Building Community Blog

Warren and Mary Lynn Staley have given generously to Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) since 1993. This past Friday the couple received the Outstanding Individual Philanthropist Award from Minnesota's Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP MN). This award recognizes "individuals or families who have demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable responsibility and generosity" in our community. And the Staley family is an incredible example of just that.

This year for Give to the Max Day, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity set a massive goal to raise enough money to build an entire Habitat home for a family. Thanks to your generous donations, along with our generous matching donors, we are happy to announce that we raised $241,544.36 for families on Give to the Max Day!

In total, Give to the Max Day raised $20,148,925.27 for Minnesota organizations. Donors began scheduling gifts November 1 and a final day of active giving occurred on November 17. 

With a huge smile on her face, Hope Hensley shared a recent experience volunteering at ReStore. After selling every refrigerator on the sales floor by the end of her shift, all Hope could think about were the families that would benefit from a great day of ReStore sales. 

"When I ring up a big-ticket item, I get this thrill because I know money from every sale goes towards a family buying a home," Hope said.

Hope's first introduction to Habitat came from a unique source. After relocating from Iowa, Hope was introduced to a local Realtor, Sharlene Hensrud. While emailing her Realtor, Hope noticed a signature at the end of Sharlene's emails. It stated that she donated $100 to Habitat for every home she sold. From that signature, Hope logged onto our website and decided she wanted to also support Habitat's mission.

One of the challenges as we age is staying connected to family, friends and community. According to the Bipartisan Center on Senior Health and Housing Task Force: One of the most important public health findings over the last two decades has been that there are a number of factors, beyond medical care, that influence health status and contribute to premature mortality. 

On a beautiful fall Thursday night, Marian and Abdikani gathered with their family and a multitude of community members to dedicate their home in St. Paul.

The family of 10 presented bright smiles on their faces, as they walked through each room and reflected on their "dream come true." 

"Our lives will change forever," Marian said. "Our kids will finally have a home, not just a room."

This St. Paul dedication was also special because it was a Women Build home. Through Women Build, volunteers build two Habitat homes a year. With 50 team leaders and 14 crew leaders, over 1,000 women have participated in Women Build.

There is a crew of faithful volunteers who regularly volunteer on homes in need of repairs for A Brush with Kindness (ABWK). These volunteers, known as the AREG (regular volunteers) crew, work diligently and with enthusiasm on every home they help to transform for families.

One hearty member of the crew, Dave Devoy,  has regularly volunteered on ABWK and new construction crews since 2010. The AREG crew did not originally exist when Dave started with ABWK.

"I was attracted to the ABWK program primarily for the variety of repair/remodeling tasks they perform, and also for the immediate and sometimes dramatic transformation of owner-occupied homes," Dave said.

This past Saturday, nearly 50 volunteers, sponsors, staff and community members came together to celebrate the dedication of Mussie's new Habitat home in St. Paul.

Mussie, the eldest of three brothers, stood with his brother Samuel and both gleamed with joy and gratitude.

"This home means so much to me and my family. What Habitat is doing for the community is really great. We can't thank you enough," Mussie said.

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