Building Community Blog

Judy Van Osdel has been supporting Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity since 2007 by making donations and volunteering on site. Her relationship with Habitat has grown from volunteering with coworkers to building with four Global Village trips to Costa Rica, pictured below. What keeps Judy coming back to volunteer year-after-year?

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity started in 1985 when a handful of compassionate people working in a church basement raised money to buy and rehab a home in South Minneapolis. The woman who bought the home raised two daughters there, has long ago paid off her mortgage, and still keeps the home looking good today. This infographic demonstrates the impact Twin Cities Habitat has had in our community since that first home three decades ago. Click the image to zoom in. Please share on Facebook  - show them why you support this mission. Also, check out this infographic on how the various programs of Twin Cities Habitat help create and preserve homeownership opportunities.

It’s holiday time and that means buying gifts for people. Whether you’re buying a small toy to give to a child one evening during Hanukkah, buying clothes a teenager needs to wear to school, or buying something fun to put under the tree for the whole family, you’re spending money, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. You build your list and buy your gifts one piece at a time. At Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, we buy and build homes for families, one piece, and one price, at a time.

Contributed by Mark Turbak
Twin Cities Habitat Staff Member

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity helps build and design Habitat homes that are handicap accessible for homebuyer families with special needs. This fall, The Tile Shop generously donated bathroom tile to help ensure one family has a home accessible for two of their children, who are in wheelchairs.

Way to go, Minnesota!

Across the state, 120,664 gifts were made to local non-profit organizations and schools, totaling $18,316,626.42 on Minnesota's annual day of giving! We're still tallying the numbers, but it's safe to say that over 800 people made a gift to support Habitat's work in the Twin Cities. Thank you so much for your generosity!

Whether building one Habitat for Humanity home or trying to revitalize an entire neighborhood, the work goes better when more people help. This all-in-together approach is paying off right now in St. Paul’s Frogtown and Rondo neighborhoods, one area where Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity has focused efforts since the foreclosure crisis. In the past three years, working in just a small cluster of blocks, Habitat for Humanity volunteers have built or rehabbed 11 homes and repaired 11 existing homes through A Brush with Kindness. The positive impact is noticeable, and both hope and neighborhood pride are on the rise. There are far fewer vacant, boarded-up homes than there were at the height of the recession.

All this work is thanks to an outpouring of support from businesses with strong St. Paul ties, local churches, foundations, and residents passionate about seeing their neighborhood become a better place to live. On the corporate side, both Ecolab and PCL were primary sponsors on Habitat homes in St. Paul in 2014. Holy Hammers, a faith coalition that's contributed more than $1M to Twin Cities Habitat's work over the years sponsored a third home. And the Builders Circle, made up of individuals who donate more than $1,000 annually to Twin Cities Habitat, sponsored a fourth home in the neighborhood revitalization zone. 

By Lan Freitag
Leadership Giving Officer, Twin Cities Habitat

As I sat in a meeting listening to the fundraising challenges we were up against in the current fiscal year, I realized that Habitat was in the same place as many nonprofits: the need is far outpacing the resources available. I wanted to do something about it and I knew couldn’t do this myself. Without much recruiting, I had a team of 8 co-workers volunteer to help me build Habitat’s first employee giving campaign!

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