Through Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity’s Helping Hands repair program, a single-mother in North Liberty has replaced the flooring throughout her home.
Homeowner Geri’s son, Tajiri, has severe allergies. As a baby, Tajiri was experiencing hair loss, breathing problems, skin irritations, and more, but it was difficult to determine what was causing his symptoms. At the time, the family had pets in their home, but suspecting an allergy was causing Tajiri’s health problems, Geri removed the pets from their home. Later testing showed Tajiri suffers from several allergies including pet dander. Tajiri continues to struggle and his allergies make it difficult for him to sleep. Even after years of not having pets, the pet dander in the carpet throughout their home and vent/duct system triggers Tajiri’s allergies. Geri says, “If you have a situation where a child has severe allergies and is allergic to the home, what do you do? Not everybody can just move to another home. It really was a no-win situation.”
As part of the repair project, Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity will had the vents and ducts in the home cleaned. Sobaski Abbey Carpet and Floor donated the labor, materials, and supplies to remove all the carpeting in Geri and Tajiri’s home and replace it with vinyl plank flooring.
Homeowner Geri says, “I tell my foster children from day one, "No matter how it looks, you are never alone. There's always someone in your corner, they just have to find you." I got that saying from my grandmother. When I found out what was wrong with my son and not being able to do what I needed to help him, as a single mother, I felt helpless. But true to my grandmother's words [Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity has] now proved to me that I too, am not alone.”
IVHFH would like to thank Sobaski Abbey Carpet and Floor for their generous sponsorship of this project!
This project is part of Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity’s annual Women Build program. The 2021 Women Build is in honor of Jane Hagedorn, master plumber and former owner of Bea Day Plumbers. Jane and the IVHFH Women Build committee are working with Habitat staff to raise $55,000 to support construction of a new Habitat home in Iowa City as well as the Helping Hands repair for Geri and Tajiri.
Geri and Tajiri's project was recently featured on KCRG: https://www.kcrg.com/2021/04/30/north-liberty-mom-receives-free-flooring-to-help-autistic-son-with-severe-allergies/.