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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/

 

Families Gather at the Desiderio Community Stone Soup Dinner

The Second Annual Stone Soup Dinner Hosted by Desiderio Homeowners, Macha and Melissa

 

Macha and Melissa’s Family

This Thanksgiving, Desiderio homeowners, Macha and Melissa, gathered all nine families to host the second annual Stone Soup Dinner on the front lawns of their San Gabriel Valley Habitat homes. 

The event was inspired by the children’s book, Stone Soup, written by Marcia Brown. The story of Stone Soup is a popular European folktale where three hungry soldiers seek food and shelter from a small village. The people of the village are experiencing hard times and they were afraid to share anything from their cupboards. 

Upon discovering that they weren’t going to be offered any food or shelter, the soldiers declared they will be making “stone soup.” The soldiers ask if anyone has a pot to cook it in and slowly the villagers muster up the courage to share a pot, water, and fire to heat it. The soldiers recruit everyone to add stones to the pot and little by little the stones were added. Eventually the people begin to run to their cupboards to add other ingredients they had such as salt, pepper, carrots, cabbage, beef, and more. What had started out as a merely stones had transformed into a “rich person’s soup.” 

“When each member of our community contributes to the making of this soup, it becomes a tangible way to celebrate our differences and the struggles and joys that unify us…together at one table, from one pot, one spoonful at a time,” said Melissa. 

This story inspired Macha and Melissa to create the Desiderio community’s Stone Soup Dinner. For the last couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, the families of the Desiderio community dropped off various ingredients on Macha and Melissa’s doorstep.  

Families at the Stone Soup Dinner table

Custom-made Desiderio Stone Soup 2021 stones

At the end of the week, it was all thrown together to make a unique and delicious pot of soup with stones included!  

The soup included potatoes, pearl onions, carrots, celery, chicken, garlic, and miso – all unique ingredients the nine families contributed to making their very own “Stone Soup!” 

“The soup is a tradition that has so many layers of meaning. It came about as a way to stay connected during the height of the pandemic. It’s a reminder that we are not alone, that we don’t need to fear scarcity, and that our uniquely diverse community can create something truly remarkable when we realize the potential in every small act,” said Macha. 

The Desiderio homeowners take on Stone Soup illustrates how Habitat ties families together to create a community. You can help create more memories like Stone Soup Dinner for San Gabriel Valley families. Join our Expanding the American Dream campaign (Three Years. 100 families. Unlimited Dreams.)

Donations made by the end of the year (2021) will be matched up to $25,000

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. 

Multi-Home Dedication Ceremony

Thank you for joining us at the first-ever virtual multi-home dedication! Donors and volunteers like you have helped families for over 30 years! Your support means that four more families can now live out their own American Dreams! This ceremony celebrates four homes in Baldwin Park, Monterey Park, and Pasadena, respectively, that you have made possible. Join homeowners Kimberly, Tamer, Mai, and E’Tiffany (in spirit), as we officially commemorate the start of their homeownership journey.

Part I: Introduction

Executive Director Bryan Wong and Frances Hardy, Director of Resource Development welcome you to the Multi-Home Dedication.

Special thanks to our Habitat heroes:

  • The Ahmanson Foundation, Grifols, Jacque Wright, The Bank of America Foundation, Southern California Edison, Union Bank Foundation, Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, Warren J. Thomas, Tim Barber LTD., Pasadena Methodist Foundation, John Jones, Pacific Premier Bank, Travelers Insurance, De Nova Community Fund, Eleanor Grossman, Compton Youth Build, Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Margaret Jansen and Cheryl Bode, anonymous donors and many, many others

Part II: Invocation – Julianna Jaynes

Per Habitat tradition, Donor Care Coordinator, Julianna Jaynes, says a few words and officially opens the dedication in prayer.

