On Thursday, November 30, Twin Cities Habitat celebrated the 8th annual Habitat Homeowner Networking Event with close to 700 people in attendance.
The night was filled with happy families enjoying the entire Minnesota Children’s Museum. The evening included free family photos, dinner, and a resource fair. A dozen organizations tabled their resources, including childcare, Tool Library, recycling programs, energy saving tips, small home repairs, and more.
Everywhere you looked in the museum, kids of Habitat homeowners were laughing and playing. They scrambled around the four-story jungle gym, tried out different roles in the mini city, got their faces painted, and quickly made new friends. Families, staff, and volunteers who hadn't seen each other in a long time embraced and reconnected. It was a delightful evening for everyone involved.
Ben Swegarden, Post Purchase Support Associate and organizer of the event, is pleased with the outcome of the event: “Hosting an event at The Children’s Museum allows the opportunity for 300+ kids to easily explore the many exhibits the museum offers while adults find helpful resources from area organizations and meet other Habitat homeowners. It’s a unique event, getting to see and reconnect with hundreds of homeowners from the 30+ years of Twin Cities Habitat.”
Prior to the homeowner event, a crowd of approximately 60 celebrated four new homebuyer families with an open market dedication. Sue Haigh, President and CEO of Twin Cities Habitat, welcomed the families, “We’re here to celebrate and dedicate. Today we’re dedicating homes in North St. Paul, Minneapolis, Blaine, and Champlin Park.”
Twin Cities Habitat Intake Coordinator, Jessa Anderson-Reitz, introduced the four families and shared while sharing her connection to Habitat. “My mom introduced me to Habitat for Humanity… I learned that community is built by showing up, being there to tell stories, share experiences, learn skills and pass them on.” Jessa works with “people who see themselves as homeowners and take steps to make that dream a reality.”
One new homeowner, Bulli, could hardly contain his excitement, “We’re very happy! On behalf of my five small kids, thank you to the whole Habitat team. Especially Adade! Because of you, I’m the owner of a house. You’re the best. Keep doing the good job you’re doing.”
Barry Mason, Twin Cities Habitat Board Chair, concluded th program by presenting each of the families with a framed sayings of the "Golden Rule" to demonstrate the saying's universality across religious traditions. He then led the Dedication Litany with the homebuyers. The kids were eager to join the other families and explore the museum. It was a great night for all.
Thank you to all those who supported the Homeowner Networking Event, including Lancer Catering, The Minnesota Children's Museum, the resource fair organizations, and our partner families, who make this work so special.