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Archive for December, 2012


20 Dec , 2012

I found ten biblical references to the concept of loving your neighbor as yourself.  These are prominent words and ones that we’ve all heard many times.  At Habitat, we see it acted out all the time.

Last night, Habitat Wake was blessed to receive a commitment from Coastal Federal Credit Union to partner with us to fund the building of a house plus the lot the house will be built upon.  They handed us a $100,000 check to make that happen.  Events like that are always exciting!

More than this generous check, Coastal has created a campaign that they call, Share the Love, that is about engaging their members in a community effort to help a neighbor.  Throughout this past year, Coastal has organized employees and created events to engage their members to participate in raising the funds for this home.  In receiving the check from Coastal’s CEO Chuck Purvis, I commented that Habitat builds community and the by-product of that community building is a simple, decent, affordable home for a family in need.  We are looking forward with great anticipation to building a home this coming fall with the entire Coastal community!

What better sentiment this time of year or anytime, than sharing the love.  Indeed that is what life is all about!


11 Dec , 2012

“Accommodate changing times.  Cling to unchanging principles.”

In a Sunday school lesson delivered at a Habitat work site in Leogane, Haiti a couple weeks ago, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter quoted one of his high school teachers, Miss Julia Coleman.  Imagine going from peanut farmer in remote Southwest Georgia to President of the United States and it’s easy to see how this particular wisdom from a teacher helped keep him anchored amidst turbulent situations.

I thought of how our new Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) work is a response to changing times and how it has caused us to reflect on the unchanging principles that have served Habitat well since our founding in 1976.  Habitat has thrived on the principle of empowerment over charity and, in our NRI work, we take it even further—to empower an entire neighborhood of residents to offer their ideas for community improvement and to gain the skills and offer leadership to make the changes that are desired.

When our Habitat affiliate looks at our family selection, land acquisition, volunteer engagement, and fund development we now see it through an expanded lens of a broader community impact rather than single family impact.  But we continue to do it within our basic founding principles of “A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out” and by providing “capital and not charity”.

Check out President Carter’s full Sunday School lesson at:



4 Dec , 2012

In 1997, during the Christmas season I was launching a new venture in Lynchburg, Virginia called the Jubilee Family Development Center, which was to become a place where kids in a nearby Habitat subdivision and a surrounding housing complex could go after school and in the evenings for tutoring and recreation.  My son, Micah, 9 years old then, wrapped up a small Christmas gift for me.  Inside, a crisp $10 bill with a handwritten note, “Dad, this is for your gym.”

I’ll always remember that Christmas gift.  And this year at Habitat Wake, I’m aware of the numerous small gifts that we receive throughout the year, but especially in this season.  This year, we have received 1150 gifts of $50 and less, many of them from individuals who are in need themselves.  I wanted to lift up their generosity as it often gets overlooked with all the fanfare around the major gifts.  These gifts totaled $36, 073 for us.  When it adds up, the impact is truly there.

There is a story from Christian scripture that brings focus to those giving small, but sacrificial gifts.  In Luke 21:1-4, we read,

“As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”                                                                                                                                               Luke 21:1-4

Blessings to all of you who trust Habitat Wake to invest your hard earned dollars in a way that is transformational for families for generations to come.  We are blessed to have all of you as our partners in this ministry.

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