Anticipation and gift giving just go hand in hand, don’t they? As a mom, it has always been a magical moment for me to have found that special gift for one of my daughters and wait patiently as I anticipate her reaction when she opens the gift—the joy I feel in watching her open the gift amidst shouts of glee is for me the best gift of my holidays.
This fall I attended a Habitat home dedication ceremony on a lovely block in White Bear Lake. Dozens of the volunteers who helped build the home, and even the Mayor, were there to welcome Mimi and her two children Lidia and Nathneal to the neighborhood. The morning was truly magical as Mimi thanked everyone with tears running down her cheeks. As we wrapped up the ceremony, Lidia and Nathneal passed out handwritten notes to each volunteer that said simply “Thank you for build new house.” Not an eye was dry and this gracious note is now pinned to my bulletin board as a reminder of the gift of home and the power of gratitude.
This magic happens because of you—you volunteer, you give generously, and your gifts made it possible for Mimi, and so many Habitat partner families, to buy a home this year. As you think about the gifts you give this holiday season, I hope you will think about the magic you make when you give the gift of home. You help families buy (or keep) homes where they will celebrate births and birthdays, graduations and promotions, and holidays of all kinds for decades to come.
I am especially grateful for your generosity when I think that you are giving the gift of home so that all children like Lidia and Nathneal are treated as valued treasures. It is their faces that steel my resolve to ask you to do even more for our community. Twin Cities housing costs are rising and many peoples' wages are not keeping up. These hard economic facts disproportionately affect children whose parents must decide between things like new shoes for school or car repairs so they can get to work. We at Twin Cities Habitat know we need to do more.
For 30 years now we've seen the positive impact that Habitat partnership has for families. Affordable homeownership means stability and increased self-reliance. It is the foundation for healthier families and greater academic achievement. The problem is the number of eligible families far exceeds the number of homes we’ve been able to build each year. So we must grow to serve many more families over the next 30 years and the 30 years after that.
In mid-2016 we will launch a new strategic plan to exponentially increase the number of families we can help buy homes— our homeownership program will be on a whole new trajectory! Stay tuned as we share more with you about these changes in the year ahead. This new plan is possible because we have partners like you. I hope you will experience the magic of giving that perfect gift this holiday. What could be more perfect than giving the gift of home for more families this year!