Publicity, Signage & Ceremonies
Conducting both internal and external promotion of your project will help raise awareness within your organization and let the community know about your Habitat project.
Publicity promotes involvement in and support for the project.
- Distribute press releases to publicize the project and its important milestones such as the ground-breaking or wall-raising ceremony and the dedication. Use press releases to solicit volunteers and donations, and to invite the community to the house dedication at the project's close.
- Promote and publicize any fundraising events, activities or projects throughout your organization and to the general public.
- Publish articles about Habitat and your project in organization newsletters.
- Bulletin Boards: Display pictures of volunteers and building progress, updated weekly.
- Send articles and photographs to local town papers.
Please do not copy Habitat logos from our website. We are happy to provide you with our logo for your use in news releases, signs, t-shirts, etc.
A web site can be an excellent promotional tool for your project!
Please keep Habitat "in the loop" about fund raising or related events that you are conducting for your project. We do get calls from media or the public and would like to have some information available regarding your activities to quickly respond to questions or requests for additional information. The easiest way to do this is to copy Habitat on your Publicity Committee meeting minutes.
As soon as the foundation has been completed, all house sponsors should provide a professionally-produced (not home-made) sign that will be posted outside the house on the construction site. This can be either a 3' x 5' or 4' x 8' rigid sign or a banner that can be attached to the house or to wooden stakes in the ground in front of the house.
The sign should include:
- Address of the house
- Name of sponsor
- Company or organization logo
- Habitat logo
It is traditional for house sponsors to hold opening and closing ceremonies. The date and time of your ceremonies must be approved by the Habitat office so we can coordinate the schedules of our construction and office staff and the homeowner.
A wall raising can be scheduled a few weeks after the start of your project. This event enables a large group to take part in the ceremony -- and it makes for great photos. The ceremony can include remarks by key Steering Committee members, introduction of the homeowner and their family, music, and some light refreshments. The whole event need not take more than 20 minutes.
Dignitaries, volunteers, pastors -- anyone may be invited and the event can be publicized to the general public.
A homeowner is usually (but not always) assigned to the house prior to or at the start of construction.
Habitat will handle all site arrangements for ceremonies, providing the necessary tools and materials that are needed. Habitat has a platform and podium if needed.
House Dedication Ceremony
Held near the end of construction, this event need not last more than a half hour.
- Celebrates completion of the house
- Spotlights the homeowners and family and gives them an opportunity to thank and acknowlege those involved with the project
- Acknowledges sponsor volunteers and other special individuals
- Recognizes valuable contributors to the project
- Presentation of housewarming gifts, cards, photo album, etc.
Dignitaries, local politicians and clergy may be invited along with the media. Most groups create a program showing the order of remarks, and presentation of the Bible and the Hammer - as is customary at all Habitat for Humanity dedications worldwide.
The house is open for tours following the ceremony. Carpeting and other finishing touches are installed after the ceremony.
Sponsors are encouraged to work with the homeowner to plan refreshments (who wants to provide what) and to discuss ideas for housewarming gifts.
Gifts at a House Dedication
It is a joyous time when a family moves into their new home. Often volunteers/sponsors like to offer housewarming gifts to the new homeowner to celebrate this wonderful event. We have found that the transition from apartment living to home ownership requires the purchase of many things.
Some sponsors purchase a storm door for the back door -- we provide just one storm door in the front -- or a washer, dryer, vacuum cleaner or lawnmower. Others focus on kitchen or gardening gifts. It is completely up to you based on the homeowner's particular needs.
We discourage giving elaborate or expensive gifts. Since we build multiple homes on one street, we try to keep things equal among the homeowners. Please talk to the homeowner about their most urgent needs.
Here is a list of housewarming gift ideas:
||Lawn mower (nearly new is fine)
||Tool box with basic tools
||Fire extinguisher (new)
||Plants, dish Towels, Paper Goods
||Gift card- for home improvement store
If you wish to donate a washer or dryer, FCHH has a program through Whirlpool offering a substantial discount. Please contact the Habitat office for details.