Habitat Headlines
November 2019
President’s Blog
Thankful for the Board
I have been in the non-profit sector since I was 21 years old. Much of that time I have had the privilege of holding an executive position and working with a Board of Directors.

Some of those boards have been amazing, and others have not. Many great and talented people have sat on those boards and during their time – they supported and lifted me up exactly when I needed it.

I fondly think back to Jimmy Jenkins, Neal Rubin, Howard Zollar, Dawn Drozd, Heidi Sharp, and others. To this day, many are dear friends, and I marvel at their integrity, dedication, courage and life-giving spirit.

Today, though, I focus on the board as a group. And with no discussion, our current board of directors is the most unified group I’ve seen.

They laugh at our meetings. Not just a small chuckle or a lopsided smile. These people roar. They praise each other and joke. Clearly, the respect they have for each other and for the staff is evident and demonstrated by how they listen and refuse to tear us or one another down – even when they disagree.

More importantly, when there is a problem or a challenge, this group moves into action. They pick up the phone and make calls; they pray; and they take out their checkbooks to give.
There is a bond on this team and the mutual respect we share, - makes coming to work a pleasure. There are no hidden agendas or efforts to malign or trump someone or something.

This season, and every season, I give thanks to all of the current board members, new and seasoned – who care deeply about the Habitat mission and show it by being examples of that mission. Each of these men and women provide community, homes and hope to Macomb families, while acting like the One we serve in church, synagogues and temples.

I’m blessed. We are blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Helen Hicks
President and CEO
Bring Two Families Home for the Holidays
A few months ago, two of the Habitat homes that were built at Dakota High School and were waiting to be moved to their permanent sites in Clinton Township, were burglarized and severely damaged by intruders.

The news coverage we received helped us to raise $27,400 from Level One Bank and Baker College. The homes were not insured as they were not on their permanent sites (insurance rules, - not ours) so all the remaining costs to rebuild and redo those homes must now be raised.

We still need an additional
$22,600 to recoup our costs!

After much thought and prayer, we have decided to reach out to our volunteer and donor community to ask for help. 

Any amount will bring us closer to that goal and will allow us to finish the homes by Christmas so two low-income families can celebrate the holiday in the homes they will pay for and love.

If you want to make a difference for these families, please join every member of our leadership team by donating to this very special cause.

Each of you will be invited to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony in December to watch children and parents finally find their way home for the holidays.

God bless you.

Helen Hicks
President and CEO
Upcoming Events

Annual Women’s Luncheon
“Women Who Dared”
April 8, 2020
Shelby Gardens, Shelby Township
Notre Dame's 'Rudy' Raises the Roof
for Macomb County Habitat for Humanity
He did not look like the Rudy everyone knows.

Then again, it’s been 44 years since Rudy Ruettiger attended the University of Notre Dame, and 26 years since Hollywood brought his story to life on the big screen.

But his playful nature gave him away.

Within minutes of arriving for Friday's Macomb County Habitat for Humanity fundraiser at Andiamo Celebrity Showroom in Warren a young man was asking for his autograph.

He told him to have a seat.
Then he was whisked away to do an interview.

"I'm here to give people hope. That's what it's all about," said Rudy, while pulling a marker out of his pocket and three footballs out of a gym bag. "It's not about Notre Dame and it's not about football."

It's about the journey said the son of an oil refinery worker and third of 14 children who rose from valleys of discouragement and despair to not only achieve academic success at the University of Notre Dame but to realize his dream of playing football for the Fighting Irish. He only played in one game -- for just 27 seconds while on the team in 1975 -- but what a moment it was.

As football fans and fellow students cheered his name, "ROO-DEE, ROO-DEE," he ran onto the gridiron in South Bend, Indiana and before his time was up sacked the quarterback. He's the only player in the school's history to be carried off the field on his teammate's shoulders. In 1993, Tristar Productions immortalized that moment with a blockbuster movie by David Anspaugh, the award-winning director known for another inspiring film, "Hoosiers."

Rudy said Anspaugh was not a fan of Notre Dame and for that reason remained true to his story, which is not unlike many of the people served by Habitat.

“Never give up, never, never,” said Rudy, who overcame numerous obstacles to get into Notre Dame and make the football team, including criticism from his own family.

At the end of the movie, when the coaches finally let him play and audiences see his excitement and joy in knowing he’s about to live out his dream?

"That's what I see when our families finish building their home and cut that red ribbon," said Helen
Hicks, CEO and president of Macomb Habitat
who, along with Carol McQueen and others at Habitat helped to arrange Rudy’s visit.

Among those who shared the stage with Rudy was Alisha Williams, a single mother of two young children who was living in a rat-infested apartment controlled by a landlord who turned off the hot water daily. She now lives in a home that she renovated through a partnership with Macomb Habitat.

"Her husband abandoned her. She was left with two little children in an untenable situation," said Hicks. "There were few choices for affordable housing even though she was working many hours as an Emergency Medical Technician while studying to become a registered nurse. She overcame all of her obstacles and recently closed on her home."

