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Habitat Honors 2018 Volunteer of the Year and Partner of the Year

Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley is celebrated 29 years of helping families in Washtenaw County during it’s Bid to Build: Annual Auction & Celebration on Saturday, May 19, and honored a longtime partner and volunteer as part of the celebration.

Each year, we recognize a volunteer and partner who have gone above and beyond to support our mission of building stronger communities. This year, we recognized Toyota Motor North America Research and Development as the 2018 Partner of the Year and Don Redding as our 2018 Volunteer of the Year.

Toyota Motor North America – Research and Development has partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley for 11 years and provided full house renovation funding for 13 homes, including the two sponsored homes this coming year.  To date, Toyota has donated more than $466,800 and given more than 17,000 employee volunteer hours with us.

In 2017 alone, Toyota doubled its impact in Ypsilanti with more than 250 employees volunteering more than 1,800 hours at the two houses they sponsored. This year marks the second consecutive year that Toyota will double its impact on our Home Ownership Program with two fully sponsored houses on Woodruff Lane in Ypsilanti. We are most grateful for Toyota and their continued support!

Our Robert L. Whitacre Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes individuals whose spirit and dedication to Habitat’s mission matches that of Bob Whitacre. Bob Whitacre was a key volunteer for Habitat, volunteering many 60-hour weeks and building 23 homes with us. This award honors men and women who cary on Bob’s legacy through their dedication to Habitat.

This year, we honored Don Redding with the award, who has been volunteering with and supporting Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley for 8 years. Don has played an instrumental role in obtaining roughly $20,000 in renovation funding and more than 200 volunteers for the House of Faith each year, which is a collective group of four area churches.

Don has continuously worked many volunteer hours to rally his friends, former co-workers and area congregations through Habitat presentations and outreach. This year alone, Don has engaged four new churches and secured $8,000 in funding from faith organizations. We are most grateful for Don Redding and your continued love of the Habitat mission!

Turning over the keys to six Habitat homebuyers in one month

By the end of this month, we will have handed over the keys of six newly renovated or built houses in Ypsilanti or Ann Arbor and say “welcome home” to six Habitat homebuyers. Each of the six families or individuals living in Washtenaw County have completed ‘sweat equity’ hours, which includes helping work on Habitat homes, participating in home maintenance classes and receiving one-on-one financial education classes. Each qualified Habitat homeowner will purchase the homes from Habitat Huron Valley with an affordable mortgage. The closings will mark the sale of  19 houses to Habitat homebuyers in the last fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2018.

“We believe that strong and stable homes build strong and stable communities,” said Sarah Stanton, Executive Director of Habitat Huron Valley. “We are thrilled to provide affordable homeownership to families and individuals of low income in an effort to stabilize our neighborhoods and provide opportunities for growth. We are grateful for every hand that has helped make these houses a home.”

To honor each Habitat homeowner, we hosted a Dedication Open House, where volunteers, sponsors and supporters will celebrated the homeowner’s achievement. The May 24 Women Build house dedication for Shawna Swoffer will mark the final dedication during this month. Other dedications include Diane Goff’s home on Bud Avenue in Ypsilanti, sponsored by the J Ferrantino Foundation; the Ponce Family’s home on Hunter Avenue in Ypsilanti, one of two houses sponsored by Toyota Motor North America – Research and Development; the Hickman Family’s home on Jeff Avenue in Ypsilanti, our first new build in several years; the Sowe Family’s home on Hull Avenue, sponsored by the House of Faith; and our Ann Arbor house for a family of four, sponsored by Zingerman’s Community of Businesses.