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Building Community Blog

Twin Cities Habitat is fortunate to have an army of volunteers (more than 16,000 a year!) who give tons of time to our mission (28,000 days a year!). We’re also fortunate that ours is such a philanthropic community, and more than 6,000 people make financial gifts each year. You overwhelm us with your giving and truly make Habitat happen for so many families. Thank you!

But even in this community of amazing generosity, some people rise above by going that extra mile, pounding that extra nail, giving that extra dollar.

Every Wednesday for the last nine years, Sharlene and John Hensrud “unplug.” Their work as realtors keeps them busy on the weekends, but on Wednesdays they don’t schedule any appointments with clients. Instead, they spend time together, they cook, and in the evening their children and grandchildren come to their home for dinner. They talk about their days, they laugh and cry and eat together. This is the power of home.

For Dave and Jane of Canetani Vacation Properties, giving back is almost always a fun, family affair. Whether they’re forging new relationships on a Habitat Global Village build, or playing giant jenga together at Habitat’s annual Hard Hat & Black Tie gala, there’s always fun to be had.

Habitat for Humanity has an amazing way of bringing people together—for a single day or an entire lifetime. Doing something that is outside of your comfort zone, like running a circular saw, raising a wall into place, or getting to know a family that you'd otherwise never interact with, can be an intense experience. It opens you up, makes you physically or emotionally vulnerable. And it's in that space of vulnerability that people can grow together and form deep friendships. A day of volunteering with Twin Cities Habitat is very powerful. It can change how you see yourself, your neighbors, and your entire community.

Warren and Mary Lynn Staley have given generously to Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) since 1993. This past Friday the couple received the Outstanding Individual Philanthropist Award from Minnesota's Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP MN). This award recognizes "individuals or families who have demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable responsibility and generosity" in our community. And the Staley family is an incredible example of just that.

By Blake MacKenzie
Twin Cities Habitat Staff

Members of the Carpenter’s Club – those who give recurring monthly donations to Twin Cities Habitat – lay the foundation for a brighter future. Their sustaining gifts allow us to plan ahead, knowing we’ll have continuous support in the coming months. They help us save on solicitation materials and postage, because there’s no need to ask of those who give recurring gifts. And, Carpenter’s Club members can plan exactly how their giving will fit into their monthly budgets.

Guest blog by Julia Brauchle
Twin Cities Habitat Staff

Campus Chapters

School is back in session and that means Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapters are reconvening.  Campus Chapters are student-run clubs that support a Habitat affiliate through volunteering, fundraising, education and advocacy.  They help an affiliate reach a greater audience by spreading our mission through a college campus and student body.  Twin Cities Habitat is lucky enough to have three established Campus Chapters:  The University of Minnesota, Hamline University and Macalester College.  Each has an executive board of students that plans builds, hosts fundraising events and advocates for affordable housing on campus.  What do the chapters have planned for this year?  A LOT!

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