Williams said owning her own home means the world to her.

“I can’t really express in words how thankful I am to Macomb Habitat for Humanity,” Williams said.

“They literally changed not only my life but also that of my children. It gave me something I never dreamed of having. I am so thankful that something like this exists, that there are people out there doing so much good for the community. I know it is a nonprofit organization, so having volunteers and donors is a huge part of this being successful. I want to thank every employee, every volunteer and every donor from the bottom of my heart.”

The gala event featuring Rudy as guest speaker along with a dinner, live auction, raffles (including two tickets to a Notre Dame football game and overnight hotel stay) and live music raised more than $100,000 for the cause.

It also exceeded last year’s tally and all expectations.

"Rudy was inspirational, he told his story which spoke to not being discouraged, having hope while it seems impossible, such as the families we serve. The families we serve have hope in the possibility of owning their own home, having the dream of a better life for their families," said McQueen.
Oh, and that young man who was told to wait?

Rudy invited Jacob Mattia, an Eastern Michigan University student who could not afford a ticket to the event but loves football, to join him in a conference room. Then he personally signed every item the kid had in his bag, at no charge.

"There you go, buddy," Rudy said, while patting him on the back knowing what that would have meant to him when he was a kid in love with football.
We are grateful to our sponsors for supporting Macomb County Habitat 
“Raise the Roof”, an inspirational evening featuring “Rudy”.
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/
15% OFF
Black Friday Sale
at both store locations. 
ReStore Volunteers – Besides a steady stream of court-ordered volunteers, we have had two sizeable new partner corporate teams who each filled a 40-yard dumpster with unsaleable merchandise and reorganized the floor and back room at Shelby. Independent Bank brought 27 volunteers on Columbus Day. ESG Automotive brought 20 volunteers for half a day and immobilized 50 gallons of discarded paint with kitty litter. DTE Energy also lent a hand. Lots of money saved on anger management therapy as volunteers demolished furniture to fit into the dumpster.
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 Christmas decorations before the holidays, 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. 
Volunteer & Faith Relations
Volunteer Support for
Macomb Habitat

Clinton Twp. New Builds – Progress continues as we prepare new homes by the end of December on Charles St. and LaCroix For Habitat homeowner families. Each is backed by a different contractor, and have had basements poured, walls prepared for drywall installation and siding completed outside. The goal is to enable painting and other interior work in mid-November. We have room for several more volunteer teams in the weeks ahead. Watch the Volunteer Calendar at macombhabitat.org or propose a new date for a team to Dave Tirsell at dtirsell@macombhabitat.org. Some teams who joined us in October include Ross Medical School, Chemical Bank and two teams from GM, Autoliv Automotive, VW and St. George Chaldean Church. 

Faith Build Update - We were rejected for the fourth time applying for permits to build on Maxine St. in St. Clair Shores, after 3 redraws of our building plans and 3 plot plans for the site. We had persisted, since the SCS neighborhood was a great one. We are moving the project to 27560 Garfield in Roseville (1 1/2 blocks south of Martin Rd. near the I-94 sound wall). After 2 weeks we have permits in hand and we expect that the footings and crawl space will be in in time to have volunteer work moving and raising walls by 11/23. Thrivent Financial has offered an extension into next spring on funding and completion of the home.

With the move, we will still be able to use all the walls, shed and porch frames that have been put together already. It will be a real push to close the home in by the end of December, but that will enable us to use volunteers during the winter and complete the home near Easter next year. We pray many Christians will make time in the months ahead to lend a hand,  Of special interest will be larger and younger teams to move and raise walls in the next several weeks. Stay tuned!
A Brush with Kindness – One exterior repair project was completed for a disabled senior on Russell St. in Shelby Twp. Volunteers were part of an Archdiocese of Detroit Day of Mercy, with representatives from St. Michael and St. Ephrem churches and U of D Mercy students. A yard transformation and replacement of gutters were completed.

Contact Dave Tirsell at dtirsell@macombhabitat.org for groups or go to the Volunteer tab at macombhabitat.org to sign up as individuals
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!
Absopure Partners Again To Help Volunteers
With over 1000 volunteers a year, keeping people hydrated in all kinds of weather is a critical task for us. Absopure has come through again, with a second delivery of two pallets of their great bottled water this year. A great safety help and encouraging for our volunteers as they work. Thanks, Absopure!
Stier Heating and Cooling Steps Up
When a Habitat home comes back to us on foreclosure (fortunately a rare event) we turn around and renovate the home for another family. No grants are available for that work, so we must raise all the funds needed for materials and supplies. Ryan Stier of Stier Heating and Cooling LLC has stepped up and filled the last big need to complete a renovation on Saxony in Eastpointe – installing an energy efficient Coleman brand furnace at no cost. Now final touches can be made to the home and the family can move in in warmth and comfort. Need heating or cooling expertise? Contact Stier Heating and Cooling and thank them for their help with us.
Upcoming Opportunities
Go to the Volunteer Calendar at  macombhabitat.org  for Upcoming Opportunities.