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Our Towns Habitat for Humanity Plants Strength and Stability in Mooresville with Help from Lowe’s Employees

On April 2, Our Towns Habitat for Humanity will welcome 30 Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers to 132 Burke Circle in Mooresville, North Carolina, to place the final touches on a new home for Mooresville resident Sabrina.

As a part of Lowe’s and Habitat for Humanity’s nationwide initiative to build or repair 1,000 homes by the holidays, employee volunteers will assist Sabrina in preparing her new home for moving day by landscaping her front and back yard. Projects will include rolling out sod, planting flowers and trees and installing a mailbox.
“Mooresville is a community near to our hearts since it is a place where many of our employees live and work,” said James Frison, Lowe’s director of community relations. “It is so meaningful to our employees to work with a local family to help them have a safe place to call home.”

Lowe’s partners with Habitat for Humanity to build decent and affordable homes in Mooresville and around the United States. Since 2003, Lowe’s has committed more than $63 million to Habitat and helped more than 5,500 families improve their living conditions.

Improved living conditions are critical for Sabrina and her two sons who suffer from severe allergies. The family currently resides in an apartment where conditions impact her sons’ allergies. The single mother shared, “We are so grateful to Our Towns Habitat for Humanity for the wonderful opportunity to have a home and a place where my sons can breathe much easier.”

With help from Lowe’s employees on April 2, Sabrina’s family is one step closer to owning a new home, which is projected to close at the end of June.

“Our Towns Habitat for Humanity truly values the partnership and support Lowe’s provides to the local community,” said Jeff Porter, executive director of Our Towns Habitat for Humanity. “Their commitment to build safe and affordable housing for deserving families like Sabrina’s family is unmatched.”

For more information, visit http://www.ourtownshabitat.org/ and follow Our Towns Habitat for Humanity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Our Towns Habitat for Humanity
Our Towns Habitat for Humanity is a 501(c)(3) organization bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope in North Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties. Habitat homeowners build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. In addition to new home construction, Our Towns performs critical home repair services to alleviate serious health, life and safety issues. Our Towns aims to serve 52 families in 12 months through new home construction and repairs. To learn more, visit http://www.ourtownshabitat.org.

About Lowe’s in the Community:
Lowe’s, a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company, has a 50-year legacy of supporting the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. Since 2007, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation together have contributed nearly $250 million to these efforts, and for more than two decades Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers have donated their time to make our communities better places to live. To learn more, visit Lowes.com/SocialResponsibility and LowesInTheCommunity.tumblr.com.

Homebuyers’ Kids Have Big Dreams Too

On Monday March 14, over a dozen kids between the ages of 7 and 17 joined their parents at a homebuyer education class at Our Towns Habitat for Humanity. While their parents learned about ways to manage and improve their credit, the kids talked about the basics of money management and the importance of spending money wisely.

Homeowners Kids Have Big Dreams Too

The kids described the difference between a want (like the newest video game) and a need (like shelter), and discussed why waiting and saving money was better than spending it right way. The kids talked about how their parents were saving more and had less money to spend on wants, since their main goal was being able to live in their own home. The kids then wrote down their top priorities, such as family, and their hopes and dreams for the future, including going to college, owning a home, becoming an author or an Olympic swimmer, and playing in the NBA.

The kids ended the session by building herb planters donated by Lowe’s so that they could grow their own herbs at home and be a part of the building process.

This is a pilot for a series Our Towns Habitat hopes to launch this summer on Life Skills with our homebuyers’ kids.

Declutter with Our Towns Habitat ReStore: A Simple Spring Cleaning Checklist

More than 70 percent of Americans take part in some form of spring cleaning every year, according to the American Cleaning Institute. The benefits of this annual tradition are easy to see: a clean home is a healthier home. It also provides a great time to take stock of the things you need and those you don’t.

Though spring cleaning is often most associated with bleach and glass cleaner, scrubbing and dusting, many also use the time to declutter their homes of items they no longer use. While the task can seem overwhelming, a room by room spring cleaning checklist can make the decluttering process much more manageable.

This checklist is designed to help you break your decluttering process into bite size chunks. Completing each room before moving on to the next will give you a motivating sense of accomplishment at multiple stages during the decluttering process.

The Three Box Method
The three box method is a great way to organize your decluttering process. As you go from room to room, take three boxes or large containers labeled “Donate,” “Keep” and “Trash/Recycle.” For larger items, place sticky notes labeled with the same three categories.

Removing all items in every room and sorting them into boxes also presents a fantastic time to tackle a thorough deep clean of your house. There are some great spring cleaning checklists for these tasks, as well!

Benefit your Community
In addition to providing you with a clean and organized home, we see indirect benefits of spring cleaning at Our Towns Habitat for Humanity ReStores every day from those boxes marked “Donate.” When those donated items are sold, someone in our community gets to give your item a second life for a great price. An even further benefit is that the proceeds from the sale go towards helping families in need of decent, affordable housing.

We’ve also provided a partial list of items accepted at Our Towns Habitat ReStores for each room to help you know what items from your home can be donated to the ReStores. A complete list of items can be found here.

Declutter: A Simple Spring Cleaning Checklist for Every Room

Bedroom
The American Cleaning Institute finds that the bedroom is the most commonly prioritized room for spring cleaning, so it seems a great place to start.

Surfaces
Examine items on all flat surfaces – the tops of dressers and nightstands, for example – and make sure the all are something you use regularly.

Closet
Take a close look at your clothes and shoes. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably won’t wear it again. The closet hanger experiment is a great way to examine how often you wear each item.