Part III: Baldwin Park Mayor, Emmanuel Estrada

Our next speaker is Baldwin Park Mayor Emmanuel Estrada. Mayor Estrada is a champion and key partner for affordable housing and homeownership in Baldwin Park.

Part IV: Homeowner Question and Answer Session

Sara Smola, Managing Editor of Pasadena Magazine, helps us learn more about our new Habitat homeowners, Mai, Tamer, and Kimberly.

Part V: Passing of the Keys – Kimberly

There are many partners who help make a project like this possible. One of these partners is Grifols. They have been instrumental in creating more affordable housing throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Karen Glenn, Grifols’ Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs gives the keys to Habitat Homeowner, Kimberly.

Part VI: Passing of the Keys – Tamer

Another housing champion with us today is our generous donor, Margaret Jensen. Like many of our donors, she is dedicated to ensuring everyone has a decent and safe place to call home. And while, according to her, she can’t go out and build, she can sure throw money at our mission! Thanks to Margaret and donors just like you, Tamer and his family are now on their way to their own American Dream.

Part VII: Passing of the Keys – Mai

Another guest joining us today is Cheryl Bode. A very generous donor, Cheryl represents the hundreds of people just like her committed to ending the housing crisis through their generosity. Watch as she hands the keys to Mai, one of our newest Habitat homeowners.

Part VIII: End of Ceremony

Bryan Wong, Executive Director, makes departing remarks.

This is just the beginning, but with your help, we can continue to be housing innovators and serve more families than ever before! See the many ways you can continue to help below.

Join the Builders’ Club

The Builders’ Club is a passionate and determined group of monthly givers on a mission to end the housing crisis in the San Gabriel Valley region.

As a member, you make a difference all year round. With every monthly donation you make, you alter the trajectory of families’ lives. Increased health, double the chances of attending college, and financial freedom are just a few benefits that your membership brings to families living in the homes your contributions will help build.

Join the Builders’ Club HERE

Share This Page with Your Network

The best way to make more change and help more families is by getting more people involved! Share this page with your network. Even better? Follow us on social media, share, like, and help more families with just a few clicks and keystrokes!

Check out Facebook, Check out Instagram, Check out Twitter

The Howard Street Story

The Howard Street homes, also known as the Howard-Navarro homes, are made possible through a partnership with the City of Pasadena. Also part of this project are the many donors, corporate partners, homeowners, and volunteers who will help build these two homes from the ground up. When completed, these homes will transform the lives of the families for generations. Keep visiting this page for the latest updates on the fifth SGV Habitat project in the City of Pasadena.

Project Stats: 2 New Homes

Update – June 17, 2021

This vacant slab of dirt with empty garden boxes will soon be the foundation for the the hopes and dreams of two families.

Update – July 2, 2021 – Howard-Navarro Groundbreaking Ceremony

As is the Habitat tradition, elected officials, donors, faith and youth partners, corporate partners, and community come together to celebrate the beginning of construction at the latest SGV Habitat homesite in Pasadena. Watch these videos in order to get the ultimate groundbreaking experience.

Part I: Introduction

Executive Director Bryan Wong and Frances Hardy, Director of Resource Development welcome you to the Howard-Navarro site in Pasadena.

Part II: Invocation – Dr. Reverend Lisa Hansen

Per Habitat tradition, Reverend Lisa Hansen from Pasadena Presbyterian Church says a few words and officially opens the groundbreaking in prayer.

Part III: Congresswoman Judy Chu

Our next speaker is Congresswoman Judy Chu. Representative Chu is a champion for affordable housing and homeownership locally and nationally. We were honored to host the Congresswoman last year during our Women Build a Better World Webinar series and are delighted to have her here again with us to celebrate the beginning of this project.

Part IV: Mayor Victor Gordo

Our next speaker, Mayor Victor Gordo of Pasadena, personally supported and voted for this project to take place.

