2020 Gift Drive Breaks Record!
The joy of giving! Thanks to the generous donations and support of local sponsors, our 2020 holiday gift drive set a new record of 382 gifts for children living in Habitat homes this year!
Benefitting 191 children, each child will receive one gift of necessity and one leisure gift to help relieve some of the financial stress experienced by Habitat families during the holiday season.
Despite a difficult year, an outpouring of support from local businesses, church groups, families, staff, board members, and committee members ensured that this year’s gift drive reached its highest collection numbers yet.
Long-time community partners, including Rochester-based Messner Flooring, felt an even bigger need to give back to those who may struggle to provide for their families during the holidays.
“We wanted to do our part in supporting Flower City Habitat and the immeasurable impact it has on the Rochester community. The Habitat holiday gift drive provided our employees an opportunity to personally bring a smile to children’s faces on Christmas morning,” said Ted Messner, Commercial Flooring Sales Rep at Messner Flooring. “The joy this brought to our company, employees, and hopefully the Habitat children far exceeded anything we could have imagined.”
Habitat families' wish lists included necessities like school supplies, bedding, and clothing for the upcoming year; and some of the most requested toys and games included scooters, LEGOs, and dollhouses.
In order to keep sponsors and Habitat families safe in the gift exchange process, Flower City Habitat for Humanity staggered the gift donation and pick-up schedule over five days to keep person-to-person contact to a minimum.
Thank you to everyone who made this year's gift drive a success! We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season!
In a time when the need for safe, affordable housing is even more clear, we are thankful to be celebrating the completion of four new Habitat homes on Holworthy Street.
Over the past few weeks, our construction team has been working with staff only (no volunteers) and maximum health and safety precautions to finish homes that were nearly complete.
Last week, we turned over four sets of keys and each family is moving in as they can, and as safely as possible.
Kiomy & Family move in!
Although our CEO, Matt Flanigan had to keep his distance, he was grateful to be among the first to say, "Welcome home!" to Kiomy and her family on move-in day.
Check out interviews with Kiomy and Matt from Spectrum News, WHEC News 10, and WROC News 8 who helped us share the great news!
And our biggest thanks to the Greece Coalition of Churches for sponsoring this home!
The other three families on Holworthy Street are in the process of moving in as well, and we will share updates when possible. We also look forward to having in-person celebrations with the families and house sponsors once it is safe to do so.
Though we have had to make a lot of adjustments, Flower City Habitat's commitment to a world where everyone has a decent place to live is as strong as ever.
You can view our broad operational updates at any time, but please help us keep you informed by updating your email preferences so we can get you more specific information on the topics that you are most interested in.
Our work building homes, community, and hope continues and we thank you for your continued support!
Local restaurants help Flower City Habitat for Humanity complete 5 new homes
Thank you again to Amiel's the Original Submarine, Benuccis Restaurant, and Starbucks for helping keep our construction team energized as we put the finishing touches on our Holworthy Street new builds!
We have five houses that are now completed or wrapping up and we're working with each family on an individual plan regarding safety, logistics, and timing of move-ins.
Check out the photos below and coverage by 13-WHAM.
Families building the American dream through Habitat for Humanity in Rochester
Did you know that each Flower City Habitat family contributes at least 300 hours of sweat equity as part of our homebuyer program? Today we had five Habitat families working on the construction sites!
Alongside their family members and our construction team, five Habitat homebuyers participated in the construction of their new homes — directly building their American Dream. After the morning (and working up a good appetite), Amiel’s the Original Submarine provided complimentary sub platters, chips, cookies, and bottled water to everyone on the construction sites to help power them through the afternoon of building. Thank you!
Check out the news stories below to hear from three Habitat families and from our Family Services Manager, Tim Guillemette.
Bob August honored as 2019 Outstanding Philanthropist
Last Friday we joined the AFP Genesee Valley in honoring local philanthropy, including a person very close to our mission.
At Flower City Habitat, Bob August is a regular "Hammer & Saw" construction volunteer, member of our Board of Directors, a generous donor, and so much more.
