Progress on Leeside Drive
We’re making real progress out in Birch Bay, thanks largely to the generosity of our supporters. On Monday, Mike Peetoom – owner and operator of Mike Peetoom Construction LLC – brought one of his earth movers out to the site and got to work. He scraped grass and topsoil and dug the trenches for the foundation. A lifelong Whatcom County resident, Mike was happy to be able to help. “I’m a dirt guy,” he said, grinning. “If you want me to swing a hammer, I’m worthless.”
You Don’t Have to Swing a Hammer to Help Build a House
Like Mike, John Paradis of Umpqua Bank, supports Habitat generously. He served on our Board of Directors for 10 years and now serves as the Co-Chair of our Homebuyer Selection Committee. “I believe in what Habitat’s doing,” he says. “I’m all about affordable housing. And we’ve got some really great [homebuyers] we’ve been able to work with.” Today he presented us with a $4000 check from the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation for the Leeside project. Women Build and Youth United Build teams will soon begin constructing the Ortiz-Mendoza home with the family.
Celebrate Progress with Us
Join us on Sunday, October 30th at the Habitat Store from 2 to 4pm for a Permit Party to celebrate the progress we’ve made so far. We’ll have plenty of cake and inspiration to fuel us for the next phase of the project … building a house!
What Does Safe, Decent, and Affordable Look Like? See for Yourself!
This Saturday and Sunday, October 1st and 2nd, we’re participating in the Building Industry Association of Whatcom County’s annual Showcase of Homes. If you’ve never seen a finished Habitat house, this is your chance. This home, located at 2780 West Indiana Street in Bellingham, was our second passive-inspired build and we’re excited to show it off!
What’s A Passive-Inspired Build?
Energy efficient houses reduce poverty by helping to make long-term home ownership affordable. Think about it: how helpful is owning a house when you can’t afford to heat it? On the other hand, what if your home only cost $40 per month to heat? At Habitat we work to get as close to passive design standards as possible, which means we build super insulated homes with heat recovery ventilation (HRV) systems that keep air flow continually moving. A tightly insulated home that’s also well ventilated is a healthy, safe home that’s also extremely affordable to own and maintain.
See One for Yourself this Weekend
We’ll be at 2780 West Indiana Street from 11am to 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday to greet you, answer any questions you may have, and show off one of our finished builds. The homeowners are proud and happy to welcome you into their safe, decent, affordable home. Come on out!
Every Home Is A Strong Foundation
It was a beautiful day out in Sumas on Sunday as we gathered to welcome the Gutierrez family home. Executive Director John Moon opened the celebration with a reminder of the ripple effect that occurs each time another family is housed – their mortgage payments (made to Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County) create an income stream that helps make more homes possible for more families. In this way, the Gutierrez home is both a strong foundation for the family and a strong foundation on which we continue to build.
A Strong Foundation for One Family …
Every parent wants a better future for their family. Every child deserves to live in stability. As young Salvadore cut the ribbon on the home his family rehabilitated with Habitat, that better future and that stability came sharply into focus for all of us in attendance. It was a symbolic moment that embodied not just the work done to get to this point, but all of the work now possible beyond it. With a decent place to live and an affordable mortgage, the Gutierrez family can save more, invest in education, pursue opportunity, and have more financial stability.
… Is a Strong Foundation for Many Families
As we look ahead to more builds – including Telegraph Townhomes, the 24 home project slated for groundbreaking in 2017 – we do so from the vantage point of other, completed builds. Builds like this one, which will help to fund future projects. And the hand up multiplies, raising more people out of poverty and into stable, independent lives. Will you help to fortify this strong foundation by giving today?
Welcome Home, Gutierrez Family
On Friday, September 9th, the Gutierrez family’s home closed, becoming the 4th complete house rehabilitation we’ve performed. And what a change! Just look at a few before and after photos …
Remarkable! The Gutierrez family has put in hundreds of hours of work to make their dream of home ownership a reality and we feel privileged to have partnered with these dedicated folks.
Join Us for the Dedication
This Sunday, September 18th, we’ll meet at 211 Front Street in Sumas at 4PM for a home dedication ceremony. All those with well wishes for the Gutierrez family are welcome. A home dedication is a moving, celebratory time to congratulate the family as well as to thank the many volunteers and donors who have helped bring about a permanent housing solution to yet another struggling family. We’d love to see you there!
Janet and Fred – our Volunteer Coordinator and our Resource Development Manager – had a lovely time visiting with the enthusiastic employees at WorldMark Blaine resort and WorldMark Birch Bay resort today. Resort staff is eager to volunteer as a group on some of our projects and we’re thrilled to have them! Is your company interested in having Janet and Fred out to present to your staff? Email us at email@example.com or call 360.715.9170 to schedule a visit.
