Library Programs Teach Children to ‘Learn & Build’

Part of our mission here at Our Towns Habitat is education—about what we do, the need and how people can help—and we believe in planting the seeds young! Our summer children’s program at public libraries allows children in our community to “Learn and Build” with Habitat.

Through our Learn and Build program, we have traveled to five different libraries and worked with more than 70 children ages 3 to 14. Lowe’s Home Improvement generously donates wood kits for these programs, which children use to build one of several projects including bird feeders, planters and tic-tac-toe boards.

Youth who attend this program have the opportunity to try their hand at “construction” using real hammers and nails (and of course safety glasses!) to build something tangible to take home. The program aims to teach children about Habitat, our mission and what we do, and to teach some very basic construction skills.

While the program is about teaching, it is also about empowering the children by showing them that they too can build something, despite being young. The program shows them that they have the ability to use tools and make something–an ability that they might not have known they had before. This is much the same way that Habitat empowers families to build their own homes and a better future.

Through the “Learn & Grow” program, Our Towns Habitat widens the reach and impact of our values and our mission. We hope to promote growth, empowerment and a desire to help in the community that will stay with participating children into their adult lives.

Class of 2016: Plan for your Future after High School or College Graduation

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If you are looking for an opportunity to make an impact in this community, consider serving with Our Towns Habitat and AmeriCorps as a construction crew leader.

Participation in the AmeriCorps program provides benefits to both the construction crew leaders and to families and communities. AmeriCorps members help families by building and renovating houses alongside those in need of decent, affordable housing. They strengthen communities by enabling local Habitat offices to use volunteers more effectively and bring diverse groups together in a common cause.

Tom, a current construction crew leader with Our Towns Habitat for Humanity, described the program by saying, “We’re providing families in need not only with decent housing but also an opportunity to take ownership of and care for their homes and communities.”

For the AmeriCorps members, the program allows them to develop skills in construction and leadership, which will prove invaluable in whatever endeavor they choose to pursue after completing the program. It also promotes a sense of citizenship in the AmeriCorps members, as they are inspired by the hundreds of volunteers with whom they will partner.

Construction crew leaders commit to 10 ½ months of full-time service starting in September. As compensation, they are provided with housing, a living stipend and an education award to be used within seven years to pay for education costs at qualified educational institutions, or repay qualified student loans already incurred.

For additional information or to apply for a construction crew leader position, please click here.

Wildcats Raise the Roof

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A time-lapse video of Davidson College students roofing a new Our Towns Habitat home.

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

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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.

Youth News

The Mooresville Youth Build Day took place on September 12.

* Youth groups and students from across Mooresville will come together for fun, food, construction, and some learning. Over 100 attendees met at First Baptist Church for kickball, cookout, HabiChat, DIY projects, and building window and door components for this year’s Mooresville Faith Build.

* 30 students from Community School of Davidson’s High School advisory program attended Norma Harris’s dedication on Friday August 28th to kick off their monthly service Fridays with Our Towns Habitat for Humanity. Their work will include time at the Restores and on construction sites.

* Davidson College freshmen kicked off their Davidson Careers by raising $4,000 through their community service walk to go towards the Wildcat Build in January. Davidson families and community members further fundraised through the Homestay program, where families stay with hosts and donate money to Our Towns Habitat rather than paying for a hotel. The campus community helped paint tables and shoe cubbies the first Wednesday of classes that will be sold to raise money for the Wildcat Build. And 8 Wildcats spent their first Saturday back framing walls at Poole Place in Cornelius. What a great first week of the year. Thank you Davidson Wildcats for your support!

* On September 25th Davidson students will host a Welcome Home Gala in the Lilly Gallery. The event will feature dancing, speakers, and a silent auction and tickets are available to students and community members. All proceeds will fund the 2015-2016 Wildcat Build. Contact typfister@davidson.edu for more information or to reserve your ticket.

The Youth House

Young people of varied ages came together to make this home possible!

Special thanks to the Habitat partners and volunteers who made the Youth House possible including Community School of Davidson Middle and High Schools, Mooresville High School, Birkdale Village Breakfast with Santa, Lake Norman High School, Cannon School, Davidson Day School, Hough High School, Lake Norman Charter Middle School, Langtree Charter Middle School, Davidson College, Central United Methodist Confirmation Class, and our Collegiate Challenge spring break teams from Ohio Northern University, Brearley School, and Catholic University of America. Your work and dedication are amazing!

Special thanks to the dedicated weekday volunteer crew and all the Habitat volunteers, staff and Americorps team who took part in building this home.