Our first ever Build Community Day was a rousing success! Sixty volunteers came out to the Leeside Drive neighborhood in Birch Bay on Saturday and got busy on projects small and large, including:
- digging a ditch
- power washing
- debris removal
- cleaning gutters
It was an ambitious spring clean-up event that left everyone muddy, sore, and smiling. (View the Build Community Day photo album.) Our heartfelt thanks to every helping hand and to Whatcom Community Foundation’s Project Neighborly grant for making Build Community Day possible.
There’s still work to be done on house #37 … we need to caulk and paint the exterior and install gutters as well as hang drywall, paint, and finish the floors inside. You can help by donating funds to the project and/or volunteering your time. To sign up for a new volunteer orientation, email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
- 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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 email@example.com 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.
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!
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!
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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.)
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!