In celebration of World Habitat Day this week, Habitat Wake hosted our good friend, Alberto Benitez, national director of Habitat for Humanity in Honduras.
Alberto shared with us that in Honduras over half of all Hondurans live with inadequate shelter. That is well over 1 million dwellings that are deficient. He told of young children in indigenous villages dying at very young ages of Chagas disease from parasites that live in the thatched roofs of their huts and how a simple solution of concrete floor and metal roof would prevent these deaths.
Joyfully, he shared that Habitat Honduras recently celebrated the completion of the 15,000th Habitat house in the country since their inception 20+ years ago and, even more excitedly, that they plan to build another 15,000 homes in the next five years!
Habitat Wake is proud, as a part of our global commitment, to be the largest single donor to Habitat Honduras through the gracious support of our donors and friends. We look forward to being part of a new 500 house project beginning in 2014 in Santa Rosa de Copan in Western Honduras.
As scripture says in Luke 12:48, “….from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
We are blessed to have such strong global partners where we know that our investment makes a huge difference!
Last week Habitat Wake had the benefit of working with Coastal Federal Credit Union on the groundbreaking ceremony of 4911 Werriebee Drive in Raleigh. What was so special about this event was that Coastal is the Exclusive sponsor on this Habitat home. As the only exclusive sponsor this year, Coastal Federal Credit Union raised $100,000 for the purchase of the land and the construction of this home – an amazing contribution and achievement. Coastal was able to succeed in this venture through their “Share the Love” campaign which included social media interaction with their employees, members, and others who had the opportunity to engage and contribute to this effort.
The Koledji family will be the proud owners of this Habitat home. Having escaped the devastation and destruction left by Hurricane Katrina, this family was brought to Raleigh to make a new life. Believing in hard work and determination, the Koledji’s have embarked upon a dream of home ownership for their growing family. Committed to making a new beginning, they are actively participating in their 250 “sweat equity” hours and the excitement of making this house a home.
Approximately 25 people attended the groundbreaking ceremony with an additional 15 volunteers who where on-site and anxious to get started on the construction of this home. Lauren Stranch, Networking/PR Specialist with Coastal opened the ceremony. Creighton Blackwell, VP of Branch Networks and Community Engagement, who was instrumental in bringing together Coastal and Habitat Wake, introduced Joan Nelson, Chairwoman of the Board as well as, Chuck Purvis, President/CEO of Coastal Federal.
Several members of Habitat Wake were present, as well as Board member John Towles who provided the overview of this project. This home is one of several Habitat home construction projects underway. Habitat Wake will build 32 new or rehab homes in Wake County, complete 35 “A Brush with Kindness” projects, and provide funds for 35 new homes in Honduras this year. Habitat’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. With the contribution and partnership of organizations like Coastal Federal Credit Union, this vision is possible!
We encourage you to return to this blog as we will post updates on the progress and construction of this home so that you can see the love, commitment, and hope that goes into each and every Habitat home!
Yesterday, the media reported that poverty rates in the U.S. remained steady at 15% of the population living below federally established poverty levels. Rates dropped to an all-time low of 11% in 1973, but have risen and remained persistent ever since.
Click here to read a thoughtful piece on poverty levels and the role anti-poverty programs have played over the past few decades.
I’d like to introduce our second guest blogger: one of our wonderful volunteers. Janelle is a first year full-time MBA Candidate at NC State University’s Jenkins Graduate School. She has a BBA in Marketing from James Madison University. Most recently before starting business school at NC State, Janelle was marketing manager at Wilkinson Supply Company. She’s a lover of running and Pinterest. When not in class, you could probably find her exploring the restaurant scene in downtown Raleigh.
“When reviewing my schedule for the incoming NC State Jenkins MBA student orientation, I was excited to see that Habitat for Humanity was on the calendar. I have had the opportunity to work on Habitat for Humanity projects before, and I thought it’d be a great way to get to know the people I’ll be spending the next two years with — outside of the classroom.
So, at 7:30am on a hot Saturday morning, more than 50 NC State Jenkins MBA students gathered to assist with the completion of 4 different homes in Apex, NC. We met members of the Habitat for Humanity team and received an energizing welcome. We learned about the Habitat for Humanity organization, the impact the teams have had in Wake County, what is required of the homeowners and the type of work we’d be doing.
