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We are LUCKY for People Like You

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by thanking our loyal donors, partners, volunteers, supporters, and shoppers 

On St. Patrick’s Day, we want you to know how lucky we are for people like you (our Habitat heroes). When we work together, we offer hard-working families the opportunity to create a healthier and more vibrant future. 

Whether you donate, partner, volunteer, advocate, or shop at our ReStores, you can make a tangible impact that will last for generations. 

Here are a few reasons why your generosity matters so much to our mission to end the affordable housing crisis in the San Gabriel Valley: 

  1. In fiscal year 2021, you donated over $3.6 million to build and repair more homes. Read more on our 2021 Gratitude Report. 
  1. You helped us launch our three-year, $28 million campaign to help 100 families here, and abroad, build or repair their very own place to call home. Learn more. 
  1. 6.450 total individual, youth, and corporate volunteer hours were put in at our ReStores and construction sites 
  1. 200+ tons of goods were diverted from landfills through ReStore donations 
  1. 40,886 customers shopped at our ReStore and all the proceeds went back to helping our mission 
  1. And much more! 

 

The housing crisis is ongoing. 2021 is proof, with your support, positive impact can be made in the fight to solve it. Every donation, every volunteer hour, every purchase at the ReStore, every advocacy effort – contributes to helping families live and remain in a safe, decent, and affordable home.  

Habitat for Humanity’s Most Famous Volunteer

Happy President’s Day to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter 

In celebration of President’s Day, we’d like to acknowledge the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter. James (Jimmy) Earl Carter, Jr., has always had a voice for affordable, decent housing for all.  

In March of 1984, President Carter resonated with Habitat’s mission of helping families achieve their dream of homeownership when he jogged by the New York City Habitat build and thought to himself, “Rosalynn and I should come up and give them a hand.” 

 

His Deep Commitment and Value Alignment 

President Carter and Mrs. Carter realized Habitat’s mission aligned with their values – they understood the need for families to have a stable, affordable foundation to grow. With this, President and Mrs. Carter formed a partnership with Habitat for Humanity and have been building to improve homes through the Jimmy & Rosalyn Carter Work Project. 

Although Carter is most known in the world for his notable accomplishments as the President of the United States, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, the Governor of Georgia, and more, in Habitat’s world, President Carter is known as our most famous volunteer.  

Over the course of 30 years, President Carter has inspired millions of people in 14 countries while working alongside more than 104,000 Habitat volunteers to build, renovate and repair 4,390 homes.  

“We have the ambition to share some of our good fortune with others,” Carter says. 

 “That’s one of the most difficult things in life: to cross that chasm between well-off people and families that don’t have a decent home. That’s one of the things Habitat has given to us: an ability to share, side by side, building a home with families that have never had a decent place to live.” 

A fact of Carter’s commitment

Carter suffered a fall in his Georgia home that led to 14 stitches and a visibly black eye. Despite his injuries, he traveled to Nashville to help rally volunteers during the 36th Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project with Habitat for Humanity. 

We are honored and grateful for President Carter and Mrs. Carter’s continued partnership and support. You can add to their mission of life-changing work by volunteering, donating, or shopping at San Gabriel Valley Habitat ReStores. 

Your Impact in the First Year of the Expanding the American Dream Campaign

In 2021, you (our partners, donors, supporters, and volunteers) provided homeownership opportunities and critical home repairs to 27 families in the San Gabriel Valley and abroad. This directly impacts the Expanding the American Dream campaign’s goal of transforming the lives of 100 families by 2023. 

The breakdown: 

  • 6 homeownership opportunities provided to local families 
  • 11 critical home repairs for low-income homeowners 
  • 10 homes built internationally   

This could not have been achieved without you. To fund this $28 million campaign, we rely on you (providers and preservers of the American Dream), ReStore purchases and donations, state grants, and mortgage proceeds. This campaign is 100% donor dependent. It is only possible through your generous support year after year. Thank You! 

The Expanding the American Dream campaign is going into its second year in 2022. This campaign is calling attention to the need for affordable housing and raising funds to help families achieve their dreams of homeownership. Running through 2023, it highlights the importance of community and the significant role a safe home plays in helping families thrive. 

