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Volunteer Abroad with Habitat

In Whatcom County, we’re already working in partnership with low-income families to build safe, decent homes where they can live and grow into their fullest potential. Now we have the opportunity to extend our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live beyond Whatcom County by traveling abroad to build alongside some of our international neighbors.

Join Us In …

At this time we have build trips scheduled for:

  • Chiang Mai, Thailand
    Trip Dates: June 15 – 24
    Q&A Session: April 5th at 5:30pm
  • Accra, Ghana – option 1
    Trip Dates: August 27 – September 6
    Q&A Session: April 19th at 5:30pm
  • Accra, Ghana – option 2
    Trip Dates: August 27 – September 3
    Q&A Session: May 20th at 1pm
  • Las Penitas, Nicaragua
    Trip Dates: November 19 – 25
    Q&A Session: May 10th at 5:30pm

All Q&A Sessions are at the Habitat Store. No question or concern is too large or too small!

Learn More

To sign up for a Q&A Session, schedule an informational call, or get more details, call or email Sarah: (360) 715-9170 ext. 1016 sarah.bond-yancey@nullhfhwhatcom.org. Download a printable flyer here.

The Finish Line Is on the Horizon

It took years to get the building permit, but the construction work – now that we actually have the permit – is flying by. Soon enough we’ll be inviting you to a home dedication.

A Special House

We’re got walls and windows, a roof complete with solar panels, and the siding is going up now. The windows are triple-paned, low-e, argon which will go a long way towards insulating the house. (Thank you, West Coast Windows!) The green zip board you see in the picture has a semi-permeable membrane which allows moisture out but not in. The solar panels will help get this house to net zero energy efficiency. (Thank you, Western Solar!) We strive for superior energy efficiency in all our home builds, but we expect 7535 Leeside Drive to be our most energy efficient build to date.

Help Us Reach the Finish Line

With lots of helping hands, we might be able to finish this house by the end of April. Call Sarah at (360) 715-9170 or send an email to volunteer@nullhfhwhatcom.org to get involved. We build on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and on April 8th we’re hosting Build Community Day – a special build day focusing not just on the house but on the immediately surrounding neighborhood as well. Join us!

 

Build Like a Girl

In an industry that’s historically excluded women, we believe our Women Build program testifies to the absurdity of that exclusion. And what better time to proudly present our evidence than during Women’s History Month?

  • 1991
    A group of women in Charlotte, N.C. completed the first women-built Habitat for Humanity house.
  • 1998
    Women Build became an official Habitat for Humanity International program.
  • 2006-2007
    Across the country, 52 homes were built through Women Build.
  • 2011
    Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County’s first ever Women Build project housed a 3-generational female household that had been living above a repair garage coping with exhaust fumes and mold.

Our Current Women Build Project

We started building with the Ortiz family at 7535 Leeside Drive in Birch Bay at the end of 2016. Now this Women Build project boasts a foundation, the framing, a fully shingled roof, and interior partition walls. We’ll begin siding the house next week.

Build Like a Girl with Habitat

You don’t need construction experience to volunteer with Women Build. All you need are a sturdy pair of shoes and the willingness to learn. Learn more by emailing Sarah at volunteer@nullhfhwhatcom.org or call (360) 715-9170.

 

Build Community on April 8th

Thanks to funding from Whatcom Community Foundation’s Project Neighborly, we’re preparing for our first ever Build Community Day. A day of building and beautifying in the neighborhood Habitat homebuyers Juana & Julio will soon call home, this event was planned on the premise that common ground isn’t hard to find when we get out on a work site and get dirty and tired together.

Every Hand Can Make a Difference

Multiple volunteer crews will work on a variety of projects which may include things like:

  • construction work at 7535 Leeside Drive
  • general neighborhood cleanup
  • fence repair
  • landscaping
  • weatherization
  • debris removal

Enjoy a free catered lunch midday and go home at the end of the day knowing you helped build community! Learn more here. Sign up by calling Sarah at (360) 715-9170 ext. 1016 or via email to volunteer@nullhfhwhatcom.org.

Save the Date: 15th Annual Raise the Roof Auction

Join us at Settlemyer Hall on the Bellingham Technical College campus this April 22nd starting at 5:30pm for drinks, appetizers, dinner, and a whole lot of fun! At $40 per ticket, our auction is an affordable evening out. Proceeds will help support the construction of Telegraph Townhomes, a 24-unit development we plan to break ground on this year.

Email Fred at fred.sheppard@nullhfhwhatcom.org to become an auction sponsor or donate things we can auction off at the event. Buy tickets either at the Habitat Store or online here.

On the Construction Site

There are still a few mounds of snow on the ground at the construction site on Leeside Drive, but it’s nothing our volunteers can’t handle. They’re busy finishing roof trim today, after which the sheathing begins. Construction Manager Paul Stromdahl explains, “Sheathing is the process of putting 4×8 sheets of OSB ‘plywood’ on top of the trusses. This sheathing will be covered by the shingles.”

What’s Next?

