Always Up to Something!
He’s called the Jack of Hearts – a friend to everyone he meets. A Jack Rabbit – always up for exploring something new. Some people know him as the man who went skydiving weeks before his 100th birthday. To Our Towns Habitat for Humanity, Jack Hart was a valued volunteer, supporter, friend and the 2019 Founder’s Award Honoree.
The Founder’s Award was created to honor individuals who have been instrumental in the development and sustainability of affordable housing in North Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties. It’s given annually for ongoing support of Habitat for Humanity and its vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Jack Hart discovered Habitat for Humanity late in life. In fact, he was in his late 80s when his daughter Carolyn drove him to the Cornelius ReStore and asked if he could volunteer. Jack quickly became a utility player at the store, who fixed up furniture to garner a higher price and repaired ceiling fans to get them ready for sale. Most of all, he was a friend and support to his fellow volunteers.
“He enjoyed woodworking and hearing other people’s stories. He loved people,” said Carolyn Hart. “Besides the friendships he made volunteering at the ReStore, he found a sense of community there, too — and enjoyed being a part of something bigger than himself.”
Jack’s service to Habitat didn’t stop at the ReStore door. He took his curiosity, enthusiasm and zeal for service to Guatemala four times, from ages 91 to 94, to help build simple, decent homes for people in one of the poorest countries on earth. As Habitat for Humanity’s oldest international volunteer, Jack didn’t sit on the sidelines and watch others work. He helped move 300 cinderblocks hand to hand to the homesite.
When he could no longer travel, Jack supported Our Towns Habitat in other ways. Today, thanks to his daughter Carolyn Hart and her partner Sandy Godwin, there’s a Jack Hart fund available for Habitat’s Women Build program and other urgent needs to help support the mission of affordable housing.
Jack died in 2018, just past his 100th birthday. Until the very end, he was always “up to something” according to those who knew him well. His legacy lives on at Our Towns Habitat.
EnergyUnited Foundation Awards $10,000 Grant to Our Towns Habitat for Humanity
The EnergyUnited Foundation is pleased to announce it has awarded a grant for $10,000 to Our Towns Habitat for Humanity, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, serving North Mecklenburg and Iredell counties.
Our Towns promotes affordable housing in the Lake Norman and Statesville area through two main programs—new homeownership and critical repairs. The new homeownership program provides low income families, who might not otherwise be able to buy a home, a path to homeownership with an affordable mortgage. Families must meet income and residency requirements, commit to homeowner and financial education classes, and serve 400 “sweat equity” hours, which are earned through working on the construction of their own home, volunteering on other build sites, in our ReStores and in the office.
The organization also offers a critical repair program which addresses essential health and safety repair needs for families who already own a home and whose limited income makes it difficult, if not impossible, to afford these essential repairs.
“So often senior citizens who own their homes have to make tough choices — between fixing the roof or paying the electric bill, buying food or medicine,” said Chris Ahearn, Our Towns Habitat for Humanity CEO. “Energy United has seen this need and is taking action, helping Our Towns Habitat make homes safer and weatherproof for these citizens who often have nowhere else to turn.”
Maureen Moore, communications manager for EnergyUnited, explained that the organization’s work and their mission directly impacts many of their members. “Our Towns Habitat for Humanity continues to make an incredible impact on EnergyUnited members through two essential programs,” Moore said. “Housing standards do not simply affect one’s comfort, but they also tremendously affect one’s overall standard of living. Critical repairs can often help address these issues and significantly reduce wasteful energy spending.”
“We are very thankful to receive this support from The EnergyUnited Foundation,” said Tom Fitz Gibbon, grant coordinator for Our Towns Habitat for Humanity. “This assistance will help fund our critical repairs program and will positively impact the availability of safe, sustainable affordable housing for our residents and communities in North Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties.”
The EnergyUnited Foundation is a voluntary, member-funded non-profit organization supported by EnergyUnited’s Operation Round-Up program. Nearly 70,000 EnergyUnited members choose to participate in the program by ‘rounding up’ their electric bills each month. The maximum monthly contribution for an individual member with one account is 99 cents. Each of these small contributions are pooled together in a single fund managed by the EnergyUnited Foundation to support needy individuals, families, and non-profit organizations like Our Towns Habitat for Humanity that complete an application explaining the reason and purpose for their requested grant.
EnergyUnited Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) is the largest electric cooperative in North Carolina serving nearly 131,000 metering points. Headquartered in Statesville, EnergyUnited provides electric service in portions of nineteen counties in west central North Carolina which include Alexander, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Gaston, Guilford, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Stokes, Wilkes and Yadkin. EnergyUnited Propane provides products and services to more than 24,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in 74 counties across North and South Carolina. Visit EnergyUnited online at www.energyunited.com to learn more about our electric and propane businesses.
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!
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Our Towns Habitat ReStores & Office re-open after Tropical Depression Florence
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**UPDATE, Monday, Sept. 17: Our offices and ReStores will re-open normal hours tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 18.
UPDATE, Sunday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m.: Due to severe weather conditions throughout our service area, Our Towns Habitat for Humanity will close all Habitat ReStores and administrative offices on Monday, Sept. 17.
Original post, Friday, Sept. 14:
Our Town Habitat for Humanity will be closing its three Habitat ReStores tomorrow, Sept. 15, due to predicted weather conditions as Hurricane Florence moves inland. The three ReStore locations affected by this closure are in Cornelius, Mooresville and Statesville.
These stores will also be closed Sunday, per our normal operating hours. We will evaluate conditions as they develop over the weekend before deciding whether the stores will re-open Monday. Please note, our Statesville store is closed every Monday.
Other ReStore locations are independently operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates and will make operational decisions based on their local conditions. To find information on the status of other ReStores, use this tool from Habitat for Humanity International to identify your local store.
Construction work on our home builds will go on as scheduled Saturday, with modifications. Volunteers scheduled to work on outdoor tasks will be reassigned to indoor projects, and work may wrap up early if conditions worsen. If you are signed up for a volunteer shift, you will receive direct communication about any changes to your assignment. Additional questions should be directed to volunteer coordinator Cathy Petriano.
Any additional closure/cancellation updates will be made here and post to our social media.