Habitat Susquehanna Heads Into Its 25th Year

Twenty-fourth year included our 100th home

It's hard to top the first 24 years of Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna -- which in May marked the dedication of its 100th home (pictured) -- but we're certainly going to try!

How it all began...

The incorporation of our organization was officially announced on November 1, 1993. 

The members of the first Board of Directors were Charles Alston (President), John DiLeo-Lopez (Vice President), Carol McBrien (Treasurer), Christy Royster (Secretary), Andrea Hooper (Recording Secretary), G. DeWayne Curry, Clarence Fry, Richard Herbig, Rosemary Logan, Charlotte Smith and Carolyn Vernon.

Our first volunteers were Phillip Barker, Mary Change, Pat Harkins, David Horne, Nancy Lester, Warrenell Lester, Karen Louthian, Carol McBrien, Howard Miles, Charlotte Smith, Jim Vannoy, Marjory Watermeir, Teresa Wilson, Marie Edmeades and Carol Cheicante.

While organization chapters in Harford and Cecil counties were founded in 1993, the merger of Harford Habitat for Humanity with Habitat for Humanity of Cecil County occurred in 2011. From that point on, our affiliate was known as Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna.

Crowd Funding Campaign during January
Building materials needed for next Habitat house

The response to the Crowd Build campaign we ran in the fall was so encouraging! We are almost ready to start building Renee's Aberdeen home and our goal is to have all of the items on the list donated by January 31. To see what's needed, or to read Renee's story, visit the Amp Your Good website .

Dream Builders' Ball
Early Bird tickets on sale now!

Tickets are on sale for our upcoming fundraiser, the Dream Builders' Ball, and we're offering an Early Bird Special! 

Purchase tickets now and couples will pay $250 (rather than the individual ticket cost of $150). Offer only good through January 15

Visit our website to register! 

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Jessie Ingold at jingold@habitatsusq.org or call 410-638-4434 x6. 

Three Homes for the Holidays
Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna marked a very special accomplishment at the end of 2017. Thanks to its programs, three families were welcomed home for the holidays - two through the Homeownership Program, and one through the Repair Program. All three homes came about in very different - and unique - ways.

Photo credit: Yvonne Alston
The Hines Family
First USDA loan

Our Habitat house at Maffitt Street, Elkton, celebrated a few "firsts" during its December 21 dedication ceremony. 

For the first time, a mortgage would be held not by Habitat Susquehanna, as was the usual case, but by the USDA (through a low-interest mortgage loan). This was an important point because it meant that Habitat Susquehanna didn't have to do as much fundraising in order to build the house. V olunteers worked regularly to build the home, including a highly skilled crew from Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) Wildcat Generation Facility (also a financial sponsor). 

Another feature of the build was the donation of the land by Cecil County's Meeting Ground, Inc. from a donation originally made to Meeting Ground by Wells Fargo.  Additional House Sponsors included the Elkton Moose Lodge 851 and St. Margaret's Church. Other contributors: Chesapeake Employers' Insurance; Giant Food; Harford County Reading Council; Jamsquad Cycling; Sandy Barstow; and St. Margaret School Service Club.

Photo credit: Yvonne Alston
The Barrett Family
"Crazy Build" ( see video, below story)

In July, Habitat Susquehanna joined forces with a group called the Habitat Road Trip Crazies with the goal of building as much of one home as possible in one weekend with 100 volunteers. In reality, approximately 250 volunteers showed up to build the Barrett family's Havre de Grace home! C onstruction slowed down after the two-day build in order to raise the remaining funds for the house. The House Sponsors recognized at the December 22 dedication ceremony included the Harford County Government; Bank of America; Rosedale Federal Savings and Loan Association; Aon Hewitt; Gutter Guys; St. Margaret's Church; Frederick Ward Associates; and Teledyne. Additional contributors included Bulle Rock Quilt Club; Chesapeake Employers' Insurance; Giant Food; Harford County Reading Council; Jamsquad Cycling; La Tolteca; Sandy Barstow; and St. Margaret School Service Club.

