Habitat Headlines
August 2019
President’s Blog
Nothing is More Important Than Relationships

Sometimes people ask me what I do in my role as President and CEO. My Number One answer is always, “To find, cultivate, and maintain relationships.”

This is true in how the staff are secured and treated, and it holds true for the Board of Directors, as well. Sometimes a little thank you note in an employee’s paycheck or an appreciation email can truly warm a person’s heart. The same holds true for all people who support a non-profit like Habitat. When someone is thanked, and they know the feeling is sincere, they are much more likely to attend a function, make a donation, or volunteer.

Such is the case of several people I met early in my career as an Executive Director. I was 30 years old and “very green.” While I did not wholly understand every facet of the job, I knew one thing: People matter.

I had lunch recently with a few of the original people who mentored me on that job and the relationships were as strong today as they were then. Maybe stronger. I learned about their lives. I listened. I looked at photos of their grandchildren, and I even shed a tear as I stared across a table at them and knew that time was not going to stand still for any of us. 

Now, more than ever, I am convinced that my role as CEO is to form those relationships and be curious about the people who humble me with their time, talents and treasures. I have talented staff to handle the intricate and complex programmatic and operational stuff. But it is absolutely my job to find and maintain strong relationships with many different types of people in our community of giving.

If you would like to have coffee with me and allow me to know you just a little better, I’ll meet you at the nearest Tim Horton’s and treat you. Just email me at hhicks@macombhabitat.org . As time passes, we will both be curious about how things are going, how the affiliate is growing, and how each of our lives have value.

Going back to that reminiscent lunch, I walked away from the reunion very emotional, not because these friends were aging, but because I love them. 

All we have in the end is each other. Right? So reach out. Give me a call. And then one day, long after we get to know each other, when I’m nearing the final stages of life, maybe you will come and visit me “just to catch up” and we can laugh and cry and hug.

Nothing is more important than relationships. God has gifted me gloriously because I know so many wonderful people and hope to know more. Friends, I am truly, truly blessed.

With every best wish,

Helen Hicks
President and CEO
Upcoming Events
Macomb Habitat 0.5k Race for Shelter Set for September 14th
Want to finally be recognized for running to get to the mailbox or going all the way inside the store for snacks? Now, there's a race especially for you. Not all of us can run a marathon, or even a 5k in our lifetime.

Macomb County Habitat is holding their first annual 0.5K (that's not a typo) “Race for Shelter” to raise money for affordable housing on Sat., Sept. 14th. They're calling it "The race for all of us.”, with the challenging 546 yard course only taking about 10 minutes to complete.

The "run" will give participants a lot of incentives to finish the race. The host, Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. in Clinton Twp., is preparing a congratulatory pint of beer upon completion. But, the fun doesn't stop there for these hardworking athletes. Not only does their $25 entry fee get them a T-shirt, but a nice glossy sticker to show everyone how dedicated they were to finishing the race, plus a medal to wear.

Did we mention a hydration and donut station to boost some energy half-way through the race? It is a 0.3 miles (546 yards) run after all. They're going to need all the energy they can get. And a Medical Station to look after any injuries that may occur.

However, if running is just too much to handle, the VIP option for the race is to just donate double the amount to a great cause. No running necessary. These guests will be provided with a shuttle cart, some beer, and even a bigger medal to make those silly runners jealous. 

Families are welcome for a donation of $60. Youth size t-shirts and soft drinks for those underage mean all can be part of the fun. Prizes are planned for the best costumes, too!

Can’t make it to Kuhnhenn’s on the 14 th for a 11:03 am start? There is an option to sign on as a virtual runner, to get the t-shirt, medal and sticker mailed to you in the comfort of your own home as you support those striving to have an affordable home for their family through Macomb County Habitat. 

Register at Eventbright or go to macombhabitat.org and click “Events” to register by Sept. 7 th , or until capacity is reached. 
Looking for amazing inspiration?
Join us on November 8, 2019, 6-11 pm as we Raise the Roof
Andiamo Italian Bistro, Warren
Special speaker: “Rudy”

Against all odds on a gridiron in South Bend, Indiana, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger in twenty seven seconds, carved his name into history books as perhaps the most famous graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

The son of an oil refinery worker and third of 14 children, Rudy rose from valleys of discouragement and despair to the pinnacles of success. “Rudy” had a difficult time in school because he was dyslexic. After finishing high school he joined the Navy, worked at a power plant for two years, and then applied to the University of Notre Dame. Due to his marginal grades, it took Rudy four tries to be accepted into Notre Dame. His dream was to play for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but at 5’6” and 165 lbs. he was undersized and unlikely to play. 