Under the bed
You never know what’s accumulated under there – and it’s time to find out!

Bedroom items accepted by Our Towns Habitat ReStore
 Bed frames, headboards, footboards
 Dressers and nightstands
 Home décor and linens

Kitchen
Cabinets
Perform a thorough cabinet sweep. Match containers and lids. Take stock of the dishes you need (and those you don’t). Remove expired items and be sure to check that all spices are fresh.

Refrigerator
Clean out any old or unused items in the fridge and the freezer.

Drawers
Is the infamous “junk drawer” located in the kitchen of your house? If so, take out all items to assess what you really need.

Kitchen items accepted by Our Towns Habitat ReStores
 Sinks
 Refrigerators and other appliances
 Dinnerware, glassware, bake ware, etc.

Living Room
Entertainment center
Sort through Blu Rays, DVDs and CDs and donate any you no longer watch or want. Recycle any empty cases you find.

Drawers
Go through any drawers to remove trash and other unneeded items.

Shelves
Organize all shelves, getting rid of any unneeded items.

Living room items accepted by Our Towns Habitat ReStores
 Furniture
 Antiques
 Rugs
 Wall art

Garage/basement/shed
Everyone’s garage, basement, or shed is different, and we’ve put them all together because what we are really referring to is the place in or around the house where extra stuff tends to pile up. This can be a closet, a finished basement, an outdoor shed or any place in between.

Donation piles
These spaces can seem overwhelming, so start with the easiest of all: donation piles. You’ve spent all year collecting items you need to donate, and it’s finally time to load them up and take them to the various donation centers around town.

Categories
Divide everything left into categories and go through each category one by one. Tools, building materials, cleaning supplies, whatever it may be. Check for duplicates and get rid of anything that’s broken – throw away if necessary but donate or recycle if possible!

Reorganize
For everything that you are keeping, organize by the same categories to help keep them organized year-round.

Other items accepted by Our Towns Habitat ReStores
 Bricks
 Pavers
 Doors
 Lumber
 Windows
 Tools
 Light fixtures
 Building materials

The Davidson College Campus Chapter of Habitat for Humanity Celebrates the Wall Raising of the Wildcat House

By William Worrilow, President of the Davidson College Chapter of Habitat for Humanity

For the past year, we have been fundraising for our own Wildcat house. Because of this, being able to participate in the actual build helped me to put our goal into perspective and see how much our efforts matter to the Davidson Community.

The build brought together not only Davidson College students, but also Davidson College Presbyterian Church members and Davidson College alumni. Being able to work side by side with students, alumni, church members, and Bill, one of the homeowners, an amazing experience. It was great to watch as the Davidson alumni and the students sang the Davidson Alma Mater in unison as they constructed the walls.

I would have to say that the best part of the entire morning was the raising of the exterior walls. Listening to Bill lead the count on raising each wall touched the hearts of everyone who was there.

To support the Wildcat Build, please go to the Davidson College crowdfunding site.

Our Towns Habitat’s Homestay Program Helps to Welcome Families to Davidson College for Graduation

For the past 15 years, Our Towns Habitat for Humanity has partnered with the Davidson College Chapter of Habitat for Humanity to offer the Homestay Program. As an alternative to staying in a hotel, visitors to Davidson College for orientation, family weekend and graduation can stay with a local family and make a donation to Our Towns Habitat to help provide decent, affordable housing.

This year, Our Towns is again offering accommodations through the Homestay Program for families visiting Davidson College for graduation weekend on May 13 through May 15. All suggested donations of $85 per night will go towards supporting the current Wildcat Build, which kicked off with a wall-raising ceremony this past February.

To host a family for graduation weekend, the requirements are simple! Hosts should live in Davidson or within 10 to 15 minutes driving distance of Davidson College. Hosts are only required to provide a bedroom and a bathroom and access to the home. They are not required to provide meals, entertainment, or transportation.

A recent guest with the Homestay Program told us, “People need to know what a wonderful opportunity the Homestay program presents for Davidson College, for Habitat, and especially for Davidson parents while visiting campus. We felt so at home while there. It was much better than staying at any hotel, and a real pleasure knowing our donation is going to support Habitat for Humanity… I hope the program continues and flourishes, because we plan to use it again whenever we come back for visits.”

If you are interested in participating in the Homestay Program as either a host or a guest, please contact Sabrina Pinkston at 704-896-8957 ext 131 or at homestay@ourtownshabitat.org.

We Can Help Children Now

Children living in low income households in Charlotte and the surrounding metropolitan area are ranked last in the top 50 metropolitan areas in the US in the likelihood of upward mobility. Dire statistics like this and others prompted me to meet with other affordable housing providers this month at an event called “The Charlotte Housing Symposium,” hosted by Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte.

“Children with unstable housing situations are more likely to have developmental delays, educational deficits and other problems,” shared panelist Stephanie Ettinger de Cuba, research and policy director for Children’s HealthWatch in Boston. But “a stable, decent affordable home” she said, “works like a vaccine providing multiple long-lasting benefits to housing-insecure children and benefiting society as well.”

Millard Fuller writes:

We have the know-how in the world to house everyone. We have the resources in the world to house everyone. All that’s missing is the WILL to do it.

We can change these statistics. Children do not have to be limited by the weight of substandard housing. Please search through this website and find one thing that you can do to make a permanent difference in our community right now.

I appreciate your generosity towards others,
Jeff Porter
Executive Director
Our Towns Habitat for Humanity

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