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Building Community Blog

Guest blog by Shannon Twiss
Volunteer Coordinator

Although it’s hard to believe given the weekend’s weather, spring is just around the corner! This May, we will be completing a second set of chore services as a pilot for our new Age In Place program. Last fall, we partnered with nine senior homeowners to complete chore services. Forty-two volunteers provided 180 hours of leaf-raking, garden clean-up, pruning and yard clean-up.

This spring, we will be doing similar work as in the fall, as well as helping homeowners prepare their gardens for planting.

Our volunteers are not the only ones giving of their time and energy to serve Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s mission. This National Volunteer Recognition Week, we are taking a day to acknowledge our AmeriCorps and Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) members. Both are programs under the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that seek to support people of all backgrounds in serving their communities.

Guest Blog by Lillie Taggart 
AmeriCorps Member at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

If you read Nick's last post about our time working at Jerry's house, you'll recall our work in Orange and exploration of Texas' Golden Triangle. We were far from home and tired from work, but there was more in store!

Our next step was Austin for a day of relaxation and play. A tour around the capitol building drove home factually what we had already learned experientially: Texas is quite different from Minnesota.

Guest blog by Shannon Twiss
Volunteer Coordinator and AmeriCorps member

April 15 – 21 is National Volunteer Recognition week, not just at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, but all across the country. Each year, nonprofit organizations and communities recognize volunteers and celebrate service. National Volunteer Week was established by Points of Light, and started in 1974.

The first time that Sharon Mason went to the State Capitol to advocate with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, here’s how she felt: “I had butterflies, I feared that I didn’t have enough expertise to talk to my legislators, I was somewhat intimidated by the largess and grandeur of my surroundings…and I didn’t even know where I was supposed to park.”

Now, Sharon regularly updates her legislators on the latest affordable housing news throughout the legislative session. She’s brought friends to the Capitol who are now passionate advocates as well. And she definitely knows where to park.

“I was born in St. Louis, Missouri. I moved here in 1995. At that point, I found myself – for lack of a better word – homeless.”

Buffy was in a tough spot. Facing homelessness with several young children was daunting, to say the least. There was constant anxiety about where her babies would lay their heads that night, or the next.

But Buffy is strong.

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