By showing he was willing to work as much as he needed to, Rudy found himself a spot on the scout team—a practice team that helps varsity players prepare for games. 

On his last Notre Dame game, the coach put Rudy on the team as defense. As fans cheered RU-DY, RU-DY, he sacked the quarterback in the last 27 seconds of the only play in the only game of his college football career. He is the only player in the school’s history to be carried off the field on his teammate’s shoulders.

Today, Rudy is one of the most popular motivational speakers in the United States. It took years of fierce determination to overcome obstacles and criticisms, yet Rudy achieved his first dream - to attend Notre Dame and play football for the Fighting Irish. In 1993, TRISTAR Productions immortalized his life story with the blockbuster film, RUDY. 

Andiamo in Warren will host this event, doors open at 5pm for VIPs.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Carol McQueen at
586-263-1540 X 119 or email  cmqueen@macombhabitat.org  for more information.

Don’t miss this event on Friday, November 8, 2019,
6-11 p.m. with dinner, drinks & silent auction.

Get your tickets today or consider a sponsorship.
Tickets: General $100

Helen Hicks, President and CEO, Macomb County Habitat for Humanity, selected as one of 2019 Hall of Fame inductees by the Macomb Foundation
Helen Hicks, President and CEO of the Macomb County Habitat for Humanity, has been selected as one of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees by the Macomb Foundation. An event to honor all inductees will be held on August 22 nd at Villa Penna in Macomb County.

The Macomb Hall of Fame honors individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to improving the economic development and quality of life in Macomb County.

When Helen was hired in 2012, Macomb County Habitat for Humanity was in a struggling state of existence. Helen had to make many hard calls – laying off 13 people within the first quarter of her hire. At one point, Helen and her Chief Operating Officer were essentially the only administrators and they both worked around the clock, sometimes seven days a week, to bring the agency back to a healthy state of existence. 

Today, the agency has just placed its 153 rd homeowner into a safe and affordable home. They have celebrated their 25 th anniversary and are stronger financially than at any other time in their history. Habitat homeowners have become tax-paying citizens. Their children attend the local Macomb schools and do better in school because of the Habitat program. Approximately, 220 low-income Macomb homeowners have had their property repaired because of Habitat’s Brush With Kindness Program. The highly specialized accounting firm, RDM and Associates handles all financial transactions and the auditing firm, Crosky Lanni oversees the yearly audit which has been clean and impressive – considering the dark road from which the agency has travelled.

Helen gives all credit to the Habitat board and staff. “No one here is great at everything, but together, with all of our skills, we truly help those in the community who just need a hand up. One team member is great with numbers; another excels in building relationships; and yet another is a genius with wood and all things construction. We lift each other up, not for what we lack, - but for what we can contribute. This award really is shared by all.”

Board Chair, Dr. Cleamon Moorer, adds, "Helen and her team's commitment and diligence to building and enhancing homes, hope, and communities throughout Macomb County are unparalleled. Helen has been a hero, advocate, and game-changer in Southeast Michigan for many years. The team of Macomb County Habitat for Humanity under Helen's guidance and outstanding leadership is a beacon of selflessness and sacrifice in the state of Michigan and globally through international outreach and mission efforts."
Annual Women’s Luncheon
“Women Who Dared”
April 8, 2020
Shelby Gardens, Shelby Township
Ongoing Campaigns
Macomb County Habitat's Home Run Campaign is a match campaign provided through the generosity of Consumers Energy. Every donation will be matched 2:1 for greater impact in our local community. This campaign helps us ensure that everyone in our Macomb County community has a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home.

Text https://classy.ort/team/224857 to donate.
Cars for Homes
Donate a vehicle to Habitat for Humanity’s car donation program – Cars for Homes. Your generosity will support our work with local families.

  • All proceeds from your vehicle donation will support Habitat for Humanity and help local families here in Macomb County.

  • Your donation may qualify for a tax deduction.

It’s fast and easy. Learn more about how vehicle donations work just click: http://macombhabitat.org/donate/donate-a-car/
Moving? Hosting a Garage Sale? Do you have anything left to donate?
Our ReStores are in need of your donations! Our inventory is in need of the following items: bedroom sets, gently used appliances, power tools, lawn & garden items, patio sets, gardening tools, lawn mowers, windows, bicycles, and home interiors (plates, cups, knick knacks, house plants, picture frames, decor, etc.). As a reminder we are always looking for slightly used donations in good condition that are located on the first floor or the garage of your home.   We provide  FREE  pick up in Macomb County and you will be provided with an itemized tax donation receipt!  Click here  to view a full list of items we can accept!
Donation Hotline: (586) 263-1540
We offer FREE pick up for Macomb County residents! Or drop off your donation at one of our convenient Macomb County locations.