That plywood will also be installed directly beneath the trusses (the triangular shaped wooden pieces that support the roof) to create the home’s ceiling. “That gets taped,” Paul says, explaining how tight seals are created during construction that will help make this house as energy efficient as possible.

Once the sheathing and the ceiling are done, it’ll be time to cover the roof in tar paper. The shingles will get nailed down on top of that. In the midst of that work, some volunteers will also work on the interior partitions – the walls inside the house.

Get Involved

There’s plenty of work to do and every hand can make a difference. Get in on the action by emailing volunteer@nullhfhwhatcom.org with your availability and contact information. We’ll get in touch with you to schedule an orientation and put you to work!

Habitat Happenings

Work out at Leeside is temporarily paused due to the weather. One of our volunteers, Jean, reported that the street is icy and very difficult to navigate. This puts us a little behind but we feel confident we can make up lost time as the weather improves. If you’d like to help out, give us a call at (360) 715-9170 or send an email to volunteer@nullhfhwhatcom.org. Every hand can make a difference!

Join Our Store Advisory Committee

If you have retail expertise, we need you on our Store Advisory Committee. Committee members are volunteers who give back by sharing their knowledge, experience, and skills in these areas:

  • retail
  • merchandising
  • marketing
  • P&L

Help us make the Habitat Store even better! Contact:

 Amy Mitchell
(360) 778-2036
amy.mitchell@nullhfhwhatcom.org
– or – John Moon
(360) 715-9170
john.moon@nullhfhwhatcom.org

Book Our Community Room

Construction on our offices in the back of the store is complete and we’re thrilled to offer the use of our community room to groups needing meeting space. Download an info sheet here and contact debbie.johnson@nullhfhwhatcom.org to schedule.

From Project to Home

If you drive by the lot at 7535 Leeside Drive in Birch Bay, you’ll see something that’s beginning to look house-shaped. If you drive by on a Wednesday or a Saturday, you’ll see volunteer crews busy helping one dedicated family build that soon-to-be home. We’ve still got a long way to go, but when a project starts looking like a house we get excited.

Help Turn This Project Into a Home

You don’t need construction experience to help build a Habitat house. Construction Manager Paul Stromdahl supervises all work and skilled volunteers are almost always on hand to help guide as well. Still, if swinging a hammer just isn’t your thing, we hope you’ll consider helping out in another way: by donating money to the project. For every house we build, we must raise about $150,000 for land and materials. This particular project cost us a little more due to an unexpected mitigation process. Donate securely by clicking here.

Other ways to help include donating to the Habitat Store, volunteering at the Habitat Store, linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Habitat, or joining a volunteer committee. It’s easy to find a way to contribute that suits you, your skills, and your schedule!

Spotlight on the Store

Do you have retail experience and a passion for affordable housing? We need you on our Store Advisory Committee! The committee is made up of volunteer members who share their knowledge in an effort to make the Habitat Store a more successful retail outlet. We need members with skills in the following areas:

  • retail
  • merchandising
  • marketing
  • and/or P&L

Proceeds from the store support our mission to eliminate poverty housing conditions here in Whatcom County and throughout the world. If you’re interested in helping us make the store the best it can be, please contact:

 Amy Mitchell
(360) 778-2036
amy.mitchell@nullhfhwhatcom.org
– or – John Moon
(360) 715-9170
john.moon@nullhfhwhatcom.org

Parking at the Habitat Store

We were moved this past Saturday to see so many of our community members exercise their right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. But we were somewhat dismayed by the corresponding takeover of our parking lot.

And the proof is in the numbers: the Habitat Store saw a reduction of $1,328.00 in sales compared to the same Saturday last year because regular customers did not have access to the parking lot.  If you parked in the Habitat Store lot, your voice was paid for by Whatcom County’s poorest in the amount of $26.56 per parking spot. This is hard cash that will not be available to purchase lumber, ironically for the current Women Build project in Birch Bay.  If you parked at Habitat, please consider sending a check for $25.00 or whatever your heart and circumstances allow, to Habitat for Humanity, 1825 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham 98225 or donate online at networkforgood.org. Please help turn this problem into a blessing.

Raising Financially Literate Kids with Junior Achievement

At Habitat, we value financial literacy. When people are aware of financial risks and opportunities and have the education necessary to make informed choices, they’re better able to care for themselves, navigate rough economic waters, and advocate for vulnerable populations. Financially literate adults are well-positioned to become and stay homeowners, which in turn helps to ensure strength, stability, and self-reliance. And strong, stable homeowners make strong, stable communities. Financial literacy helps everyone!

Financial Education for Kids

That’s why we’re excited to welcome Junior Achievement’s financial education class for kids, JA More than Money®, to our community room this Saturday.

  • WHEN: Jan. 21st, 10am to 1pm
  • WHERE: Habitat Community Room (in the store, located at 1825 Cornwall Avenue)
  • COST: Free!
  • RSVP: Register via email to hillary.pritchard@nullhfhwhatcom.org or by calling (360) 715-9170 ext. 1013

Get ’em while they’re young, we say! Raising financially literate kids is a great way to smooth their path to economic resilience in adulthood and populate our community with stable, self-reliant folks.

Download an info sheet here.