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Mothers Need Help with Housing

May is a wonderful time to celebrate Mother’s Day, but 1 mom out of every 4 faces the tragedy of rearing children in living conditions that are unstable. They can’t afford a stable home.

The stress of home instability hurts children more than we realize. Some instability is good, even welcomed, but, according to a study by the Urban Institute:

Children exposed to strong, frequent, and/or prolonged adversity, or toxic stress, are at risk for cognitive impairment and stress-related disease (2007). The result is poor academic performance, a lack of social competence, and an inability to regulate emotions.

Home instability hurts children when they are young and it leaves scars that last a lifetime. According to the study:

Even adult cognitive abilities have been shown to be impaired in part by elevated chronic stress during childhood (Evans and Schamberg 2009).

I  can only imagine how heartbreaking it must be for a mother to watch her child’s life melt away in a home situation that is unstable. Please pray for all women who nurture others. Many are fighting an uphill battle that seems insurmountable at times. Habitat for Humanity is one partner that is committed to assisting mothers in their mission to rear healthy children in a stable environment.

Thank you for what you are doing to help us help others.

Yours in Christ,
Jeff Porter


AmeriCorps from Our Towns Habitat to Participate in the 2016 AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon

Habitat for Humanity International is excited to announce that it has chosen the Charlotte metro area as one of the host sites for the 2016 AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon. Since 2004, the Build-a-Thon has brought together Habitat AmeriCorps members, AmeriCorps alumni, community volunteers, families, and other local partners for a week-long blitz build.

From May 22 to May 28, AmeriCorps from Our Towns Habitat for Humanity will participate in the Build-a-Thon. In one week, 150 participants will build 6 new homes and engage in 4 critical home repair projects in and around the Charlotte area.

Lodging for the AmeriCorps will be provided by Queens University, and meals will be provided by both the University and Charlotte area restaurants. At the opening carnival and dinner, participants will also have the opportunity to hear from keynote speaker Clive Rainey, Habitat’s first volunteer.

Cathy Petriano, volunteer program manager at Our Towns Habitat, says that the “AmeriCorps members are looking forward to the Build-a-Thon and are excited about the opportunity to serve the community and meet other AmeriCorps members throughout the county.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Build-a-Thon, please click here.

If you are interested in serving 10 ½ months with Habitat for Humanity, making an impact in this community, and working as an AmeriCorps team member, please click here for available opportunities.

Visit the Ada Jenkins Center for the Health & Financial Wellness Fair

On Wednesday, May 25, 2016 from 1pm to 6pm, the Ada Jenkins Center presents its Health & Financial Wellness Fair. Along with Ada Jenkins, the fair is sponsored by Our Towns Habitat, Fifth Third Bank, Carolinas HealthCare System, Davidson College, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

As part of the fair, attendees can get on board the eBus and learn to make more of their money. Services available include a free credit report and credit score, free money management and budgeting information, and free identity theft prevention tactics. Attendees are also invited to take advantage of exclusive Ada Jenkins benefits, such as free financial empowerment seminars, free ATM withdrawals at any ATM in the US, and discounts on loans and mortgages.

Vicki Smith, family resource specialist at Our Towns Habitat, encourages all to attend. Financial education classes are an important part of the homeownership process at Our Towns Habitat, and Vicki believes that sound money management is an essential life skill.

The Ada Jenkins Center is located at 212 Gamble Street in Davidson. For further information, please contact the Ada Jenkins Center at (704) 896-0811.

Our Towns Habitat ReStores Celebrate National Volunteer Appreciation Week

Our Towns Habitat ReStores in Cornelius and Mooresville celebrated our loyal volunteers during April’s National Volunteer Appreciation Week. As part of the celebration, the ReStores provided the volunteers with yummy treats each day, and held raffles to award special prizes.

The ReStores rely on volunteers to help carry out Our Towns Habitat’s mission. In March 2016 alone, volunteers donated 2,537 hours of their time to our ReStores. With a current monetary value of $21.47 per hour, volunteers donated approximately $54,470 to Our Towns Habitat in just one month!

