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Building Community Blog

Guest blog by Lillie Taggart
Sr. A Brush with Kindness Volunteer Facilitator

What happens when you describe your job to people?

Yesterday, in introducing my work I said, “I serve as an AmeriCorps member at Habitat for Humanity. Today we demolished a bathroom!” Blank and somewhat saddened eyes stared back. I realized the issue and relieved their worry: “I serve on the home repair side!” I explained. The home repair side that, all too often, people don’t know about.

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.

Joe Felion is one of several AmeriCorps members that have transitioned to a Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity employee. He currently is a Site Supervisor for the A Brush with Kindness program, which is a home repair program focusing on keeping aging homeowners in their homes. Joe lives life in the moment, but looking back at his work and life experiences, it all makes perfect sense.

It was a summer Kathleen and Kyle will never forget. Without knowing each other, they had joined a regular volunteer crew working on a Habitat home repair project. They met at the top of a roof while ripping out shingles. They went on a date. They fell in love. Eight years later, in the fall of 2017, they were married.

Cassandra loves her block in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis. She bought her home in 2002, and liked that it was close to everything—to her studies at the University of Minnesota, and to her job at Ameriprise in downtown Minneapolis. She has a long-term tenant upstairs, which makes it more affordable.

“I love my neighbors, and I’m very lucky to live in my neighborhood,” Cassandra says.

The week before Alison started her job at Twin Cities Habitat in 2015, she found something surprising at her childhood home in Indiana: a school project in which she described that she dreamed of working for Habitat for Humanity when she grew up.

Alison didn’t recall that “dream” of hers, but now it is reality. Alison is a Project Supervisor with our A Brush with Kindness Paint and Repair Program. She brings to her role experience with critical home repair work, plus a ton of passion for serving others.

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