Chereka is a single mother with a sweet personality and a servant’s heart. These traits are the reason why her two teenage daughters, Lamya (15) and Dalaylah (13), look up to her so much. Chereka and her daughters enjoy spending “girl’s days” together, and on these special days, they like to go to dinner and the movies followed by some quality time at home as a family.
Chereka’s youngest daughter, Dalaylah, has a disability that requires special attention from her mother. When she was born, Dalaylah spent six weeks in the NICU and has been in and out of the hospital ever since because of the weakened immune system that is a side effect of her disability. There is a possibility Chereka will be caring for her youngest daughter for the rest of her life. Despite her disability, Dalaylah strives to have a normal teenager life and stays busy with school, volunteering and friends.
Life’s obstacles have never discouraged Chereka from taking care of those that need her help. On top of caring for her two children, she has also worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant with hospice for the past eleven years. Chereka is passionate about her job and enjoys being able to take care of others. She doesn’t look at her position with hospice as “a job,” but as her calling in life to help those in need.
Chereka hopes “to be a role model” for her children, and it is obvious that her love for others is an inspiration to them. Chereka and her daughters enjoy giving back to the community in their free time. As a family, they have volunteered at Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries, and the girls have also volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club by helping other children with their homework. Once they are old enough, they hope to volunteer with Knoxville Habitat for Humanity as well!
As she completes the Knoxville Habitat homeownership program and prepares for her upcoming build, Chereka is finishing up her weekly budget classes. These classes have been a tremendous help to her so far. She admits she was not always the best at watching every penny before entering the program, but now she is able to enjoy “freedom” by saving money and paying off debt … something she has never done before. She plans to continue using the techniques she has learned to budget her daily expenses and prepare for the future.
Chereka feels “so blessed and so thankful” to be a part of the Knoxville Habitat homeownership program. She says it has brought her “so much joy,” and she thanks God for allowing her to have this opportunity.
Owning her own home will be “everything” to Chereka. To her, the experience is “not just owning a home – it will be a part of my entire life.” Chereka’s excitement for her new home is rivaled only by that of her daughters … Lamya and Dalaylah constantly ask their mom to drive them by the lot where their new home will stand in only a few short weeks.
With the help of wonderful Covenant Partners, Chereka and her family will finally realize their dream of homeownership. This new Habitat home will be something Chereka will “cherish and take care of” as she builds a more stable future with her children.