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 email@example.com.
This month, two separate groups of college students have visited to volunteer with Habitat over their spring breaks as part Collegiate Challenge. Impressive, no? Instead of traveling someplace sunny where they could park themselves on a sandy beach for a week, these students chose to come to Whatcom County and help us build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.
Yes, we think that’s impressive.
Collegiate Challenge 2017
A couple of weeks ago the group from Carnegie Mellon (pictured above) spent their Spring Break putting up siding at 7535 Leeside Drive. This week, a group from the University of California, Berkeley (pictured below) is doing prep work for a community garden just outside of the Birchwood warehouse. Enthusiastic and eager to learn, both these groups are leaving us better off than they found us.
Thank you, Collegiate Challenge volunteers! We hope your trip to Whatcom County was as rewarding for you as your visit was to us.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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!
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?
A group of women in Charlotte, N.C. completed the first women-built Habitat for Humanity house.
Women Build became an official Habitat for Humanity International program.
Across the country, 52 homes were built through Women Build.
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 email@example.com or call (360) 715-9170.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.”
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.
There’s plenty of work to do and every hand can make a difference. Get in on the action by emailing email@example.com with your availability and contact information. We’ll get in touch with you to schedule an orientation and put you to work!
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 firstname.lastname@example.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:
Help us make the Habitat Store even better! Contact:
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 email@example.com to schedule.
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!
At 7535 Leeside Drive, the site’s been cleared and the foundation’s been poured. It’s finally time to start building a house. This Women Build project has been in the works for some time now and we’re thrilled to get started on the framing this Saturday, January 7th.
Let’s Build Some Walls!
We’ll be working in the construction warehouse, located at 2918 Birchwood Avenue in Bellingham. Work starts promptly at 9am and continues on until 4 or 4:30 with a break for lunch around Noon. Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and bring your can-do spirit … experience is optional.
If you plan to attend, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Janet, by calling 360.715.9170 ext. 1016 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know you’ll be there. We’d love to see lots of ladies swinging hammers on Saturday but as with every Women Build project, all genders are welcome.
A message from our Executive Director:
#GivingTuesday is less than a week away and if you choose to participate I hope that you will consider Habitat for Humanity.A safe, decent place to lay your head at night is a basic human need. Over 14,000 in Whatcom County will struggle this Thanksgiving to provide for their family, not only this coming Thursday, but every day, because their living conditions are substandard or – equally detrimental – unaffordable.
- The Ortiz’s mortgage payment is based on cost, financed at 0%, and set at no more than 28% of the family’s gross income. This means the family can afford other basics such as food, clothing and health care.
- The affordable payment means there is reduced need to utilize other support social services.
- The affordable payment means that children don’t move from school system to school system due to another rent increase.
- At 0%, every mortgage payment builds 100% equity. It’s like putting the entire amount into a savings account. The stability and ability to weather difficult times is priceless.
- Every mortgage payment helps the next family in need by providing unrestricted cash flow to support Habitat’s mission to eradicate substandard living conditions in Whatcom County. Habitat founder Millard Fuller called this Biblical Economics.
Your gift gives in so many ways and it is needed more than ever. Please click here and make a huge difference in the prospects for this and many other future families in need of housing.
Wishing all a warm, safe and memorable Thanksgiving full of many meaningful moments with family and friends.
John P.C. Moon
Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County