“Our goal is to dramatically increase the number of affordable homeownership opportunities in the San Gabriel Valley” says Bryan Wong, Executive Director at SGV Habitat for Humanity. “The need for affordable housing in the area is overwhelming. We aim to make the world a place where all can afford to live—both first-time homebuyers and long-time residents.” 

How You Can Help:

  • Donate to the campaign 
  • Shop at SGV ReStores 
  • Advocate for affordable housing for everyone 
  • Educate yourself on the benefits of affordable housing 
  • Share your support by using the #ExpandingtheAmericanDream hashtag on social media 

Celebrating Habitat History of Hand-Up Model in Honor of MLK Day of Service

Koinonia Farm Koinonia is the Greek word usually translated as “community” or “fellowship.” The farm community emphasizes equality, shared resources, and wise stewardship of land and natural resources.

The story of Habitat for Humanity began at Koinonia Farm, an interracial community farm outside Americus, Georgia, founded in 1942 by farmer and biblical scholar, Clarence Jordan. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Clarence and his fellow Koinonia residents were fiercely committed to the equality of all people and utterly devoted to creating opportunity for all. 

A Rich History 

Built on the idea of partnership housing and born from that vision, we have grown into a global organization driven by a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. As part of this effort, in 1990, a small group of dedicated volunteers with a desire to eliminate substandard housing in our community founded San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity (SGV Habitat). The overwhelming need for housing in our communities has provided SGV Habitat for Humanity with a unique opportunity to change lives in our neighborhoods. In 2021, we made the commitment to serving the housing needs of 100 families over the next three years through the Expanding the American Dream campaign.  

Known for our “hand-up, not a handout” model, Habitat for Humanity homeowners work side-by-side with volunteers and skilled staff to build safe, decent and affordable housing. In addition to new homeownership programs, the organization offers critical home repair services to address safety, accessibility, and deferred maintenance issues to assist low-income homeowners to ensure they can continue to live in a safe and decent home for years to come. 

Homeowner Continues to Impact Her Community 

Billie Shaw, Home Repair recipient

Duarte homeowner, Billie Shaw, was a recent recipient of this program. For 5 years Shaw has been distributing food from a local food bank to homeless encampments in the San Gabriel Valley. While seeking resources to assist the individuals she was feeding she came across Habitat for Humanity, not knowing the blessing we would provide would be for her.   

A few years ago, Shaw’s roof was blown off during a strong windstorm. Without the funds to replace it she suffered from years of water damage, eventually causing portions of the plaster ceilings to collapse. She applied to the critical home repair program and not only was Habitat able to help her put on a new roof, we also painted the house. As part of the repair program Shaw provided a payment she could afford and completed several hours of “sweat-equity” giving back to the organization in the form of volunteer hours. Even though she’s completed her sweat equity she continues to serve the SGV Habitat by spreading the word about our programs and nearby resale store, the ReStore.  

“I just can’t believe this blessing I have received,” said Shaw. “They finished my roof and the next day a huge rainstorm came in. I finally saw the rain outside, but not inside my house. Now I plan to pass it on by telling everyone I can about Habitat for Humanity.” 

Shaw, who served as a nurse at Santa Teresita until the hospital closed and then pursued a career in law enforcement, eventually retiring from the Baldwin Park force, has always been called to serve others. It’s partners like her who embody the essence of Habitat for Humanity’s mission.

How You Can Help 

This coming Monday the US will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which under the King Holiday and Service Act, was transformed into a day dedicated to volunteer service in honor of Dr. King’s legacy. It is the only federal holiday observed as a National Day of Service – a “day on, not a day off.” It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. Problems like affordable housing. On this day we celebrate people like Billie Shaw who gives unto others, even when she needs assistance. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. 

  • Advocate for affordable housing for everyone and read how we continue to build a “Beloved Community” 
  • Educate yourself on the benefits of affordable housing  
  • Help sustain and expand the Healthy Homes initiatives at the federal, state and local levels, including public-private collaborative programs 
  • Strengthen enforcement of fair housing laws, including the Fair Housing Act and other state and local regulations prohibiting racial discrimination in housing markets 
  • Donate now to show your support to fix the housing crisis in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond 

 

Photo credits: Stephen F. Somerstein—Getty Images

The Maxson Street Story

Due to circumstances beyond our control we have postponed the planned dedication for February 12.

