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Posts Tagged ‘legacy’

23 JULY 2013 | WALKING

23 Jul , 2013

Back in the day, Habitat for Humanity staged numerous long walks to bring attention to this new ministry. There was a 700 mile walk from Habitat’s headquarters in Americus, Georgia to Indianapolis to celebrate Habitat’s 7th Anniversary. There was a walk from Portland, Maine to Atlanta celebrating the 12th Anniversary in 1988. I joined this particular walk for a day in 1988 in Richmond, Virginia as we were launching our new Habitat affiliate in Lynchburg.

I remember reading a book several years back by U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. It is entitled Walking With the Wind, his memoir of growing up in substandard housing in Alabama where his grandmother literally told the family to walk to certain corners of the house during thunderstorms so that they house would not blow off the foundation. Then, of course, Rep. Lewis led the fateful walk across the bridge in Selma, Alabama to be greeted by police dogs and fire hoses.

We dedicated our most recent home on Waldo Street in Cary this past Saturday. During the dedication we heard the story of the father of the family literally walking hundreds of miles from his native Myanmar to Malaysia to seek work and income to provide needed medicine to their young son. Thanks to the relocation efforts of local Wake County churches this family reunited in Raleigh in 2009 and now t has secured a home in which they can thrive.

When you take your next walk think of a young fledgling organization that has now touched millions of people worldwide. Think of a young John Lewis rising to become a leader in the civil rights movement. And then think of the dedication of a young father walking miles and miles into an unknown future to secure needed medicine for a son. There is abundant faith in each of these journeys—something that encourages me and gives me hope.

27 JUNE 2013 | NORMA SMITH

27 Jun , 2013

Tomorrow, Norma Smith is retiring after serving 16 years with Habitat Wake.  Norma is Habitat Wake’s longest tenured staff member in our history.   Thousands of volunteers from near and far have interacted with Norma over the years and have been greeted by her as they came out to volunteer.  I always tell our staff that we are here to set the stage and enable the work of volunteers.   Norma’s work embodied that.  Everyone is welcome and everyone has something to give.

Norma joined the Habitat Wake team in 1997 as a construction superintendent after years in the teaching profession.  In the mid-2000’s she shifted over to our Volunteer Services team.  Most recently, Norma created a group of “hospitality volunteers” greeting other volunteers as they come to our construction sites and to our office.  The positive, relational spirit that Norma has shared with so many on behalf of Habitat Wake will live on in our work as her legacy.

Norma is motivated by her Christian faith and knows well what it means to welcome others in Jesus’ name.  She has lived that out each of the days she has served at Habitat Wake.  Norma’s daily presence with Habitat Wake will be missed and we wish her the best in her well-deserved retirement, which based on her volunteer activities at her church and other places, will not be your typical “sit back and rest” type of retirement.  Godspeed, Norma, and thank you!


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