Building Community Blog

General_Mills_crewTwenty-five years ago General Mills sent out a team of employee volunteers to spend a week working on a homebuilding project with a still-young organization called Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. None of the volunteers really knew what to expect when they got to that first home site, but having a day out of the office and a chance to work with their hands was enough to motivate them to volunteer. Three of those original volunteers have continued volunteering for all 25 years General Mills has been a Habitat Partner.

A little financial wisdom goes a long way, and one of the wisest pieces of wisdom is to develop a budget and live within it. For most people that means listing their expenses and subtracting them from their income to see how much is left over for savings, investing, vacations, etc. When you have a paycheck, it’s a fairly simple process. But when you’re a nonprofit, like Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, it’s not so simple.

Breck School seniors spent two weeks in May on site with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. They spent one full week helping build a new home in Fridley, and a second week doing painting and repairs on an ABWK project in Minneapolis. For several of the group this was the second year in a row they’d spent their “May Program” volunteering with Habitat.

It takes a lot of dedication and commitment to become a Master Gardener in Minnesota. That’s why Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity has partnered with them to design and help plant landscaping in every home we build in the Twin Cities. These gardeners undergo 48 hours of coursework and 12 hours of continuing education, and donate 50 hours of volunteer time their first year to become Certified Master Gardeners.

With Earth Day coming up on Wednesday, April 22nd, it’s a good time to take a look at how the ReStore can help make you an environmental superstar, help children get the homes they need to thrive, and save you a bunch of money in the process. Here are ten reasons why donating to, or shopping at, the ReStore makes good green sense.

As President of Twin Cities Habitat, Susan Haigh’s job is to work to “Eliminate poverty housing from the Twin Cities and to make decent, affordable shelter for all people a matter of conscience.” That’s the mission of the organization, but it’s more than that for Susan.  Talk to her for only a short time and you’ll understand it's link to her deep desire to lift families and to give them a chance to build better futures. It’s not just a job for her; it’s a journey of the heart that started 40 years ago.

Susan’s first job as a lawyer was with the Metropolitan Council. Her responsibilities included land use planning and advising the Council’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority. The work taught her about issues surrounding affordable housing in the Twin Cities, and moved her to make it one of the main focuses of her career. Since then the federal government has deemphasized its involvement in affordable housing, transferring the challenge and burden to the states. That didn't slow Susan down. (Later Susan would return to the Metropolitan Council to serve as its Chair. She recently left that position to focus on the Habitat mission again full time).

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