Habitat Headlines
October 2019
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 work time 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.


Helen Hicks
President and CEO
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
Remembering Sue Whitty
It is with profound sadness that we share the news of the sudden passing of Sue Whitty, Macomb Habitat’s Office Manager.
Sue was a cherished member of our leadership team. She oversaw all facets of the front desk operations including answering the phones, scheduling pick-ups, assisting with partner family applications and much more.
At her funeral, almost every member of the Macomb Habitat family was there to comfort her sons and remember the kindness of our friend.
We will miss Sue more than you can imagine. Please keep her family; her dog, Buddy; and all who cherished her in your prayers.
Donations in her memory may be made to Macomb County Habitat,  34950 Little Mack, Clinton Township, MI    48035 .
Local Spotlight:
Macomb County Habitat for Humanity
If we told you about an organization that’s built or rehabbed dozens upon dozens of homes across twelve Macomb County communities, what would you think we’re talking about? A professional builder? A mega international construction conglomerate? Think again! We’re talking about the local Habitat for Humanity, whose official mission statement involves bringing people together to build homes, community, and hope.
About Macomb County Habitat for Humanity
Since its inception in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has ballooned to operate in over 1,500 domestic and 300 international locations. The Macomb County chapter has been around since 1993, and they’ve done a ton in those 25+ years. Here are some of the services that have changed hundreds of deserving peoples’ lives:
  • New Builds: Building a house from scratch costs about $120,000 and takes countless volunteers.
  • Home Renovations: Renovating an existing home costs around $60,000 or so.
  • Exterior Repairs: Veterans as well as people who are elderly or disabled deserve more help than we could ever give them. Macomb’s Habitat breathes new life into neighborhoods, focusing on these populations.
  • ReStore: These locations can accept and then sell donated household items, so everyone wins.
  • Cars for Homes: If you have a more complicated item to donate, like a car, truck, boat, or plane, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore has a donation program. Turn your old machine into tangible community progress!

Now that you have a better sense of all that they’re doing, let’s  explore how you can actually get involved .
Finding Cool Opportunities
to Volunteer
We mentioned the countless volunteers that it takes for Macomb County Habitat for Humanity to build a home from scratch. Well, somebody actually took the time to count them, and that number comes in at roughly 200 volunteers. Even then, renovating an existing home for a low-income family to purchase still requires a large team of dedicated volunteers, about 125 people.
If you want to be one of those life-changing volunteers, we’d encourage you to start with the volunteer calendar on their website. There, you can discover opportunities to get involved with builds and rehabs, as well as Brush with Kindness for exterior repairs, ReStore for donations, and other miscellaneous events.
Upcoming Events
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
We are grateful to our sponsors for supporting Macomb County Habitat 
“Raise the Roof”, an inspirational evening featuring “Rudy”.

Annual Women’s Luncheon
“Women Who Dared”
April 8, 2020
Shelby Gardens, Shelby Township
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/
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. 
Volunteer & Faith Relations
SCS Faith Build On Hold,
Clinton Twp. Projects Moving
Until permits are issued, we are on hold with volunteer efforts on the Faith Build on Maxine in SCS. Updates will be made on the volunteer calendar at macombhabitat.org. That’s a great place to find how you can help on the two new builds now underway on Charles St. and Lacroix St. in Clinton Twp.

Above are some photos of progress and groups at work in Clinton Twp., including DTE, Mercedes Benz Financial Services, GM Side Closures and Fisher Dynamics.

Other teams included a Bank of America team working on a Veteran’s home repair project in Roseville, and a Macomb Community College student team at our Shelby ReStore

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  
Two events were held to support the Faith Build. Lake Shore Church held a dance with the Swing Shift Orchestra that raised over $1000 and showed their great hospitality. QStride Business Solutions sponsored a Cornhole Tournament in Mt. Clemens that raised $815. Thanks!
Upcoming Opportunities
Go to the Volunteer Calendar at  macombhabitat.org  for Upcoming Opportunities.