Elena’s Story

Foundation challenge grant to support critical repairs–with your help

What do you do when the heat goes out?

For many of us, a call to the repair company or landlord results in a warm house soon enough. But some of our friends and neighbors—who may own their home but are on fixed retirement or disability income—find themselves making do with space heaters or toughing out the cold under extra layers and blankets.

That is the case for Timothy, an elderly veteran living in Troutman. When an Our Towns Habitat staff member visited Timothy recently to assess the need for repairs, his home was so cold that Timothy was visibly shaking.

While Habitat is well known for providing a path to affordable homeownership, our programs reach beyond building homes. Our vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. One way we help build that world is through our critical repair program, helping people like Timothy, who own their home but lack the resources to make critical health and safety repairs.

This year, our goal is to help 41 homeowners with critical repairs. These repairs average $10K-$15K each. Your donation stays right here, in your own community, and right now, your gift will go twice as far, thanks to a generous $20,000 challenge grant from the Maureen and John Ausura Charitable Foundation.

The need for working heat in the middle of winter is clearly critical. Yet often, the solution to these critical needs is not immediate. For some of these repairs, Our Towns Habitat is able to leverage government grants to assist homeowners, but the approval process can be a lengthy one.

For other homeowners, this kind of funding is simply NOT available. Your gift can help fill the gap, allowing us to tackle health and safety repairs with the urgency these homeowners need.

Timothy now has a temporary solution to his need for heat—a donated window heat pump. But we need your help to fully address repairs to his home, and the urgent repair needs of other homeowners living in intolerable conditions.

Will you consider a contribution today to help these homeowners? Every gift, no matter the amount, can help build a world where everyone has a decent place to live—in a home that’s warm, safe and healthy.

To make sure your gift is credited to the Critical Repairs program, please type “Repairs” on the donation form when asked “Where would you like to designate your gift?”

Lake Norman’s best cheesecake adds up to funds for housing

Rowboat Dock & Dredge, led by chef Greg Harrison, took the dessert crown on behalf of Our Towns Habitat for Humanity at the second annual “Lake Norman Men That Cook” event, with his now (locally at least) famous turtle cheesecake. Greg’s skills in the kitchen also raised $2,100 to support Our Towns Habitat’s affordable housing programs.

The event, organized by Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Club, attracted nearly 600 people and raised $25,000 to support 17 local nonprofit organizations. Local businesses fielded all-male cooking teams to prepare and serve samples of their signature dishes in a friendly competition, on behalf of the team’s chosen organization. Votes for the best dishes added up to dollars for the designated nonprofit.

Rowboat Dock & Dredge won both the judge’s and people’s choice votes for the dessert category, and came in second overall.

Greg has been cooking for more than 20 years, a skill he first learned from his mom.

“She wasn’t going to put any of her sons out into the world without us knowing how to cook, clean, iron and basically take care of ourselves,” Greg said.

He said he always likes to try cooking new things and experimenting–in fact, his cheesecake was a new recipe. “You can kind of cook how you feel, and to your taste,” he said.

Greg had his family on hand to help him serve his tasty treat, including sons Darius, 15, Isaiah, 13, his daughter Jenae, 2, and wife Melody.

Volunteer Appreciation Week 2019

Volunteers are a critical piece of the partnership model that makes Habitat for Humanity work. At Our Towns Habitat for Humanity, more than 2,000 volunteers work annually to support affordable housing in North Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties. Last fiscal year, volunteers contributed nearly 50,000 hours of work, valued at more than $1 million. Those hours were spent on the construction site building affordable homes; in our Habitat ReStores, sorting donations, pricing merchandise and creating product displays; providing support for fundraising events; providing snacks and goodies for other volunteers; and assisting with administrative needs in the office.

We are thankful for our volunteers every day, but once a year when Volunteer Appreciation Week rolls around (April 7-13), we like to make a special effort to call out their contributions. As we wrap up this  year’s Volunteer Appreciation Week, here’s a gallery of the moments we captured!