A Des Moines woman got a pre-Valentine’s Day surprise today from a former Iowan who’s now an N-F-L quarterback. Ramona Bess knew she’d be getting the keys to the new home she’d help build through the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity chapter. What she and her kids didn’t know was St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner and his “First Things First Foundation” help fill the home with furniture, appliances and groceries. It was a surprise when they walked in. Warner and his wife Brenda have worked on similar projects in St. Louis — but this was the first time they’ve had a chance to do something in their own state. He says it’s “unbelievable” and he says you really love to do programs you know are really going to have a lasting effect. Warner says it’s life-changing to get your first home and says he and his wife remember very well what it was like to buy their first home as he was struggling to make it in the N-F-L. He says it’s a feeling that anyone who gets a new home knows.He says you feel so proud, like you’ve actually accomplished something. Brenda Warner says it’s gratifying to her to give back after once having been a single mother on food stamps living in various low income apartments. She says she bounced from apartment to apartment and says she just needed someone to help her stand on her own two feet. She says when she and Kurt bought their first home, they used insurance money from the deaths of her parents for the down payment, and wouldn’t have been able to buy the home without it. Brenda had joked about the cold weather in Iowa while being interviewed, but said the feeling of seeing Bess and her family was heartwarming.She says you could see the faces of the kids when they walked in. She says the kids always notice the washer and dryer first, because it’s exciting that they won’t have to go to a laundromat. Warner says it’s awesome. Warner is a Cedar Rapids native who graduated from U-N-I. He gained fame as the quarterback who came out of nowhere to win the Superbowl with the Rams.
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