Armed with this new knowledge (and numerous reminders to drink plenty of water!), the first year MBAs and second year peer mentors made our way to the construction site. We caulked, painted, hung siding, installed doors and cleaned. It was nice to see people work together and teach one another, using their strengths to get the job done. Even better was taking time out as a team to be of service to others. We had just experienced five days of NC State faculty and staff investing their time to help set us up for success. It was really great to come together as a class and pay forward that kind of support.”
“It is not enough to limit your love to your own nation, to your own group. You must respond with love even to those outside of it. This concept enables people to live together not as nations, but as the human race.” — Clarence Jordan
Recently I had the opportunity to explain to one of our major donors why we send funds to Habitat in Honduras to build there even when the need for housing in Wake County is far from being met. Since our inception the biblical concept of “tithing” our resources to help those in need in other countries has been something we’ve joyfully done. Faithfully, since 1985, we have provided resources to build homes for 265 families around the world in addition to the 456 homes we’ve built in Wake County.
We are currently sending enough funds each time we build a house in Wake County to fund the construction of a Habitat home for a family in the Central American country of Honduras. Habitat homes in Honduras currently cost $4,500 for a 450 square foot home. This year, we will provide enough funds to construct 35 homes in/around the small city of Santa Rosa de Copan in Western Honduras. Check out our Honduras program here.
I always love this quote from Frank Reed, Habitat International’s Director of ReStore Support: “The mission to eradicate substandard housing does not end at your county line!”
This past Saturday, I made it a point to stop by the Jubilee community in Wake Forest to see the great work that was happening there with our A Brush With Kindness (ABWK) exterior home repair program.
I found a great community comprised of volunteers, homeowners, and neighbors busy at work painting, landscaping, and doing minor carpentry work—but most of all sharing an abundance of energy, enthusiasm, and pride. I met a homeowner who has recently completed breast cancer treatment who was so pleased to have volunteer support to help her home “recover” just as she was recovering. Her husband was busy with neighborhood church volunteers sprucing up the back deck of their home.
The exterior repairs are needed to help families extend their time in the homes they have occupied for decades. More than just a fresh look—ABWK brings a tangible sense of hope to communities. The activity is contagious–people have a different attitude about the community and the upward cycle begins. 35 families are benefitting directly from this program this year, but scores of others will benefit by being caught up in this cycle!
If you haven’t tried out ABWK—sign up now. For no other reason than to catch the contagious enthusiasm of our site supervisor Roxanne and other dedicated volunteer leaders. After a day of labor and community building—you will definitely thank yourself!
We are excited to begin a series of guest blogs from partners throughout Wake County. Throughout the coming year, these blogs will focus on the various aspects of our organization. I’d like to introduce our first guest blogger: 2LittleSuperheroes. Danielle, a mom to superhero-loving boys, is a DIY enthusiast and blogger in Raleigh, NC. When she’s not stepping on Legos, she chronicles her projects and family’s activities at 2littlesuperheroes.com.
If you are like me you have pinned a ton of craft pins on Pinterest; but haven’t completed any of them. Part of my problem is finding the time to go out and scour flea markets, craft stores, thrift stores, Craig’s List, and yard sales for the supplies you need to make all these fabulous ideas. But Habitat Wake ReStore is a one-stop-shop for all your Pinterest projects.
Here is a little tour of what I found today at the Raleigh ReStore and what crafty Pinterest projects you could make with these supplies.
Source: Yankee Belle
Source: Joys Hope
Source: Uncommon Designs
Source: Addicted 2 Decorating
Source: Garden Art
Source: Rockies Crafts
Source: The Shabby Nest
Source: Cozy Cottage Cute
Source: Sarah Richardson
Source: I Heart Organizing
Source: Knock Off Decor
Source: Barn Number 2
So now there’s no excuse not to complete a few of those Pinterest pins.
The American Bar Association House of Delegates at the 2013 annual meeting adopted a resolution supporting adequate housing for all as a human right around the world! Check out the brief, but powerful resolution.
Yesterday, we hosted Frank Reed, Habitat for Humanity International’s, National Director of ReStore Support. Frank came to congratulate our ReStore staff and volunteers on the results from our most recent fiscal year, where sales grew by 18% and the contribution to our mission reached nearly $900,000! He also left us with many great ideas on how to continue to grow this part of our work and serve even more families in the future.
Many thanks to those who donate to our ReStores in Raleigh and Cary and to those who shop and purchase from us. Your acts help many families in need while diverting useful items from our landfills. You are making a huge difference in our community!
At Habitat, we are interested in breaking the cycle of poverty, not just providing a home. Check out this research showing a great variety of opportunity around the country. Unfortunately, our area shows very low income mobility opportunities due to a variety of factors.