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Stories

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Virginia's Story

It fits that Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) donor Virginia Kivits was born on Valentine’s Day in 1913. She always had a big heart – and a good plan. When Virginia passed away, she left behind a legacy that will benefit Twin Cities families for years to come.

Virginia gave her life to educating others. She graduated from Washburn High School in Minneapolis and earned a BS and a Masters from the University of Minnesota. Virginia taught high school in small towns throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin before returning to the U of M as a professor. She taught there for more than 30 years and was named Professor Emerita after retiring in 1978.

Virginia was always a committed donor to TCHFH, providing modest yet important gifts year after year. It was only after her death, that TCHFH found out it’d been included in Virginia’s trust. TCHFH will receive monthly annuity payments over the next 10 years that’ll add up to approximately $200,000. These funds will be instrumental in helping us serve even more families.

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Bill's Story

Bill was recently volunteering on a Twin Cities Habitat home in Crystal alongside his son who is a doctor at HealthPartners. The woman buying the home they were working on is a mother of four who works full-time for the National Guard. She already has her college degree, so she plans to save her GI Bill money for one of her kids can use for college. She shares Bill’s outlook when it comes to planning for the future: “It’s the things that are important to you that you have to make sure are taken care of.” That’s why Bill and his wife worked with their financial planner to establish a plan to donate to Twin Cities Habitat after they’re gone. They set it up so their 401K feeds into an insurance policy that’ll go to several charities they support – including Twin Cities Habitat.

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Pam's Story

We didn't always have a lot when I was growing up, but we had a home. As I grew older, I realized that a home is the foundation upon which other dreams are built. I love the fact that Habitat for Humanity changes lives, but just as importantly, I respect that it facilitates people changing their own lives. I think of it more as a partnership than as a charity, and that is important to me because I believe that the dreams you help to build are the ones that last.

My husband, Doug, and I always knew that we wanted to leave legacy gifts and even though people often drag their feet when it comes to writing their will, we actually had a lot of fun deciding which charities to include. We would each take a sheet of paper and make a list of our favorite charities. When Habitat for Humanity consistently showed up on both of our lists, we knew we were making the right decision.

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Don & Becky's Story

Few legacies are more impactful than helping three families achieve their dream of homeownership.

Don and Becky Johnson certainly felt that way. The couple’s estate left a stunning donation – totaling $145,473.02 – as a planned gift to Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. The couple’s donation is being used to help fund three homes that will be built by volunteers from St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church over a three-year span.

“I had the privilege of being Becky’s trustee, and had been helping Don and Becky outline their will when Don passed away suddenly. Becky and Don believed strongly in the efforts of Habitat for Humanity to create affordable housing, and asked me to make sure a donation was made to Twin Cities Habitat as part of their legacy” Dave said.

The motivation for their generosity is made clear when you consider Becky and Don’s lifelong dedication to their community.

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The Pawlik Family's Story

“Mom’s always been a helper,” Dave Pawlik said of his mother, Beverly, while he and his wife, Nancy, were being interviewed in their St. Paul Park home. “Mom gave of herself to help my sister, who had debilitating MS, until she passed. About four months later, Mom got sick. Before she passed away she made it known that she wanted to give her home to Habitat for Humanity to help another family.”

Pawlik fulfilled his mother’s wishes about 10 years ago when he, along with his brother Jon, donated her house to Habitat, but the story doesn’t end there. 

“Mom’s house was small, maybe 900 square feet, and it wasn’t in great shape,” Pawlik said. “The house wasn’t worth much, but the lot was, so I asked Habitat if they could build two houses, one in memory of my mother, and one in memory of Jeannie, my sister.”

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Roger & Vicki's Story

Roger and Vicki Henry are an energetic, passionate, and loving couple and self-proclaimed “Habi-holics.” They have been involved with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) since the organization’s early years, and continue to be among the organization’s most dedicated and passionate supporters.

Throughout their marriage, Vicki and Roger have continued to be actively engaged with Twin Cities Habitat. Both of them volunteer through St. Andrew’s Church and the 3Mgives HFH project , and are involved with the St. Andrew’s Regular Volunteer Crew that helps build year-round. The couple also served as a Neighborhood Family Partner for a few Habitat families, in 1993, 2013 and currently in 2014.

The couple also make a point to regularly support Habitat through current donations and have included Habitat for Humanity in their will.

“I’ve learned that there’s a great need for affordable housing,” Vicki said. “I’ve also learned that you always receive more blessings when you serve and give. I enjoy the sound of hammers pounding nails, and love the idea of the Habitat homeowners putting in sweat equity as their down payment and knowing that I’m serving a much bigger purpose. 

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