Two ReStore locations:
46660 Van Dyke, Shelby Township
23211 Van Dyke, Warren

Hours of Operation:
Tuesday - Friday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Follow the ReStores on social media:
Here are a few reminders!
We are particularly interested in Patio and Garden furniture, outdoor tools and housewares such as dishes, silverware, and glasses. We are currently not able to accept desks, entertainment centers nor dishwashers. See our web site for a complete listing of items we cannot accept. 
Wish List
At Macomb County Habitat for Humanity, we are always accepting donations! Here are the top 5 items on our Wish List:
  1. Box truck in working condition - for our Cap department
  2. Qualified applicants to apply for our Homeownership Program
  3. Office and other supplies - tape, paper, file folders, highlighters, hand soap, toilet paper, paper towels, regular & contractor grade garbage bags.
  4. Packing and moving materials for the ReStores (no boxes) -packing tape, moving straps and blankets
  5. Other - Lightweight chain, Heavy duty stretch wrap, a working hi-lo and appliance dollies/straps, appliance straps at our ReStores
Scout Volunteer Commended
Scout Joey Snydam of Clinton Twp. chose a project with Macomb Habitat as he worked on his Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge. He feels that good shelter is important for all. Joey and his Dad, Jeremy, spent two weekends canvassing neighborhoods to collect returnable bottles and cans, spending hours as well putting them down the chute at the store. He ended up returning 3,722 cans and bottles, and brought in a check for $372.20! Too young to work on a construction site, but old enough to have a good heart and energy to help others.
Faith Build Project in St. Clair Shores
The Architectural Program at Macomb Community College, South Campus, is nearing the end of making changes on our building plans to get a building permit. We have received gifts and pledges totaling $24,850 on our way to match the Thrivent $70,000 Challenge Grant for half the cost of the home. Looking for trades partners for electrical, plumbing, cement work, drywall, roofing and masonry. See the attached for the tentative schedule . Note the Clergy and Staff Wall Building Day on Wed., July 17 th and a Wall Building Day on Sat., July 20 th   with volunteers from Bethel Lutheran and Lake Shore Church, plus a few others. Add your faith community or other groups to lend a hand – volunteers, funding, lunches or prayer by contacting Dave Tirsell at dtirsell@macombhabitat.org .

Construction Underway
Our team is awaiting bids to move both homes from the Baker College parking lot on to basements in Clinton Twp. (homes begun by Chippewa Valley School students to be completed by our volunteers), Will be lining up companies and groups for work in late July through November. 

We will have limited work in the next week to finish our rehab on Sarsfield in Warren and will continue to fundraise and secure volunteers to complete the rehab on Saxony in Eastpointe. A limited number of Brush with Kindness activities for vets, work in Shelby Twp. and projects at each of our ReStores are possible.

June volunteers included:
  • GM Team from the Tech Center worked on porch repair, landscaping and skirting replacement for a veteran’s widow in Shelby Twp. Good volunteers!
  • 15 volunteers did demolition work on the Baker College parking lot stored homes. Drywall, cabinets and other fixtures were removed after vandalism damage. Essentially 110 hours of work to get ready to rebuild.

A big thank you to Level One Bank. American General Services Inc., and many others who helped.
Wednesday, August 14
Wall Raising, exterior
Team Size 20

Saturday, August 17
Wall Raising, interior
Team Size 25

Wednesday, August 21
Trusses, Sheeting
Team Size 20

Saturday, August 24
Sheeting, shingles
Team Size 20+ Full

Saturday, September 14
Windows, ext. doors
Team Size 15

Wednesday, September 18
Wall insulation
Team Size 10

Saturday, September 21
Kitchen/bath tile, attic insulation
Team Size 15

Wednesday, September 25
Prime paint
Team Size 15
Wednesday, October 9
Cabinets, paint
Team Size 15

Saturday, October 12
Trim, paint
Team Size 15

Wednesday, October 16
Interior doors
Team Size 10

Saturday, October 19
Counter tops, other interior
Team Size 15

Saturday, October 26
Interior work
Team Size 15

Saturday, November 9
Shed build, landscape prep
Team Size 20

Wednesday, November 13
Finish details
Team Size 15

Saturday, November 16
Team Size 25