Costa Rica Q&A
With recruitment for our Costa Rica build trip in full swing, we thought it’d be a good idea to hold an informational Q&A Session for those who are interested but have questions or concerns. Our highly experienced Trip Leader, Sarah Bond-Yancey, will be on hand to give you all the details you need. If you’re considering the Costa Rica trip, plan to attend this hour-long session on Thursday, September 8th from 6-7PM at the Community Food Co-op Bakery Café (405 E. Holly St. in Downtown Bellingham).
Work for Habitat
There are some rather large shoes to fill in our office, friends. Our dear friend and co-worker, Becca Bell, passed away and left a vacancy that will require a special person (or persons) to fill. Do you know a talented Office Manager/Bookkeeper who’s looking for a new professional home? Please pass our interest along. (See the job listing on Craigslist.)
Build Trip to Costa Rica
Our Costa Rica trip is all mapped out. We have firm dates, cost, and an itinerary. Now all we need is YOU! Check out the details on our Costa Rica 2017 page and consider attending our informational Q&A session with Team Leader Sarah Bond-Yancey. Sarah has extensive experience leading international build trips and looks forward to answering any questions you may have.
- What: Costa Rica Q&A Session
- When: September 8th, 6-7pm
- Where: Community Food Co-op Bakery Café (see map)
Some good news to kick off recruiting …
The trip cost is lower than we originally thought it would be. On August 10th we told you $1900 plus airfare per person but we’re happy to be able to amend that number to $1725 plus airfare per person. An auspicious start? We think so!
Find this event on Facebook. We hope to see you there!
A Good Day for Golf and Giving
We had a great time at Whatcom County Association of Realtors‘ (WCAR) annual golf tournament! Each year, WCAR hosts a tournament at one of Bellingham’s beautiful courses to benefit a local non-profit organization. It’s a lot of work and we’re grateful that WCAR chose to make Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County the beneficiary of that work this year.
A Good Day for Golf
Janet, our Volunteer Coordinator, and Fred, our Resource Development Manager, spent the afternoon at hole #3, enjoying the sun and meeting the golfers as they passed through. The competitors were in good spirits and everyone seemed to have fun.
A Good Day for Giving
All said, about 75 golfers showed up to play. In doing so, each one gave of their time and their pocketbooks to help build safe, decent, affordable shelter for Whatcom County residents. We got to do a little giving of our own with a couple of drawings for $25.00 gift certificates to the Habitat Store. We notified the winners yesterday and hope they’ll find something they love on our sales floor.
Thank you to WCAR and to every golfer who came out for the tournament … we’re so grateful!
Looking Ahead: Costa Rica Trip
We’re in the preliminary stages of planning an international build trip! Soon we’ll be putting together a team of up to 13 volunteers who will travel to Costa Rica in mid-March, 2017 to build decent, affordable shelter alongside members of the local community. Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County has long been a supporter of Habitat for Humanity Costa Rica through our tithe program and we’re looking forward to doing some hands-on work. We’ll spend most of our days building, but we’re also planning to squeeze in some cultural activities. The weather will be dry and hot (83 to 91 degrees) … pretty consistent with most sunny vacation spots.
Sign Up to Learn More
Interested in going with us? Get us your contact information and we’ll update you as more details become available. So far what we know:
- Dates – March 16th through 28th, 2017
- Cost – $1900.00 plus airfare per person
Call 360.715.9170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like us to keep you informed as we move forward!
Golf Tournament Next Week!
Whatcom County Association of Realtors golf tournament to benefit Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County is this coming Thursday, August 4th at North Bellingham Golf Course. Join us for:
- Registration and a pizza lunch starting at 12:30pm
- Shotgun start at 1:30pm
- Cash prizes
- Beer holes
- BBQ afterwards
Register individually or in teams online here, or at the course (at 205 W. Smith Rd in Bellingham) beginning at 12:30pm. What a fun way to support Habitat!
We’re pleased to introduce Hillary, our new Resource Development Coordinator, to the Habitat team! Hillary first came to us in 2014 as a volunteer. “She made a LOT of Auction phone calls,” says Fred Sheppard, Resource Development Manager. That dedication and social skill makes her well suited to working with community members and businesses who want to support Habitat’s mission of building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. We’re thrilled to have her!
Speaking of shelter, we would like to hand over the Sumas house keys to the Gutierrez family before school starts in late August, but we’ve still got a fair amount of work to finish up. This coming Saturday, July 30th, we plan to lay down vinyl flooring, install cabinets, and paint. We need volunteers every weekend between now and August 20th to finish on time. Please consider joining us down the home stretch by calling Janet Straka at 360.715.9170 to sign up. You can also email her at email@example.com.
Play Golf for Habitat Next Week
Helping out at Habitat can also involve a nine iron, thanks to Whatcom County Association of Realtors. WCAR’s annual golf tournament is next Thursday, August 4th, at North Bellingham Golf Course. Because we’re the beneficiary of this year’s tournament, you can play golf and help Habitat at the same time! Shotgun start is at 1:30 PM and there will be prizes, BBQ, and even a few beer holes. Sign up individually or in teams here.