Author: Communications Manager

 

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@hfhwhatcom.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@hfhwhatcom.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@hfhwhatcom.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@hfhwhatcom.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@hfhwhatcom.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@hfhwhatcom.org
– or – John Moon
(360) 715-9170
john.moon@hfhwhatcom.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@hfhwhatcom.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@hfhwhatcom.org
– or – John Moon
(360) 715-9170
john.moon@hfhwhatcom.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@hfhwhatcom.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.

Book Our Community Room!

Over the summer, volunteer Bill Brausieck led a remodeling project in the store to give office staff a place to work. He did a beautiful job, and we’ve finally settled into our new digs … which include a community room! We use it for staff, committee, and board meetings, but we’re excited to offer it up for public, non-commercial use as well.

Make Yourself at Home with Habitat

We want everyone to feel at home at Habitat. And we’d like to support our community in whatever way we can. That’s why we’re excited to share this space for use by:

  • community action groups
  • study groups or educational seminars
  • hobby groups/club meetings
  • nonprofit board, staff, or volunteer meetings
  • support groups*

There’s no charge for room use as long as your scheduled time is during office hours. To book, call Debbie at 360.715.9170 ext. 1003 or email debbie.johnson@hfhwhatcom.org.

*Note: the community room is within our suite of offices and we therefore cannot offer you strict privacy during office hours.

Framing Work for Leeside Build Begins This Saturday

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 volunteer@hfhwhatcom.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.

 

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