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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.  

Recognizing Inspiring Women

As stated in The White House proclamation, “Women’s History Month provides an opportunity to honor the generations of trailblazing women and girls who have built our Nation, shaped our progress, and strengthened our character as a people.” San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity (SGV Habitat) will celebrate this month by encouraging supporters to nominate an inspiring woman as part of their upcoming Women Build event.

Since 1991, Women Build has brought women and their allies together to raise funds, recruit their friends and build homes side-by-side with those in need of affordable housing. To date, the Women Build event has helped house families in Glendale, Pasadena, Monterey Park, Baldwin Park, Monrovia, and throughout the San Gabriel Valley through volunteering, donations, and advocacy.

Our goal with Women Build is to empower women to help families build strength, stability and independence. We at Habitat have the ability to provide opportunities for hands-on learning, and given these tools, women can succeed in changing their communities.

 

To honor Women’s History Month, SGV Habitat is encouraging supporters to share a story about an inspiring woman in your life through our website (https://sgvhabitat.org/unsung-shero/) before May 6. Or, fill out the form below!

 

 

Who's Your Unsung #SHEro?

Who has pushed you to achieve the impossible? Who has supported you through challenging times? Share her story with us below to be featured on our social media and blog. Fill out the form below by Friday, May 6, 2022, to be considered.
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For more information SGV Habitat Women Build 2022, visit https://sgvhabitat.org/get-involved/womenbuild/

 

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

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.