"Crazy Build" Time Lapse Video
Videographer: Nathan Rhodes 

The Case of "Jane Doe"
Bedroom only habitable room; 
Doe wore several coats due to lack of heat

In September, Habitat Susquehanna's Repair Program was working on the dilemma of how to help Jane Doe (for privacy reasons, she asked that her name and house location not be identified). Doe was living in a doublewide mobile home in Harford County that was literally collapsing around her. Over the years, the blocks that had been holding up her home were sinking and tipping in the ground so that the home was folding into itself (pictured). The only room that was habitable was her bedroom, and Doe would wear several coats indoors because the heat wasn't working.  As she had no real income to fix anything so extreme (she was collecting unemployment at the time), Doe contacted the Repair Program asking for a new roof, ceiling and floors. Unfortunately, after a house visit, it was obvious that the Repair Program had to deem the home unrepairable; it was too cost-prohibitive for grant money to be used towards the amount of extensive repairs required. A solution came in an unexpected way - a Jarrettsville homeowner contacted the Repair Program with a doublewide trailer that she wanted to donate to Habitat Susquehanna.  The demolition/removal of Doe's deteriorated mobile home, the installation of new concrete footers, and the disassembling/moving of the donated home was a quick process.  Once the home was put on Doe's property, much-needed appliances like a refrigerator and dishwasher were purchased using grant money such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). Doe also received a new heat pump, washer/dryer and electric range.

Photo credit: Yvonne Alston
Skip Lepone
"Core" Volunteer

Skip has worked on almost all of our recent builds and has been a major player at our Habitat houses in Aberdeen, Havre de Grace and most recently at Elkton -- the Hines family home on Maffitt Street, where we recently held our dedication ceremony. 

"He has spent an incredible amount of time and talent on completing these projects and expands his talents and tool collection daily," said Dwayne Coakley, Senior Construction Supervisor at Habitat Susquehanna. "There was not a piece of material at Maffitt that Skip did not have his hands on!"

He regularly shows up on non-construction days to help push the project through to completion.  Now that's dedication.  Hats off to Skip!

Call for Volunteers
Help needed for home build and Aberdeen ReStore

We are working on two neighboring homes on Girard Street in Havre de Grace and we need more volunteers! C ontact Brianne Young at byoung@habitatsusq.org for details.

The ReStore is looking for volunteers in January. Volunteers help with a variety of tasks ranging from helping customers to assisting donors in Donations Drop-Off. Volunteers are needed Tuesdays 9AM to 4PM; Wednesdays to Fridays 10AM to 6PM, and Saturdays 9AM to 4PM. Volunteers can do 2-hour to 4-hour shifts. For more information, contact John Lanigan at 4 43-567-7698 x14 or jlanigan@habitatsusq.org.

JANUARY 8: Financial Life Skills (free financial education class open to the public)* 

JANUARY 15: Last day to get the Early Bird Special on tickets to the Dream Builders' Ball ( see details at top of e-newsletter)

JANUARY 27: 7th Annual Snowball hosted by the Southern Harford County Rotary (proceeds support children and families in the Southern Harford County region), 7-11PM. For more info, visit their website.

JANUARY 29: Budgeting Workshop (free financial education class open to the public)*

JANUARY 31: Last day to participate in January's Crowd Funding of our next Habitat house ( see details at top of e-newsletter)

FEBRUARY 5: Credit Finesse   (free financial education class open to the public)*

FEBRUARY 12: Find Hidden Cash  (free financial education class open to the public)*

FEBRUARY 17: Dream Builders' Ball, Water's Edge Event Center, Belcamp, 6-10PM

*Free financial education classes are  presented by APGFCU but reservations are required. Contact Dee Barretto at 410-612-2361 or at  workshopRSVP@apgfcu.com. (All dates are subject to change.)
Other Ways to Support Habitat Susquehanna

Donate to Habitat Susquehanna all year long
Foundation will donate 0.5% of purchase price

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets you enjoy the same selection of products, only that when you shop on AmazonSmile, its foundation will donate 0.5 percent of the purchase price to the eligible charitable organization of your choice! Just log into the AmazonSmile website, select "Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna" in the organization search bar. Then, Habitat Susquehanna will receive donations from your eligible purchases! For more information, click HERE.

The Gift for the Person Who Has Everything
Give in someone's name

Whether it's a Christmas gift or a birthday present, we've made it easy for you to honor your special someone by making a donation to Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna in his or her name! Just visit our website to select from a list of contribution amounts (or designate an amount of your own choosing). Then, enter the person's name/address and an acknowledgement of your gift will be mailed by us to them. It's that easy!

Cars for Homes
Call toll-free 877-277-4344

This program accepts almost all vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, farm equipment, construction equipment and airplanes.  For more details, email carsforhomes@habitat.org or call the toll-free number listed above.