Ashli Childs grew up in the mountains of Tennessee; she was born in East Ridge and has spent most of her life in Cleveland and the surrounding cities. She also spent a small amount of time living in Texas, but returned to Cleveland because her parents live here, eventually deciding to stay and raise her kids here.
Ashli has two daughters: Taylin, 12, and Ayla, 10. Taylin and Ayla motivated Ashli to apply to be a Habitat homeowner. Ashli calls her new home “a beautiful start” and will be a way for her to give back “precious years that were stolen” from them.
Ashli is First Assistant Manager at CATO, where she has worked for two years. It was there that a coworker and “dear friend” told Ashli about Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland. Currently, Ashli and her children live with her brother. The living arrangement is very limiting on the family and Ashli dreams of living somewhere that she can call her own where her family can be together. When her coworker told her about Habitat, Ashli thought, “What do I have to lose?”
The reality is, Ashli stands to gain everything. For Ashli and her daughters, owning a home through Habitat “means that we can be together again, and be the family that God has intended for us to be. We belong together and by the grace of God, He has used Habitat to make that possible.”
By achieving her dream of being a homeowner, Ashli will also be able to work toward her other dreams. She wants to earn her GED and find a “more life sustaining career.” She says her dream job would be working with children and horses. “I’d love to be a child counselor, and youth camp volunteer.”
Ashli and her daughters have bright futures ahead of them. She understands the value of hard work and the dedication it takes to achieve your dreams. “You come to appreciate things more when pouring yourself into it,” Ashli says. “We are called to be helpers and givers.”
Ashli, Taylin, and Ayla certainly are helpers and givers. Taylin is in middle school and is very involved in her school; she’s part of the Builder’s Club, TSA, after-school library club, and Writing Club. She also helps out in the school office. “I’m funny, dorky, smart,” says Taylin of her personality. Smart is right; some of Taylin’s hobbies and interests include poetry, reading, music and TV, as well as math and science. Ayla is in elementary girl and is not be outdone by her older sister. Ayla is a Girl Scout and sings in the chorus. A self-described tomboy who is very fun, Ayla also likes drawing, singing and basketball.
Taylin and Ayla clearly get their enthusiasm and variety of interests from their mom. Ashli loves the outdoors and enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, and swimming. Like mother like daughter, Ashli also likes to sing. Her other hobbies include cooking, organizing, crafting, and knitting.
By becoming a homeowner, Ashli, Taylin, and Ayla will be better able to pursue their interests and achieve their dreams, and do it all as a family. Ashli says a lot of prayer is involved in reaching her goals, and a starting point was reaching out to Habitat. She’s “paying it forward” with her sweat equity hours, which she says are humbling. “I’m just relying on the Father,” Ashli said, “while also doing my part.”