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Women Build Brings Us Together

I started volunteering with Our Towns for Humanity through a volunteer campaign while working with Lowe’s Corporate in 2002. At that time, I did not know anything about construction and very little about Habitat for Humanity, but decided to go out on a Saturday and see what it was all about. I was intrigued enough after that one day to decide to go out again in the future.

One of my first major houses I worked on was a Women Build house. At that time, I knew very little about that either, and was amazed to meet school teachers, church ministry leaders and others from all corners of corporate America, all working together to build a house. The one thing they all had in common was a passion for the Habitat mission and a desire to make a difference through building affordable housing.

I was fortunate to meet Manny, our construction manager, on that house. His passion for the Habitat mission was incredibly infectious. Manny also was a great teacher, he knew an enormous amount about building houses and, even better, he easily taught us how to do so as well.

Habitat for Humanity International’s Women Build initiative originated in Charlotte and has served to be a critical component of the Our Towns Habitat mission as well. We have a dedicated, committed group of women in our community that love Habitat and recognize the difference affordable housing makes, not only in our families but also in our community.

I’m proud to be a small part of this group and I hope we are able to continue building on this worthwhile tradition. I’m happy to share that our Women Build team has recently launched fundraising efforts to build its 10th home with Our Towns, with construction slated to begin this fall.

If you have never worked on a Women Build house before, I invite you to step out of your comfort zone and come out on the construction site with us. You will be amazed how much you’ll learn, and how empowering it is to build side by side with future homeowners, building their own home and a better future. Visit our Women Build page to learn more and fill out an interest form.

In Faith,

Denise Copeland
Interim Executive Director

We’re Looking for a Few New Wonder Women

What does it take to be Wonder Woman?

With just a hammer, nails and a few boards, any woman can be a Wonder Woman for affordable housing!

Right now, Our Towns Habitat’s Women Build team is looking for new volunteers to come out and build with us! If you’ve never volunteered on a build site before, we invite you to join us for our next Women Build Day on Saturday, Nov. 4. It’s a great opportunity to learn new skills, meet new friends, and help build a stronger community.

On our next work day, we’ll be building sub-assemblies–which essentially means we will construct the doors and windows that will later be framed in with walls of the home. Whether you have lots of do-it-yourself experience or a total newbie, our construction team will turn you into a pro in no time. Sign up today through our volunteer portal–simply enter some basic information to register as a volunteer, then use our calendar of volunteer opportunities to sign up for Women Build on Nov.  4.

Our mission is to keep sowing seeds

“To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow”
-Audrey Hepburn

Shortly after moving into our own new home in late May, we fenced in the backyard for our then 7-month old puppy Lizzy. We have decided, though it’s not what the shelter told us, that she is predominately Jack Russell and she surely needs the room to run off the crazy.

Unfortunately, the backyard remained a soupy mess of mud and, after spending what felt like our life savings for the fence, we weren’t able to let Lizzy out to play without her turning into a page from Harry the Dirty Dog. So mid-September, my husband and my father-in-law set out to till the backyard, sow more grass seed and fertilizer, put down straw and water. Every single day since, we have looked out that back glass door trying to catch sight of a new sprig here or a new patch there.

Having spent twelve years as a local church pastor, I remember long stretches when ministry felt like throwing out seed that just didn’t take. It is no joke that Sundays come faster each week when you are leading a church. No matter what else occurs Monday through Saturday, worship still must be prepared for Sunday. There are always more visits to be done than can be done; there are always more studies to teach, more books to read, more conferences to attend, more meetings to schedule and more outreach in which to engage. And while our congregants never seem to tire of the “you only work one hour a week” line, the truth is the work is never finished and the pain of our people is never wiped away.

During this Pastor Appreciation Month, while I will not be sending you all new bibles or knick-knacks, I do want to share this word of encouragement with you: your work matters. Just as Jesus shared with the crowds, some seed will be eaten by the birds; some seed will fall on rocky ground; other seed falls among the thorns; and still other seed falls on good soil and produces a bumper crop!

Whether you see the sprigs pop up or a new patch suddenly appear, Our Towns Habitat sees your work in walls being raised, floors being installed, vinyl siding being hung and trim being painted. We see people smiling and crying. We know they will cook chicken soup for their sick children and play Santa on Christmas Eve. We know they will eat birthday cake and play in the yard. We know they will tuck their children into bed at night, knowing they are all safe and sound.

That is just a part of the work you all do. By helping to sponsor and build safe, decent homes for families in our community, you are not just building a home. You are, more importantly, building hope. And isn’t that precisely what we are called to do as people of faith?