We are planning a key ceremony for March – details to be announced soon.

Be Like Elizabeth: The 8-year old girl who donated her savings to help families like hers have a safe and affordable home

 

(left to right) Executive Director, Bryan Wong, Elizabeth, Board President, Christine Silverstein, and Alejandro

Elizabeth, the daughter of San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity homeowners, Alejandra and Gilberto, donated $117 to help families in need of safe, decent, and affordable homes.  

Alejandra, Gilberto, and their four kids, suffered from constant health issues due to the poor conditions of their previous rented home.  

“It was always too cold or too hot. Since we moved to our Habitat home in Pasadena, we have not had to go to any doctor’s visits, other than yearly physicals. None of us got sick and we are so grateful,” said Alejandra. 

Moving into the Desiderio community in August of 2018 changed the family’s lifestyle. According to her family, Elizabeth has always been a giver. From donating her clothes and toys to family and friends in Mexico, to delivering food to the homeless along her commute to school she is always thinking of others.  

After meeting a Habitat supporter, Elizabeth made plans for her and her younger brother, Jonathan, age 6, to save $100 to donate. When the time came, she told her brother, “Don’t worry, I got it!” 

Elizabeth presented a custom hand-painted check of $117 to Executive Director, Bryan Wong, at a donor event located at our Desiderio Homes in Pasadena. The $117 came from her savings, which she saved from birthdays, tooth fairy visits, allowances, and more.  

When asked why she chose to give her savings to Habitat, Elizabeth said that “it will help Habitat families have a better life.” 

Elizabeth’s dream is to be a schoolteacher, specifically, a “compassionate and loving teacher,” or  speech therapist. She credits her elementary school teachers who taught her the valuable lessons of kindness, teamwork, and sharing. 

Elizabeth in her soccer uniform

Jonathan (left) and Elizabeth (right)

Elizabeth is also involved in various extracurricular activities in school. She enjoys playing sports including soccer, basketball, baseball, and swimming. She is planning to join the swim team next year. 

“Elizabeth is a very generous girl with a great heart. She is always thinking of others and how she can contribute to making people smile. This is not the first time she has shown her generosity. I’m so proud to be her mother,” said Alejandra.  

Elizabeth has no intention of stopping her fundraising efforts either and will continue to contribute back to the community! 

Those interested in following her lead and donating, donate $117 like Elizabeth! If your savings are anywhere from $17 to $1117, be like Elizabeth and join our Expanding the American Dream campaign by donating to help families achieve their dream of living in a safe and affordable home. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Justin

MEET JUSTIN

Justin (pictured below) is our last volunteer feature for #NationalVolunteerMonth. Born in San Gabriel and raised in Azusa, he has been volunteering with Habitat for over two years!

“I wanted to help local organizations that would affect a greater amount of people. Habitat’s office was just a 3-minute drive from my home! I started helping with clerical work and data entry and have been volunteering there ever since.

“On my first day of volunteering at Habitat, I learned that Habitat builds homes for people in need and bring communities together! Through many programs and events, such as Women Build, there are many opportunities for the community to gather, communicate, and give back.”

He continues to volunteer every few weeks – but why you ask?

“I choose to help others because it makes me so happy to improve or ease someone’s day in any way. I believe that helping others helps us stay connected, and helping out as much as you can brings more joy into the world.

“I think that a safe and stable home is important because it is crucial for one’s mental and physical health. A person needs a safe place to reside and rest at the end of the day. Further, a safe home is especially important for families because it is the place where they grow and create meaningful relationships. A stable home is essential. It offers protection and helps people flourish.

“I encourage everyone, no matter your age, to support Habitat for Humanity by volunteering. There is always something engaging and productive to do, and it is an amazing environment to work in. I know that every task I do when I volunteer will impact so many people. Whether you volunteer in the office or help build a home – there are always friendly people there to assist you. Volunteering at Habitat is always the highlight of my week and I am so glad I get to help this amazing organization.”