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Archive for November, 2012

21 NOVEMBER 2012 | THANKFUL

21 Nov , 2012

I just wish all of our donors and volunteers could be around to hear the incredible words of heartfelt gratitude that we hear from those we serve.

At Sunday evening’s Holiday Home Tour, we heard from Capt. Dwayne Robinson (U.S. Army) who moved into a Habitat Wake house with his mother  20 years ago when he was 11.  Dwayne was so eloquent in speaking about how much having their own home has meant to his family and how he is now a proud homeowner along with his wife and young family.

On Monday, I had a meeting scheduled with another of our homeowner families on an unspecified matter.  Of course, I had to wonder what the issue was and what might be wrong.  Darrin, a homeowner in our Habitat Court development from 1990, came in at the appointed time carrying a carrot cake and a note just thanking our staff and supporters for the difference Habitat had made in his family’s life.  He did not need to meet with us, he just wanted to make sure that Jane (our CFO) and I were in the office when he brought the gift.  Darrin’s letter concluded, “So we just wanted you to know that the James family is very grateful for the work that you do there at Habitat for Humanity of Wake County.  I don’t know where we would’ve been without this program, nor without the exceptional caliber of staff (that) you employ there.”

On that note, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there, from the homeowners and staff of Habitat Wake!  Your partnership makes all of this possible and we are very grateful!

12 NOVEMBER 2012 | WHEN HELPING HURTS

12 Nov , 2012

Have you ever wondered if the help you extend to another actually helped them long-term or perhaps actually hurt their development into the person that God intends for them?  Was your charity empowering to their development of did it cause an unhealthy dependence and reinforce a low sense of self-worth?

Several of our staff at Habitat Wake have been studying the book, When Helping Hurts, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert, together and finding it to be very helpful and challenging.  I’m encouraged that this book can be a game-changer within the Church as we seek to reach out to our materially poor neighbors.

The book is written for an evangelical Christian audience and makes the case that as followers of Jesus, we indeed are called to help those lacking in material resources.  The book suggests that poverty is a complex concept and that various circumstances dictate what a genuinely uplifting response would be.

The authors identify four key relationships that human beings rely upon and they suggest that there is a poverty that results from brokenness in any of these relationships.  They are:

  • Relationship with God
  • Relationship with Self
  • Relationship with Others
  • Relationship with the Rest of Creation

The book suggests that every human being is poor in the sense of not experiencing these four relationships in the way God intended.  For some people the brokenness in these foundational relationships results in material poverty.

We are learning together to look more deeply at the root causes of poverty and to make our organizational decisions in a way that truly “comes alongside” those who are materially poor in a way that celebrates their being created by God and the restoration of those essential relationships while we address our own brokenness and the restoration that lies ahead for us.

I highly recommend the book for individual and group study within the church context.  I’m encouraged in the popularity of this book that Christians are looking seriously at their call to reach out to those in need in ways that are truly worthy of the One who calls us.

2 November 2012 | Richest, Poorest, Fairest?

2 Nov , 2012

In a November 1, op-ed piece in the News & Observer, Gene Nichol director of the UNC Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity raises the question of how a society can simultaneously be the richest, poorest, and fairest.  He wonders why, despite significant increases in poverty in our state, the issue of poverty has been absent in the recent political campaigns.  He notes that:

- 11 years ago, North Carolina had the 26th highest rate of poverty among states.  Now, we are ranked 13th.

- 40% of North Carolina children of color live in poverty.

Check out the entire article.


Habitat for Humanity of Wake County
2420 Raleigh Boulevard
Raleigh, NC 27604-2235
Phone 919.833.1999
Fax 919.833.8256
Habitat for Humanity of Wake County ReStore

Store hours:

  • Tuesday - Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Closed Sundays and Mondays