for helping me build my Habitat for Humanity home!”