It was a joy to see his philanthropy work celebrated and to learn more about the other organizations he supports. Please help us congratulate Bob for the well deserved distinction of AFP's Outstanding Philanthropist of 2019!
From the RBJ:
While humble and quiet about his deeds, Robert W. August’s actions send a strong message about fulfilling one’s duty to help others when you can. He always takes the initiative to get things done and knows when to ask for help.
“While it is true that Bob carries out several community commitments,” Tom Hildebrandt of The Davenport-Hatch Foundation explained endorsing August’s nomination, “I have consistently seen that he manages to give high quality ‘time, talent, and treasure’ to each.”
August starts with causes that are near and dear to his heart and his family.
As a trustee of Hillside Family of Agencies Children’s Center, August leveraged his connections and advocacy to provide a lead gift towards the $1 million renovation of Camp Possibilities, a summer day camp serving 400.
August’s support of Hillside’s nationally recognized Work-Scholarship Connection also helps at-risk youth graduate from high school and continue their education or enter the workforce.
At Hope Hall School, which receives no state or school district funding, August’s efforts help fuel educational opportunities for students who struggle with learning challenges.
In addition to making 101 personal gifts to Hope Hall, August helped to raise $4 million to build the high school and hire the necessary teachers.
Eighty-seven percent of Hope Hall students live in poverty, so August cultivated support from the community to ensure the school can continue to give $400,000 in scholarships each year.
August has been a long-term and fully committed annual donor, board member, and faithful friend of Flower City Habitat for Humanity for over 16 years.
As an on-site volunteer, August worked alongside Habitat homebuyers, adding his sweat equity hours to theirs. The two houses he helped to build are now homes that promote revitalization and growth in their neighborhoods.
August saw the need for a box transport truck at the construction site and personally supported its purchase.
Habitat’s Vacant and Abandoned House Initiative began at the behest of the city of Rochester. August turned to the August Family Foundation for seed money to renovate a house on Parsells Avenue. Soon other private, foundation, and corporate donations followed, allowing for the renovation of six more houses.
August may not realize his influence, but he is a pacesetter that others follow.
“Bob is not bashful about sharing ideas for programs that could benefit from our mutual support,” said Hildebrandt. “A grant from the August Family Foundation is an incredible endorsement that other potential funders invariably take notice of.”
Habitat families graduate from Foodlink Cooking Matters program
Thanks to a sponsorship from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, 20 Flower City Habitat families were able to join volunteer culinary and nutrition experts to learn to select nutritious and low-cost ingredients and prepare them in ways that provide the best nourishment possible to their families.
Learn more about the program at: https://foodlinkny.org/fight_hunger/cooking-matters
Two zombie properties transformed into family homes
Today we dedicated two previously-vacant, now completely-rehabilitated houses on Fernwood Avenue and Del Monte Street.
We celebrated the transformation of two empty houses (and neighborhood eyesores), into two wonderful homes filled with families, new memories to be made, and a strengthening neighborhood.
After just a few more finishing touches, and closing on their affordable mortgage, we'll have two of Rochester's newest homeowners!
The rehabilitation of both of these homes was made possible through several partnerships including ESL Federal Credit Union, City of Rochester, NY - Mayor's Office, Rochester Land Bank, and Enterprise Community Partners.
And in just a few short weeks we will be finishing up the next one on Barberry Terrace!
Before photos credits: Richard Margolis Art + Architectural Photography
Fernwood Avenue - Before:
Fernwood Avenue - After:
Del Monte Street - Before:
Del Monte Street - After:
Inde Design Studio, Morrell Builders and Pride Mark Homes fundraise and build with Habitat
“We are all thrilled to take a little time away from our daily work responsibilities to build with Flower City Habitat for Humanity,” said Jeff Morrell, owner of Morrell Builders.
“As builders, their program of partnering with families to create an affordable homeownership opportunity is near and dear to our hearts. Their motto says it all — ‘through shelter, we empower ourselves, our neighbors and our community.’ We can’t wait to get started.“
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