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Building Homes, Relationships and Community with Habitat

Becky Engen
Posted by Becky Engen on 11:20 AM on October 21, 2014

Sitting down with former Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity board member Tanya Bell, you can already feel her infectious energy and her true love for the organization and the people that work here.

“Habitat is extraordinarily complex,” Tanya said, “but that’s what makes it fun. I think most people understand the house, the families, the sweat equity. But there’s much more to it. Not only are they a builder of homes – they also serve as the lender, the ‘real estate agent’ matching families to homes, and they’re a nonprofit raising funds to do their work.”

Tanya_BellTanya became involved with Habitat after she served on a panel focused on careers and career opportunities at Macalester College alongside Twin Cities Habitat President and CEO Sue Haigh. Afterward, Sue invited Tanya to lunch and asked her to join the organization’s Board of Directors. That was nearly eight years ago.

“Habitat can be all-consuming,” Tanya laughed, “And its greatest strength is the opportunity to have people physically connect with the work, the families and see the concrete end result.”

As a board emeritus, Tanya still feels a strong connection to Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and their work in the local community. She is planning to attend this year’s Hearth & Hope Signature Luncheon in October, and is looking forward to the annual Hard Hat and Black Tie Gala in the spring. She also feels strongly about continuing her financial support of the organization, and attends home dedications whenever she can.

“If you are fortunate enough to go to a dedication and look into the eyes of a child who will take you by the hand to show you their new room in their new Habitat home, you can see the impact you’re making,” Tanya said.

In the spring of 2016, Tanya plans to join several other board members on a Global Village volunteer trip to Costa Rica.

“I didn’t really know many board or staff members when I first joined the board,” Tanya recalled. “Now I have several people I met through Habitat that I would call good friends. There is a relationship – a synergy – that I’ve found with others through our work with Habitat.”

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Tags: Volunteer Spotlight, Donor Spotlight, Archive

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