Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County’s 10-day Home Builders Blitz and Build Community Day, inspired and funded by the Whatcom Community Foundation’s Project Neighborly Program, made October a huge success, far greater than we’d hoped for. Our October efforts this year centered on the flagship Telegraph Townhomes Project (1050 Telegraph Road, Bellingham) and the surrounding King Mountain neighborhood. These combined events brought community volunteers and neighbors together to build and mend homes and hearts throughout the neighborhood. And we have many people to thank! First and foremost we want to acknowledge 3 selfless organizations without which we couldn’t do the work we’re doing right now: the Whatcom Community Foundation, the Kulshan Community Land Trust, and the Telegraph Townhome Project, LLC. Big thanks for their vision, passion, and commitment to building a better community for everyone in Whatcom County. This year’s Home Builders Blitz brought in participants from community groups and the building trades, including the Lettered Streets Covenant Church, Local 70 Carpenters Union, Wells Fargo Bank, Banner Bank, Highline Construction, Skeers Construction, and a cohort of 48 volunteers under the direction of Habitat’s construction managers. Also unique for Habitat this year was a political forum and lunch, the culmination of Blitz Week and Build Community Day. We invited all the candidates for Mayor of Bellingham and Whatcom County Executive to discuss how, if elected, their administrations would partner with organizations like Habitat to help solve the housing crisis in Whatcom County. “This is not about politics,” said John Moon, our Executive Director, about the event. “We’re not branding anyone as Democrat, Republican, Green Party, Libertarian — we’re not doing any of that. This is an opportunity for everyone to come forward and share their ideas to help us solve what we’ve identified as a crisis,” he added. We thank April Barker and Seth Fleetwood, candidates for Mayor of Bellingham, and Tony Larson and Satpal Sidhu, candidates for Whatcom County Executive. All took time out of their heavy campaign schedules to meet with those who attended the lunch. You can read their prepared remarks here. The political forum was made possible through the generous support of Umpqua Bank, which sponsored the Build Community Day lunch, Starbucks, Haggen Grocery (in Sehome), and Fred Meyer (in Lakeway). And a special shout-out to Unity Spiritual Center, which provided the meeting space at their Center. Hopefully, we didn’t track in too much mud that day! Finally, through Habitat International, we thank the national event sponsors: Kohler, DuPont, Ply Gem Residential Solutions, Tarkett, the Elizabeth Anton Memorial Fund, Huber Engineered Woods, Martin Marietta, the Masco Corporation, 84 Lumber, GAF, Hanley Wood, and Petro Home Services. Together we’re working to close the gap in affordable housing in Whatcom County. Thank you to everyone who came out this year to work with us with one heart and one goal, bringing back the American dream of affordable home ownership. (From left to right) Seth Fleetwood, Dean Fearing, Tony Larson, April Barker, Hannah Stone, John Moon, and Satpal Sidhu.