Dear Habitat friends,

Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity is built on the foundation of bringing people together, and with your support over the past 28 years, we’ve built more than 150 homes and assisted more than 100 other households by completing repairs, accessibility modifications, and home maintenance projects all with the express purpose of building homes, communities, and hope.

Though much of our regular programming is on hold as we work to maintain operations and stabilize losses from closing our ReStore, suspending volunteer activities, and cancelling fundraising events, we are adapting and continue working with compassion and hope (and safety!). We are balancing how best to assist our community through this time while considering what our organization may look like in the future. For the past months, we have directed our efforts to supporting other agencies providing much-needed services like food delivery and rapid re-housing. To continue our work of improving housing stability through affordable homeownership, we have completed both of our new homes in Hills, are finishing up a rehab in Iowa City, and continue to complete Helping Hands projects.

As we all closely monitor the escalations surrounding COVID-19 it is even more critical that we bring people together to support one another, even though we are apart. All of us at Habitat know there are far too many families for whom shelter-in-place orders aren’t as straightforward as they sound.

When a person lives in substandard or overcrowded conditions, sheltering in place only increases uncertainty and vulnerability. The uncertainty many of us feel today, these families have felt for a lifetime — if not generations.

We are needed now more than ever. And now more than ever, we need you. We invite you to invest in the Homes, Communities, Hope + You campaign to ensure we are able to not only continue our work in Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, and Washington counties, to ensure that everyone has a decent place to call home, but also accelerate our ability to serve when our economy reopens. Your gift will directly support :

  • The 4 families currently in our pipeline working toward their homeownership opportunity.
  • 3 builds that have begun but were paused because of the pandemic.
  • Our goal to repair 8 homes by the end of 2020.

Although some of this work is on hold for now, our greatest goal throughout this strange time remains the same: to lovingly work in partnership, for the betterment of all in our community.

Sincerely,
Heath Brewer
IVHFH Executive Director
We are excited to tell you about the projects we will be working on once we can recover from this crisis. You can designate a donation to a specific project and though we may not be able to start work right away, your donation today gets us closer to building again .
Helping Hands
As our community returns to normalcy, recovery will come with a change in what members of our community need from Helping Hands, our home repair program. High unemployment and underemployment will hurt the pocketbooks of many. Unfortunately, home repairs and accessibility modifications can’t wait until income stabilizes. Consequently, we anticipate higher demand for projects like roof repairs, bathroom remodels, and ramp construction. We also anticipate greater need for appliances such as water heaters and furnaces. We are responding to those needs by developing new partnerships with businesses, non-profits, and local government to connect resources with those in need of a hand-up. We are also rolling out a program, Emergency Repair and Major Appliance Replacement , which is designed to respond quickly to emergencies, so households aren’t forced to endure the dangers that come with a broken furnace or faulty water heater. While your support plays a critical role as we change to meet the needs of our community, more tangibly, it allows us to make homes safer without causing financial hardship.
After much consideration, Jane Hagedorn and the IVHFH staff have made the difficult decision to start the 12 th annual Women Build honoring Jane Hagedorn in 2021. Jane has played an essential role in each of our Women Builds; from serving on the Women Build steering committee each year to providing plumbing labor with Bea Day Plumbers on every Women Build. We simply would not be where we are today celebrating 28 years of building without her. Postponing this project allows us to recover and to fully honor Jane at a time when everyone can be engaged and involved. Jane wanted to share the following with our supporters:
“As honoree of the 2020 Women Build, I first express my sincere wishes for the safety, security, health, and prosperity of all our Habitat families, communities, and loyal supporters, including yours. For decades, it has been my privilege to support an organization whose mission is so dear to my heart, and critical to our community. While I understand completely our decision as an organization to defer the 2020 Women Build to 2021, I ask you to keep Habitat close in your thoughts and in your values. As our country engages in some of the greatest crises in our lifetimes, the needs of our Habitat partners are as critical, perhaps more so, than ever. As you contemplate your own recoveries and allocation of your resources, please consider that every contribution counts, no matter the size; each will be put to careful use, in the Habitat way. All donations designated to the 2020 Women Build will defer to the 2021 Build. Thank you all so much, for everything you do. Be well and stay safe.” — Jane Hagedorn
In 2021, IVHFH will build a Habitat home in memory of a dear friend and long-time supporter, Dave Schuldt. Having biked well over 100,000 miles across the United States and the world, Dave loved being outdoors and cherished memories of adventures with family and friends. After retiring 20 years ago, he maintained his active lifestyle, including reading and music, as he continued his formal and informal mentoring and ministry. He was an active participant in the Oaknoll retirement community where he lived with his wife Sandra. For 30 years, Dave was director of the Wesley Foundation at the University of Iowa, and during that tenure, he led almost 50 trips to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota for students, friends, and family. He was an active member of First United Methodist Church since his arrival in 1965 as associate pastor. As an extension of the Wesley role and his personal values, Dave Schuldt was a servant and leader for Iowa City organizations and humanitarian efforts, including his support of the Habitat for Humanity mission locally and globally. We are proud to honor Dave through a new home construction project. The future homeowners will put down roots with their family in this new home, and Dave’s memory will forever live on through a structure that will serve as lasting stability for the family — leaving a legacy of hope and joy for the future homeowners.
With the completion of the successful 2019 Interfaith Builds project comes the start of our next work. While a new home construction project supported by Interfaith Builds is postponed until 2021, we anticipate opportunities to continue our mission through support of Helping Hands projects throughout this year as well as continued advocacy for affordable housing in our community. This means we would love to talk with you and your faith community or other group about how to support this important program aimed at 1) putting faith and/or good will into positive action, and 2) bringing people together and improving understanding and acceptance of all backgrounds, including faith.
 
One lesson learned over and over through work with diverse people is that all religions and people of good will share very similar values; one of these is a fundamental belief in striving to always treat others in ways you desire to be treated. Another shared value is the necessity to live your faith and values through action. We hope you and your faith community will join us in our vision to make the Interfaith Builds continue year after year.
Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity | www.iowavalleyhabitat.org