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!
Today at 2pm!
Habitat for Humanity International and Flower City Habitat for Humanity invite you to join us for a live discussion: +You: Serving those who served – veterans, housing and COVID-19.
Veterans encounter unique and complex challenges as they transition from military to civilian life, including obtaining services such as housing, employment, education, and healthcare.
In this discussion on the eve of Veterans’ Day, experts will discuss COVID-19’s impact on veterans’ mental, physical, and emotional health, the pandemic’s role in making veterans access to essential services such as housing even more challenging, and the policy changes needed to ensure veterans have greater access to affordable housing.
This conversation is part of an ongoing series about housing hosted by Habitat for Humanity. The +You series brings together experts from across the U.S. and around the world to discuss COVID-19’s intersections with, and impacts on, housing.
The event will stream live today from 2-3pm ET at http://www.habitat.ngo/veteransandhousing
Construction kicks off on the 2020 Women Build house!
Women Build is back on the construction sites and working on the 16th Women Build house! This year's new home is being built at 423 Jay Street and will be a two-story, five-bedroom home that will be purchased by a hard-working Habitat family. (more on the family soon!)
The following photos were taken during the first week of construction (July 1-9), and as you can see we are already making great progress!
Women Build is currently recruiting individuals and teams to help build this house. Learn how to get involved at rochesterhabitat.org/womenbuild
Women Build 2020 Fundraising Campaign kicks into full gear
The Women Build 2020 fundraising campaign has a different look this year. Large in-person events are much less likely to happen this year, so we need to rely more on creative fundraising – including small donations.
To help illustrate how impactful each donation is, we have compiled a “catalog” of some common materials that we use in building the Women Build house.
We have included example items in several donation ranges for you to consider. These are suggestions to help guide your donation, but you can always donate any amount that is comfortable for you.
Take a look at the suggested amounts below, and go to this link to choose your item or to make a general donation: https://give.rochesterhabitat.org/ge/wbfundraising
Or send a check, with Women Build in the memo line to:
Flower City Habitat for Humanity
Attn: Women Build
755 Culver Road
Rochester NY 14609
We know that the global pandemic has had adverse effects on everyone. Please know that we will welcome donations in any amount. $5 and $10 gifts will help immensely. Your gift in any amount will help us buy all of the necessary construction materials and will enable Women Build teams to construct a lovely, safe, energy-efficient home for a hard-working family. We thank you for your support and generosity!
Our goal for our 2020 house at 423 Jay Street is $75,000. As of July 1, we have raised over $29,000 toward this goal.
As we share in the sadness, anger and uncertainty that have rocked communities across the United States since the killing of George Floyd — protests of the systemic and racial injustice that have infused and informed the life of our nation — we recognize that we must do more. I must do more." — Habitat for Humanity International CEO, Jonathan Reckford
Building with hammers and voices
Throughout Habitat's history, our work has been a vehicle for reconciliation that has broken down barriers between people. We work alongside those willing to partner with us, no matter their background or walk of life, and that will always be true.
We will continue to build with our hammers, build connections among community members; and build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.
At the same time, we must also do a better job of directly addressing systemic barriers to affordable housing, and we must work to eradicate those barriers.
Historic discrimination in U.S. housing policy — particularly discrimination against Black Americans, and including mortgage redlining in Rochester — is one of the chief drivers of racial inequities that still persist today.
Organizations like Habitat that work on housing must understand that history, understand that its legacy still affects our neighbors and neighborhoods today, and it must inform our work moving forward.
In addition to being a space where people of all races, all faiths and all backgrounds can come together in common cause, we commit to being actively anti-racist and to affirming, through word and action, that Black Lives Matter and that our communities and systems must further this fundamental truth." — Habitat for Humanity International CEO, Jonathan Reckford
At the link below you will find further details of Habitat for Humanity's commitments, including steps that are being undertaken now, a great list of actions that you can take with us, and a list of educational materials (to read or watch).
We know we can't do everything on these lists all at once; but as individual staff members, volunteers, and supporters — we can each commit to starting with one. Start with one action today.
As a local Habitat affiliate, we are also committing to walking alongside and supporting each other as we undertake this essential work.
We will occasionally send bigger updates to everyone (like this one), but if you would like to receive more frequent, step-by-step updates about our advocacy, education, and social justice work, please update your email preferences here.
Ana Medina is approaching 15 years of homeownership
Have you ever wondered how Habitat homeowners are doing long after they move in?
Ana Medina is approaching 15 years as a Habitat homeowner in Rochester, and she has been a close friend and mentor to Kiomy Rivera, who just moved into her Habitat home last month!
Please join us to hear Ana's story on Wednesday, June 24th, starting at 7:00pm.
RSVP here to get a reminder and watch the video below for a teaser.
New Virtual Gala details
In addition to Ana's story on Wednesday, we have updated our website with a full schedule, details, and themes for each night (June 23-26).
Each evening is only 1 or 2 hours, so you can join us every night (without losing your whole night), or pick and choose which parts to attend!
Plus, the online auction is open now! Click the button below for more details or to bid on auction items now.
Tithe Partners - Nepal & Ethiopia
The tithe is a foundational principle of Habitat for Humanity, based on our biblical roots as an ecumenical Christian ministry, and it's also a principal that people of all faiths and no particular faith can participate in.
Through the financial commitment of a tithe, all U.S. Habitat organizations are able to participate fully in building Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. While each country is different, it takes an average of only $4,500 to build dramatically improved, permanent housing solutions with our international partner families!
Flower City Habitat for Humanity designates our tithe funding to Habitat Nepal and Habitat Ethiopia; two countries that Habitat for Humanity International has designated as having particular need for tithe support.
As we work together, we hope you will join us in building long-lasting, impactful, and deepening relationships with our global brothers and sisters.
Nepal 2020 trip cancelled
We were scheduled to send a team of 12 to Terai, Nepal in October 2020, but as you may suspect, the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible this year.
Donations made to our 2020 trip will be held for our next trip, and the 12 people that committed to the 2020 trip will have the first chance to join our next trip.
If you are interested in joining a future Global Village trip, please stay tuned and we'll share information when trips begin again. If you have questions about your donation towards the 2020 trip, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What you can do today
While of course we are disappointed about not being able to travel and build in Nepal this year, it is a great time to learn more about the work being done in both Nepal and Ethiopia.
Please help us build a deeper relationship with these two Habitat organizations by visiting their websites and following them on social media today:
Habitat Nepal: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Habitat Ethiopia: Website, Facebook
Get the latest news and events from Flower City Habitat via email. Click here for email updates.