Jill Laney, director of ReStores for Our Towns Habitat, summed up National Volunteer Appreciation Week by saying, “It was just really fun to celebrate the people who have dedicated so much time and energy to the ReStores. Volunteers are vital to our continued success.”


Honor Your Mom this Mother’s Day by Helping Carmen Create A Safe Place for Daniella to Grow Up

Every mother needs to know her children have a safe place to call home. When Carmen helped to raise the walls of her house on April 2, she felt like she was “in a dream.” Since her application to be a Habitat homeowner was approved, Carmen has worked hard to complete the program. She has been motivated to do so by her family, especially her daughter Daniella.

Carmen’s journey to home ownership has not been easy. She was injured on her job site several years ago and is on fixed income. Originally from New York, Carmen and Daniella spent some time living in a homeless shelter while trying to find an affordable, stable housing solution. The promise of a better quality of life brought the duo to North Carolina and this is where she found Habitat.

Carmen says, “Just thinking about my daughter gave me more of a push,” Of her own mother, Carmen continues, “Now she is so happy because she says now I can go in peace when it’s my time because I know you are ok now.”

Carmen and Daniella’s home is in the very capable hands of Our Towns Habitat’s Women Build team. This passionate group of female volunteers is leading the charge on building the 2 bedroom, 1 bath home in Cornelius. The Women Build site is a friendly and welcoming place where everyone’s contribution regardless of gender or previous construction experience is valued.

You can help Carmen’s dream home become a reality. The Leon Levine Foundation has issued a challenge grant for $7,500 for this project. For every dollar raised from now through May 31 up to $7,500, The Leon Levine Foundation will offer a 1:1 match. You can double your impact by giving now. What better way to honor your Mother this Mother’s Day than by helping Carmen provide a safe, affordable home for her daughter.

Click here to double your gift today!

Our Towns Habitat for Humanity Names New Board of Directors President and Vice President

For more than 30 years, Our Towns Habitat for Humanity has been building homes, communities and hope in North Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties. This year, under the leadership of trusted board members and volunteers, Our Towns Habitat aims to serve 52 families through new home construction and repairs.

Beginning May 1, Scott Lagueux, a partner and studio director with LandDesign, will assume the role of president for the Our Towns Habitat board of directors. Lagueux resides in Huntersville and has served on the Our Towns Habitat board for more than two years.

Lagueux is an American Institute of Certified Planners accredited land planner and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design professional.

His desire to embrace the current and future needs of homeowners and Our Towns Habitat makes him an ideal leader for the board.

“I have observed firsthand the impact safe, affordable housing can have on families not just over the short term but over the course of generations,” said Lagueux. “Our Towns Habitat for Humanity effectuates positive community change at the most basic level, house by house.”

In addition, Maxine Hargus, a retired educator from New Jersey, will serve as vice president. Hargus, now a Statesville resident, has volunteered with Our Towns Habitat for more than 10 years and has served on the board for more than six.

Working as an educator and serving on the town council in New Jersey has prepared her for this role. “I’ve always felt an urge to give back,” said Hargus. “I’m excited to continue to work with Our Towns Habitat, volunteers and future homeowners through educational and productive ways, giving a hand-up, not a hand out.”

“Our Towns Habitat is grateful for the leadership, expertise and commitment of our board members,” said Jeff Porter, executive director of Our Towns Habitat for Humanity. “We’re excited to have the continued support of Scott and Maxine and look forward to working with them in their new roles to build decent and affordable housing for deserving families in our area.”

Within Our Towns Habitat’s service area, more than 5,000 families currently live in substandard housing. New home construction is part of the solution to get families out of overcrowded and unsafe living conditions. In addition, critical home repairs have helped people in urgent need, uplifting lives and revitalizing neighborhoods.

For more information, visit and follow Our Towns Habitat 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