The Calculus of Gratitude
“People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
On the heels of the holiday season, a season of giving and togetherness, we reflect on the past year and look forward to the year to come. We consider our accomplishments and make New Year’s resolutions to improve on areas we feel are lacking in our lives. As I step into the new year, I am filled with gratitude. I am grateful to be a part of the Genesee County Habitat for Humanity team; to contribute to the work we do to build safety, security and stability for individuals and families in Genesee County; and I am grateful to you.
I am grateful for the many diverse ways you contribute to our work. Whether you are a donor, a volunteer, an event participant, a board or committee member, or a supportive partner, it is you who make this work possible.
We celebrated many accomplishments in 2016, including completion of 6 new construction homes, 3 work/live developments, 85 homes repaired and 188 Flint residents engaged through our neighborhood revitalization work. In 2016, nearly 1,600 volunteers contributed to our work and we received over $350,000 in estimated value in the form of donations to the ReStore.
While we have accomplished much in the last year, there is still more work to be done. We look forward to working with you in 2017 to build more homes, to provide critical home repair to homeowners in need and to revitalize neighborhoods. Thank you for all you do and Happy New Year!
P.S. If volunteering or charitable giving are on your list of New Year’s Resolutions, please contact me directly. I would love to meet with you and tell you more about the work we’re doing to put God’s love into action – bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. You can reach me at email@example.com or by phone at 810-766-9089 ext. 203.
Another Great Year to ReStore
Happy New Year from the ReStore! With New Year’s resolutions top of mind, we have programs here at the ReStore that will help make your DIY projects less stressful.
If you purchased latex paint and didn’t quite use all of it, the ReStore will accept your remaining paint and recycle it for you. We partner with a Michigan based company and turn recycled latex paint into a useable paint called “Everybody’s Paint,” which we then sell at the ReStore.
The ReStore also sells Urban Wood, which is a sustainable product made from Michigan’s salvaged trees. We carry over 20 species of lumber in different shapes and sizes for a variety of projects.
If you’re thinking of remodeling or updating your home furnishings, the ReStore is always in need of gently used merchandise. We also provide pick-up service for items too large to fit in a vehicle! Please call for any questions or to make an appointment. You can find our list of acceptable donations at the link here.
Community Impact Hits Home
It was a banner year for GCHFH's Critical Repair Program. We were able to assist 85 families with repairs inside and outside the home. On the exterior 24 roofs were replaced, 5 homes painted, 11 homes sided, and 255 windows replaced. Some of the interior repairs included 11 furnaces and 9 water heaters. Also, in an effort to assist with accessibility, 4 wheelchair ramps were constructed and 5 handicap accessible showers installed. During the ongoing water crisis we were able to replace a lead service line for a family in need. Also, with the help of Whirlpool, Dow, our construction staff and a number of volunteers, we were able to install Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration systems in the homes of Habitat Families and Home Repair Customers. We look forward to a new year of providing critical home repair services to homeowners.
Santa in our Midst!
At Genesee County Habitat for Humanity, we are blessed to have our very own Santa Clause! With the holiday season wrapping up, we would like to acknowledge Joe Herrmann, one of our most dedicated volunteers and Santa extraordinaire!
Joe moved to Genesee County from Lansing to work in a Buick Factory at the age of 18. After 32 ½ years with GM, Joe retired and has been a critical part of our Habitat family ever since.
“[Joe] is a huge asset to Habitat. With Joe on site, you can always be sure the volunteers will have a great day” said Juan Zuniga, Program Director at GCHFH.
Joe sets a great example for volunteers and brings an attitude to the work site that gets the best out of everybody.
“Despite all the homes he’s helped us build, he’s still not opposed to taking the crappiest job on the worksite,” said Construction Assistant Chris Smith, “He truly just shows up with a heart to help.”
Joe is a true team player that draws the admiration and respect of everyone who works alongside him.
“You give him an assignment and he’ll get it done,” said fellow volunteer and Construction Committee Chair Joe Verreau, “Whoever’s calling the shots, [Joe] just moves forward and gets it done!”
Joe isn’t afraid of any job. “He loves getting on roofs! Even little sheds, I’m like, ‘Hey Joe what are you doing up there?!’” said Construction Manager George MacEachern, “I guess it’s a Santa thing.”
True to the Habitat spirit, Joe also enjoys sharing his knowledge with others. “Joe loves to teach the homeowners the building skills he has learned, which is critical in our efforts to empower our families” said Zuniga.
Joe has also worked with Habitat in Florida, helped to completely rehab a food pantry with East Side Mission, and has been an active member of the South Baptist Church in Flint for over 20 years. Joe has also been a professional Santa Clause for six years which takes him all around the country. When Joe isn’t volunteering or ho-ho-hoing, you can find him out on the lake fishing with his dearly loved grandchildren. It’s been a real honor for all of us working alongside Joe Herrmann and getting to know him.
“He’s got that gregarious, warm personality,” said Verreau “it’s not receding though; he’s bigger than life.”
FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT CLASSES
From the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:
“We’re working to expand the reach of Your Money, Your Goals to more consumers, so we’ve selected 30 new organizations across the country to implement Your Money, Your Goals training with their frontline staff. These organizations include state and local government agencies, social services, legal aid, volunteer-based, and worker organizations, and a consortium of three consumer development financial institutions.”
With this designation, Genesee County Habitat for Humanity can help provide you the foundation for educational training to key staff and individuals, further empowering our community to achieve the American dream. Your Money, Your Goals is a toolkit to help front line staff and volunteers as they work with consumers on their path to financial empowerment.
ARE YOU HAVING THE MONEY CONVERSATION?
Your Money, Your Goals is a toolkit to help front line staff and volunteers as they work with consumers to…
We will begin scheduling training sessions in early 2017. Visit our calendar of events for more information or contact us at (810)766-9089 ext. 206.
How do you meaningfully engage community members as active participants in the work of neighborhood revitalization? It's a question that community development agencies have grappled with for decades. Here at Genesee County Habitat for Humanity, however, we think the answer is simple - give community members the tools needed to lead that work for themselves!
The first step to any successfull neighborhood revitalization effort is having the resources needed to make things happen, and Genesee County Habitat for Humanity is here to help! Thanks to support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Habitat has begun a new program called Flint BRAND (Building Resident Action by Neighborhood Design). Through Flint BRAND, resident groups throughout the City of Flint can apply to Habitat for support implementing projects up to $10,000. In addition to project support, Habitat staff works with all applicants to design high-impact projects that create a positive, lasting change in the physical landscape of neighborhoods and address pressing community concerns.
Voice of Women
Even more important than investing in places, is investing in the people that make those places home. Building off of the tremendous response to our Grassroots Rising: Resident Leadership Summit this past summer, Habitat is offering a free six-week training series titled Voice of Women. This six-week series provides participants with information and resources to help them take ownership of neighborhood projects and work effetively with residents and community leaders. Topics include:
Click on the links below for more information about Voice of Women, Flint BRAND, or Habitat's work in Neighborhood Revitalization, or contact us at (810)766-9089 ext. 208.