Part V: Jim Wong

There are many partners who help make a project like this possible. One of these partners is Pasadena’s Department of Housing. We’re glad to work with the Housing Department again to make affordable homeownership more present in this great city! Jim Wong is one of the very special people at the department who have helped make this project possible.

Part VI: Assemblymember Chris Holden

Another housing champion with us today is State Assemblymember Chris Holden. Assemblymember Holden is no stranger to Habitat for Humanity. He’s helped us pass important legislation at the state level to help more Californians access safe, decent and affordable housing. Locally, he’s joined us on many projects like these. In fact, just a few years ago, he, his wife and several of his staff joined us for our annual Women Build program where they helped landscape 9 homes.

Part VII: District Representative Dominick Correy

Another guest joining us today is from State Senator Portantino’s office. Senator Portantino has been a long-time Habitat champion, serves on our honorary board and was even part of our organization’s hiring committee at one point. We are grateful for Senator Portantino’s partnership and are pleased to have Dominick Correy with us today to say a few words on behalf of the Senator. Rumor has it that Dominick is an avid ReStore supporter! Our ReStores are our social enterprise stores that sell furniture, appliances, home goods, and building materials. All proceeds from the stores help fund our mission.

Part VIII: End of Ceremony

And now, enjoy the end of the show!

 

Help More Families Before 2020 Ends

Your End Of Year Donations Provide Essential, Life-Changing Homeownership and Home Repair Opportunities for Families – and a Tax Break For You!

$300-$600 tax deduction

The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act allows you to take a deduction of up to $300 (0r $600 per couple) in charitable gifts made in cash.

This is an additional “above-the-line” deduction that reduces your taxable income by deducting up to $300 per individual or $600 per couple from your adjusted gross income for the 2020 calendar year. This is available to everyone who takes the standardized deductions (taxpayers who do not itemize deductions).

Expanded deductibility on gifts for those who itemize

For the 2020 calendar year only, the CARES act has increased the charitable deduction maximum from 60% of your adjusted gross income to 100% for taxpayers who do itemize. What does this mean? Your cash donations to SGV Habitat can be deducted up to 100% of your adjusted gross income for your 2020 taxes. What does this also mean? Your deductions are greater – and so is your impact on families!

This is your last chance before 2020 ends to help families find the stability they long for through homeownership. Your support today affects lives for generations. The best part is, there are many ways you can help!

Donate Now Online

Cash donations are quick and easy way to show your commitment to helping families and ending the housing crisis. Interested in making a donation on behalf of a friend or loved one? You can! Use the comment box in the donation form to let us know. Ready to make a cash donation online? Click the button below!

Donor-Advised Fund Gifts

A Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is a savings account for money that you plan to donate to charity. A DAF offers certain tax benefits for the donor, and donations made from a donor’s DAF to SGV Habitat benefit families as they build or repair their own home. If you have a DAF, please consider helping a family by recommending a donation to SGV Habitat. If you have questions about DAF, please contact Paul Van Ast at (626) 340-2280 or email.

Stock and Mutual Fund Gifts

Donating stocks or mutual funds may give you certain tax benefits when you make your gift, like receiving an income tax charitable deduction for the full market value of the donated stock at the time of the gift. Start the process now to get your tax letter on time! To donate stocks or bonds, please inform your broker that our investment account is with:

D|A|Davidson
David Bland or Karen Moreno
(213) 620-1850

Workplace Match Gifts

Many employers will match tax-deductible charitable contributions made by their employees, retirees and employees’ spouses. Some provide matching funds to support employee volunteer hours. The gift you give today could be DOUBLED OR EVEN TRIPLED. Click here to learn more about workplace contributions.

Cars for Homes

When you donate your vehicle, proceeds go right back to helping families in Northeast Los Angeles, Glendale, Pasadena, and the San Gabriel Valley build or repair their own home. Running or not, every vehicle donation makes an impact and helps families gain independence. It’s fast and easy through our donation website and better yet – you may qualify for a tax deduction.