In Jesus’ parable, though the sower knew that not all the seed would grow, he just kept right on sowing. That sower tossed out all kinds of seed all over the place. He throws it everywhere! Because your work matters, keep sowing those seeds! And if you ever need to see hope up close, I invite you to drive by one of our homes and know that this little girl Persia, and so many other boys and girls and moms and dads, are safe and happy at home.

Let the work begin!

Renovations to the retail space that will house the new Habitat ReStore in Statesville are finally underway!

The new ReStore will be located at 1893 E. Broad Street, next to Planet Fitness in the Bi-Lo shopping plaza. Our Towns Habitat for Humanity staff are already hard at work painting the walls, with more significant renovations to begin next week. Next steps will include installing new floors and overhead lights, installing restroom facilities, constructing new interior walls, assembling merchandise fixtures, and setting up cashier stations and merchandise displays.

Volunteers will be needed throughout the renovation process and once the store opens. We anticipate volunteer opportunities for both individuals and groups. To learn more about volunteering call 704-996-4477.

Donations of new or gently used household items–appliances, furniture, home decor, exercise equipment and more–are already being accepted for the store. Visit our ReStore Donation page to learn what donations we can accept and schedule a pick-up, or visit one of our “Stuff the Truck” events every Sunday in October.

Habitat Experience Inspires Alex to Give Back

When Alex was growing up, she spent her whole childhood in the same house. From that experience, she knew the importance of stability, and she wanted to provide that same sense of stability to her daughter Calynn,7, and son Carsyn, 5.

She also knew she was wasting her money on rent, and dreamed of one day owning a home. But until her friend Sierra, who owns a Habitat home across the street, encouraged her to attend an information session at Our Towns Habitat, that dream seemed very distant.

Today, as we dedicate the new home she helped build, that dream is not distant—it’s here.

There are a lot of things about this new home that excite Alex—being able to paint the walls however she likes, decorate however she likes, and just having something she can call her own.

But she is most excited about watching her children grow up here, in a quiet, safe neighborhood, where they can take evening walks together.

Alex’s experience partnering with Our Towns Habitat, working alongside volunteers, has inspired her to continue volunteering with Our Towns. She hopes to spend many Saturdays helping build homes for her new neighbors to come in Burke Circle.

Her big dream, though, is to travel on one of our Global Village programs to Guatemala, and help build affordable housing solutions there.

“I enjoyed seeing how people, who could be doing anything with their Saturday, would come out and help,” Alex told us. “I know there are still good people out here who want to help.”

At Our Towns Habitat, we are also amazed every day as we see how people, working together to share God’s love, can build homes, communities and hope.

Determination Led Fabiola to Become Homeowner

Fabiola is not the kind of person who lets obstacles stand in the way of achieving her goals.

She was still in high school when she had her first child, and had to quit school so she could work and support her baby. But she knew need a high school diploma for better job opportunities, so two years ago, Fabiola earned her GED–while working two jobs, as a single mom of three boys.

But Fabiola also knew need to do more to build a better future for her boys. She couldn’t keep paying rent that was too high for an apartment that was too small. So she decided to knock that obstacle out of the way, too.

Knowing nothing about Habitat for Humanity as an organization, she took a chance and stopped in our office on her way home from work. She had noticed our street sign advertising home ownership programs. She acted on faith and walked through the front door for information.

Once Fabiola qualified for our homeownership program, there were more obstacles to overcome. Still working two jobs, and expecting her fourth child, Fabiola worked hard to earn her sweat equity hours. She earned many of those hours assisting in our office, and became a familiar face to many of us.

Her oldest son, Christopher, now 15, helped out by watching the younger boys—Jose, 10, Diego, 8, and baby Luis.

When work began on her new home, Fabiola faced the obstacles of home construction with the same resolve she used to get her GED. Fabiola says that roofing—a task many people are afraid to tackle—was her favorite part of building her house.

“At first I was kind of scared, but then I got used to it and it was so much fun,” she told us. “It made me feel like I was really doing something to build my house.”

Fabiola’s determination comes from a desire to show her boys they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.

Fabiola has done just that, as she celebrates buying her first home. She will move her four boys from a small two-bedroom apartment to this beautiful new, four-bedroom home. We celebrate this milestone thanks to Fabiola’s commitment to partner with Habitat, and thanks to the commitment of volunteers and donors who also partnered with Habitat to ensure everyone can have a decent, affordable place to live.

 

 

 

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