Habitat Forsyth Newsletter Fall 2019

In June 2019, we began distributing a booklet entitled Strengthening family. Empowering community. that outlines our 2019-2022 strategic plan. This piece provides a brief, broad overview of where we are headed. Leading up to the development of this plan, we asked ourselves a few questions:

• How many families are we helping with homeownership opportunities or repairs?

• How are our ReStore sales and philanthropy efforts progressing?

• Are we offering the right number and variety of homeownership, home maintenance, and financial education classes to meet the needs of our homeowners and the communities we serve?

The resulting strategic plan combines input from our board, staff, homeowners and community members and outlines what we plan to accomplish over the next three years.

At Habitat, we believe that a strategic plan should not be relegated to a dusty shelf or a rarely opened folder on the hard drive. It is a living, breathing document we update annually and against which we benchmark ourselves. You – our volunteers and supporters – deserve to know how your generous gifts of time, talent, and treasure are being used.

In the coming months and years, we will continue to elaborate on the goals and how we are moving forward. We hope you find the information in these publications helpful and insightful. For questions and suggestions, please feel free to contact me at mike.campbell@habitatforsyth.org.

In partnership,

Mike Campbell, Executive Director/CEO

Setting Foundations for Financial Fitness

During our annual Youth Financial Literacy Summer Camp in July, 38 youth ages 9 to 19 got a glimpse of what paying for rent, utilities, food, and unforeseen circumstances on a typical adult’s salary would be like.

During the three-day camp, students heard advice and personal stories from local business owners and financial institutions. They had a chance to build and paint vision boards and participated in an interactive “Adult for a Day” simulation.

One parent said her son particularly enjoyed learning how to put aside money for savings and retirement, and about the IRS and the importance of paying taxes.

“I appreciate the time that the staff took to teach my child about finances this summer,” she said. “It made me more aware of the things that I need to teach him and expose him to.”

We are grateful to everyone who volunteered their time to make the camp educational and fun for the students: The Center for Smart Financial Choices, BB&T, Wells Fargo, State Employees Credit Union, Bank OZK, the NextGen Youth Program, No Lye Natural Beauty, and Insight Human Services.

Re-imagining ReStore Finds

Where some see clutter, Paula Stump sees creative potential. When she’s not working at her marketing business or teaching belly-dancing lessons, Paula is often shopping at second-hand stores, and the Habitat ReStore on Coliseum Drive is one of her favorite haunts. “I have eclectic tastes, I think most people would say,” she jokes. “I love shopping at the ReStore because you just absolutely never know what you are going to find, and at such great prices, too!”

On a winter trip to the ReStore two years ago, Paula discovered a pallet of 300 brick pavers on sale for 12 cents apiece. After driving several loads home in her SUV, she stored them in her back yard until spring, then created a beautiful winding walkway (pictured).

Her latest hobby is transforming old glassware and plates into objects of art. Stacks of vases and pots bonded together form pedestals, which she tops with large plates or platters, for bird baths. Another stack of glass and porcelain items has become an angel, with pickle-shaped plates that serve as wings. “I’m always looking at things and thinking, ‘I could make something interesting out of that!’ ”

Paula transformed a piece of art which had been a “horrible chartreuse green color with bright yellow accents,” Paula used muted, natural tones of paint to create a handsome piece of garden art.
To match a zebra-striped wall paper and a rug in a bedroom, Paula applied black paint to a wooden dresser from the ReStore. She then covered the fronts of the drawers with the same wallpaper.

Do you have gently used furniture, home decor, appliances, or building supplies that need a new home?

Schedule your free donation pick-up today!

Call 336.893-8494

Keep up with your favorite ReStore on Facebook!

Homeowner Highlight: Denise Hunt

Denise Hunt has a special name for her home: The Lighthouse. People of all ages and walks of life, including children in the foster care system, seem to find their way there, a beacon of light in whatever darkness envelops them. From the yard bursting with flowers to the cozy living room and well stocked kitchen, Denise’s home in Glenn Oaks is warm and welcoming. “It’s very important to see the light, not the darkness -- to see the positive in people, not the negative,” she said.

Denise is licensed to keep two foster children at any one time, but many more come to her home temporarily during an emergency situation. Having grown up in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, she is familiar with poverty and what they are going through.

“While they are here, I tell them this is more than a bed, this is their HOME. I love them. I want them to be kids. So many of them have been forced to live adult lives way too early.”

After living most of her life in New York, where she worked at Bloomingdales and volunteered with prison ministry and the court system, Denise moved to this area in 2011 to be near family. She entered the Habitat homeownership program in 2015 and moved into her home in 2017. Her Habitat experience was powerful and emotional, she says. “I saw people coming together, willing to give me their time, people who didn’t even know me. I took that very seriously. It was a journey of tears and happiness.”

Denise hoped that her new Habitat community would have the diversity she experienced growing up in New York -- and her wish came true. She has thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Glenn Oaks neighbors from other states and countries.

What she most wants people to know about Habitat homeowners, she said, is this: “We are not a CAUSE. We are PEOPLE who want to live our best life. We have jobs, bills, and responsibilities. We have powerful, strong, educated people living in this neighborhood. We are an up and coming, rising community. We are not afraid to get our hands dirty, because we built this neighborhood!”

Repair Highlight: Daisy Taylor

Daisy Taylor, one of our critical repair recipients, was referred to us by Winston-Salem State University and United Way’s Aging in Place program. This partnership allows us to do repairs and modifications that make homes safer and more comfortable for seniors who otherwise cannot afford to make the repairs themselves.

Although Daisy is confined to a wheelchair, her positive, can-do attitude inspired all the construction staff and volunteers who worked on her home. A member of the Red Hat Society, she entertained us with stories and pictures from some of the group’s events. In addition to installing a new roof, our team made other modifications that included lowering her kitchen sink. We were touched by how excited Daisy was to be able to easily wash her own dishes for the first time in years.