No matter how you choose to give, every donation creates endless opportunities and impact that lasts for generations!

Home for the Holidays


 

The holiday season often leads us to reflect on what is truly important. For me, this time of year is particularly special. I am always moved by the charitable acts from kind people like you who respond to our urgent request to help our community’s families in need.

For many low-income families in Northeast Los Angeles, Pasadena, Glendale, and the San Gabriel Valley, the holidays can be a hard and stressful time…a stark reminder of what it means not to have an affordable and permanent place to live.

This year more than ever, our community’s low-income families need your help. The pandemic has been unforgiving as these families have endured significant financial hardships and uncertainty. The cost of housing is weighing even heavier on those who were already struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

With your holiday gift, you can help a family receive the best gift of all…the opportunity to become homeowners with their very own decent and affordable place to call home.

Imagine how meaningful this holiday season could be for a family who receives the good news that they have qualified for our program and will become homeowners or receive help repairing their home! You can bring this joyful news to a family by making a donation right now.

You have helped more than 230 families spend their holidays in a home that is safe, decent and affordable, including the local families pictured above.

Harold, Idalia, and their family moved into their home last year. We are happy to tell you that they are thriving in their new Habitat home in Pasadena! Keep reading to see what life was like before homeownership and how their lives are now.

Before, their rental house was so small, they converted the porch into a bedroom.
Now, their home is large enough to comfortably house their family of six.

Before, the doorways were so narrow that Harold and Idalia had to carry Paula, their wheelchair-bound daughter, from room to room.
Now, Paula finally has a home that works for her! It has a ramp, wide doorways, and an accessible bathroom.

Before, the ever-present stress in their lives was worrying about constant moves due to increasing rent.
Now, “My parents no longer worry about having to move us again.”, said their daughter Katherine.

“Everything has changed for the better,” Idalia told us. “Our children are happier and feel more secure.”

Harold and Idalia know that owning their own home is making it possible for their children to have a better future.

Supporters like you have made this dream a reality for Harold and Idalia! Your continued contributions will make it possible for even more families to achieve the same dream that Harold and Idalia have. You make it possible for families to become homeowners.

Celebrate this holiday season by giving hope to another family in need by making a gift to San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity today.

Gratefully,

Mark Van Lue
Executive Director

P.S. Give more families like Harold and Idalia’s a hand up – not a hand out – to help them build and buy their own decent and affordable homes. Please send your most generous holiday gift today!


Waverly ADU Groundbreaking in Pasadena

Thank you for joining us at the first-ever virtual groundbreaking in SGV Habitat history! Historically, donors and volunteers like you have helped families move into full-size homes for over three decades. Your support for over thirty years has led us here – to the first ADU (accessory dwelling unit) ever built by our organization! We are embarking on a new journey in housing, utilizing lessons learned and innovative methods to serve more families in San Gabriel Valley, but remember, this is all possible thanks to you!

This is just the beginning, but with your help, we can continue to be housing innovators and serve more families than ever before! See the many ways you can continue to help below.

 

Join the Builders’ Club

The Builders’ Club is a passionate and determined group of monthly givers on a mission to end the housing crisis in the San Gabriel Valley region.

As a member, you make a difference all year round. With every monthly donation you make, you alter the trajectory of families’ lives. Increased health, double the chances of attending college, and financial freedom are just a few benefits that your membership brings to families living in the homes your contributions will help build.

Join the Builders’ Club HERE

Register for Women Build 2020 (It’s Free!)

Taking place virtually October 3 at 11 am, this year’s Women Build highlights women’s stories of resiliency; uniting and empowering us to help solve the housing crisis here in the San Gabriel Valley.

Register for Women Build HERE

Share This Page with Your Network

The best way to make more change and help more families is by getting more people involved! Share this page with your network. Even better? Follow us on social media, share, like, and help more families with just a few clicks and keystrokes!

Check out Facebook, Check out Instagram, Check out Twitter