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#UNselfie Give the Gift of Home this Holiday Season!

#UNselfie Template

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Taking place Tuesday, December 1, 2015 – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving- #GivingTuesday will harness the power of social media to create a national movement around the holidays dedicated to giving, similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become days that are, today, synonymous with holiday shopping.  #GivingTuesday is the counter narrative to these days because it reminds us that the spirit of the holiday giving seasons should be about community and not just consumerism.

#GivingTuesday is not a new giving platform, but a call to action to celebrate giving and encourage more, better and smarter giving during the Holiday Season. You are the most important part of making this movement a reality.

I hope you will join the worldwide giving movement by making a gift to Habitat today by clicking here. (link to donate page) For $25, you will give a family a bundle of shingles to ensure a safe roof over their heads. For only $100, you will give a family a kitchen sink so they can one day host a holiday celebration in their own home. Your gift, no matter the size, will give the ultimate gift – the gift of home.

Watch our Facebook page on #GivingTuesday and share the news with your friends and family that you have joined us on this special day. Support #UNselfie behavior by donating and then taking an “unselfie” photo of yourself letting everyone know why you give and invite them to do the same! Help us spread the word about #GivingTuesday by sharing our status, or posting your own call to action.You can download a blank “I give because…” template here.

#UNselfie Instructions

If you have already given a gift to Habitat this holiday season, thank you! You make our work possible, and you are changing lives right here in our community.

Habitat’s First Financial Wellness Fair

[Blog by Gabriele Kuschmann, Family Program Coordinator]

November Saturday, 14 was Habitat’s first Financial Wellness Fair, which was part of the new Education Program that Habitat has launched.  It took place at New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church in West Willow, as Habitat has started several projects in Community Development in that neighborhood.IMG_20151114_100724065_HDR

Several organizations also had representatives at the Fair: MSU Extension, House by the Side of the Road, Genisys Credit Union, The Ride, Housing Bureau for Seniors, POWER, and Food Gatherers.  Attendees could come up to the tables and talk with the representatives about the services that their organizations offer, as well as take any flyers or handouts with them.  The water bottles offered by The Ride were pretty neat!

While this went on in the entrance area, there were presenters in the other room talking about budgeting and general financial information, how to keep up your credit, what to watch out for regarding credit, what you need to know about getting loans, creating holiday spending plans to stay on track, and information about Habitat’s homeownership program.

If this information sounds like something you or someone you know would be interested in, check our website for more information about upcoming events.  Starting next year we’ll be offering free Financial Management classes in series format, through MSU Extension.  This information is great for everyone.  “One of the most important things is to set goals for yourself.  With hard work and dedication, your financial goals can be reached!” says Ashley Laury, Habitat’s Financial Educator.

Ashley can help you review and understand your credit report, work with you to create a detailed spending plan, and help you follow through by creating an action plan to help you reach your financial goals.  If you are interested in meeting one-on-one with Ashley, please email her at ashley@h4h.org or give her a call at 734-274-3718.

DTE Energy Trading Helps Habitat Build a Home

[Blog Post By Sophia Williams, Development Associate, Special Events & Marketing]

Hammers were knocking inside 1045 Parkwood while the miter saw buzzed on a cool fall day. Laughter is already filling this home and it doesn’t even have walls yet. DTE Energy Trading volunteered on Saturday, October 24 to help renovate this home on Parkwood Ave. in Ypsilanti, and they were humming with energy! Mark Meuth was one of the volunteers from DTE that day. Mark and his coworkers wanted to work with Habitat to have more of a hands on approach, “We were looking for something to do that was more involved…something that we can use as a team exercise.” At Habitat there are many ways you can be involved.

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We welcome individual volunteers as well as groups that are willing to spend their time partnering with us. Team Habitat is our program specifically designed for groups of eight or more who want to come out and work on a Habitat project together. Team Habitat is great for those groups looking to give back to the community, have a team-building experience, or just have fun together and help a family out at the same time! This was a perfect fit for DTE. Inside the home on 1045 Parkwood stud frames stand where there will one day be walls, and DTE worked on installing the first windows the home will have. DTE also installed insulation and prepped the front yard for a porch. Mark tells me that his favorite part of the day is, “being able to solve problems and work together as a team.” Mark and a few others were working on the insulation in the basement.

12195867_1059362410741247_2154506452499368694_nWithout volunteers like Mark and DTE our work would not be possible. “Volunteers are the life blood of our communities, I believe- the engine of progress.” Mark goes on to explain that these are some core values that DTE lives by every day. “Habitat really provides an avenue for people in need. In a word; community.” While on site everyone was working together. To own a home with Habitat, future homeowners put in 250 ‘sweat equity hours.’ Soon to be homeowner Barbra Conner was working alongside DTE throughout day. DTE was such a great group of people; they were motivated to help and were laughing the entire day. Mark states how much he enjoyed volunteering, “I’m really proud of my friends and it just feels good.” A Saturday was well spent at 1045 Parkwood. We are grateful for DTE Energy Trading and welcome them back anytime they would like volunteer again! Thank you DTE Energy Trading!

Click here to learn how you can get your company, congregation, student group, or group of friends involved in our Team Habitat program.