Habitat Headlines
January 2020
President’s Blog
All We Can Do Is Smile…and Pray!
Every day at Macomb County Habitat is a challenge. Even with the most competent, mission-minded staff, - unexpected things happen. These occurrences are never planned, but the trick is to handle them with grace and humor.

All we can do is smile…and pray!

In the last few months, we have had more than our share of these weird, unexpected debacles.
Scenario One – At our Shelby ReStore, we experience dumping. During the evening, people drive through our lot and dump items, some good, most not! The neighbors are less than thrilled when they see this mess and because we are not allowed to chain off the driveways into our lot, - the dumping continues.

We have met with the city officials and the solution was a fence to “hide” the mess each morning. Total cost: $11,000. FROM WHERE IS THAT CASH COMING?

All we can do is smile…and pray!

Scenario Two – Thanks to a collaboration with the County and Chippewa Valley Schools, two homes were built. The land that those homes would eventually sit upon was not ready, so the homes were temporarily moved to Baker College in Clinton Township. By the time the land was ready, the only contractor we could find to move the homes to their final destination charged us an exaggerated rate. We were $28,000 over budget. FROM WHERE IS THAT CASH COMING?

Other scenarios include the death of our beloved receptionist Sue Whitty, the departure of a cherished and valued employee, a host of illnesses among staff, and an increase in the amount of money we spend monthly on dumpsters.

All we can do is smile…and pray!

We begin our week with a prayer to remind all that most things are out of our hands and beyond our control. We do the same at meetings, especially Finance and at monthly Board meetings. Through the grace of God, some amazing solutions do surface.

We received a call yesterday from a Dumpster Company who wants to contribute by donating as many dumpsters as we need each month. That’s divine intervention!

The staff remains strong and committed in spite of the losses that hurt our hearts and temporarily shake our spirit. That’s God touching our very core!

The illnesses, some major, have had positive outcomes (for the most part) and very little lost worktime has occurred as a result. Some staff love their jobs so much they work to feel better! That’s the hand of God healing those that do His work!

The mission of Macomb County Habitat for Humanity is very special. A presence, much greater than the volunteers or staff who support it, is with us every day. In our darkest hours, an angel often shows us a different way or opens a door we had not considered.

Nothing, not cost overruns, unexpected expenses, or tragic occurrences will deter us from helping men, women and children find a better life through affordable housing and life-changing hope.

I hope you will find a way to let that spirit touch your heart so that you can do more, be more, and change more lives through your actions.

As for us, we will continue to smile and pray…for us… and for you.

Amen.

Helen Hicks
President and CEO
Superintendent Ron Roberts of Chippewa Valley School District reaches out with an urgent request to assist
in their Dakota and Chippewa Valley High Schools’
Construction home project with Macomb Habitat for Humanity:

Ron Roberts reaches out to CVS families asking their support by donating to Macomb Habitat to help in the completion. A home built by Macomb Habitat and the Chippewa Valley construction trades students. This home has a deadline for occupancy set for January 2020, the deadline for the family to move in.
 
This home was plagued with costly problems from being vandalized, to reconstruction, and having to move the home to three different locations for storage because the lot was not ready. Because of this Macomb Habitat sustained many cost overruns on this project.
 
We are very grateful for the outpouring of support from Chippewa Valley School District families, and Superintendent Ron Roberts who sent an email-blast to District Families, the Districts response was overwhelming.
 
Macomb Habitat and Chippewa Valley Schools have a 10-year partnership. Construction trades students from Chippewa Valley High School in Clinton Township and Dakota High School in Macomb Township come together at Dakota to build Habitat homes as part of their coursework on school days. CVS construction trades is a one-or two-year program that provides basic and advanced instruction in residential construction. 

What Has Macomb Habitat Been Up To This Past Decade?
In the first 14 years of work serving the housing needs of Macomb County families, the affiliate averaged about 3 homes a year, all new builds, with perhaps 300 volunteer days a year. That ballooned to 12 homes completed in 2009, with the first two rehabs of existing homes, and an expansion into Sterling Heights from earlier work in Mt. Clemens, Clinton Twp., Roseville and Warren. Other notable data points from 2010-2019:

  • The housing crash and recession triggered funds from the Federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) administered by Macomb County and larger municipalities. NSP funds helped build or renovate 43 homes.

Other key partnerships included 8 homes sponsored by Thrivent Financial, 5 built by our Women Build team, 7 worked on by students in the Construction Trades Program at Chippewa Valley Schools, and one with Van Dyke Public Schools students.
Upcoming Events
Women’s Luncheon
Presenting Sponsor Consumers Energy
This high-profile event highlights the journey of two influential women in our community who showed courage while rising to the top of their careers. Rhonda Powell CEO of O’Neal-Powell & Associates, and Janet Lawson Author and Non-Profit Strategist, The Shephard Group are guest speakers. This uplifting event is insightful and motivational. 
If you are interested in sponsoring this event or attending please contact  cmcqueen@macombhabitat.org or
Click here to sign up or sponsor today!


NO COST TO ATTEND,
HOWEVER THIS IS A PLEDGE EVENT!
This pledge event that has grown in three years to over 300 women hearing inspiring life stories from women leaders and Habitat homeowners.

SAVE THE DATE


Annual Women’s Luncheon
“Women Who Dared”
April 8, 2020
11:30 – 1:00 pm
Shelby Gardens, Shelby Township
50265 Van Dyke
Ongoing Campaigns
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
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/
What is Community Rewards
Kroger Community Rewards makes fund-raising easy by donating to local organizations based on the shopping you do everyday. Once you link your card to an organization, all you have to do is shop at Kroger and swipe your Plus Card!
Smart Year-end Giving
Data shows that 30% of all online giving happens in the last three days of the year. Consider using our Donate button (LINK?) to help make dreams come true this year.
Considering a larger gift to Macomb Habitat? Consult your financial advisor for details, but there are great ways to make a smart gift that reduces your taxes, especially for securities that have risen in value in the stock market. Here is a Morningstar article to get you thinking.

International Update
Donations through the affiliate have built 58 homes in other nations, at an average cost of $4,200 each.
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: Christmas decorations before the holidays, bedroom sets, gently used appliances, 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 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. 
Volunteer & Faith Relations
Be A Miracle Worker as a Volunteer in January
Notable help came from a team of skilled carpenters to do trim and install doors and kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
 
Faith Build Fundraising  
Thrivent Financial benefit members accrue “Thrivent Choice” dollars based on insurance premiums, contract values and Thrivent volunteer leadership, which can be directed to churches, schools and other nonprofits - including Macomb County Habitat, of the donor’s choice. Eligible Thrivent Financial members who have available Choice Dollars® have until March 31, 2020, to direct them (otherwise, Thrivent decides where they go). Take a few minutes now so your donation can help families in 2019. Don’t miss this opportunity to recommend that Thrivent Financial provide outreach funding to Macomb County Habitat for Humanity. Call 800-847-4836 and say “Thrivent Choice” after the prompt. Every little bit helps! 78 cents of every $1 raised goes directly to our programming as we help families in need of a hand up!
Upcoming Opportunities
The second annual Race for Shelter will be in mid-August, a fun half kilometer walk at Kuenhenn’s Brewery. We are always open to partnering on euchre tournaments, dances or other creative fundraisers.
Go to the Volunteer Calendar at  macombhabitat.org  for Upcoming Opportunities.
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