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Habitat Kent Blog

Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.

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     The Habitat for Humanity of Kent County Board of Directors has appointed BriAnne McKee, the organization’s director of volunteer services, as interim director. She replaces Mary Buikema, Habitat Kent’s visionary executive director, who will leave her position on Nov. 2 as she transitions into a new life with her new husband and children outside of Ann Arbor.

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     Habitat for Humanity of Kent County and local Catholics are taking Pope Francis’ call of service to heart – and in September will honor his U.S. visit by starting work on a local Habitat Kent home being called the Pope Francis Build.

     Volunteers will begin working on the home at 708 Oakland Ave. SW on Sept. 26 – the same day Pope Francis arrives in Philadelphia. During the next several months, Habitat Kent expects several hundred Catholics from as many as 15 local parishes, schools and Catholic organizations to volunteer on the project. They include the Diocese of Grand Rapids, the Cathedral of St. Andrew, St. Alphonsus, St. Patrick, St. Pius X, St. Robert of Newminster, Saint Thomas the Apostle, St. Stephen, Ss. Peter and Paul, Aquinas College, the Cathedral chapter of the Knights of Columbus and Catholic Charities West Michigan. 

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     Growing up in Tijuana, Mexico as a missionary's son helped prepare Danny Geurink in the business of building hope for people in need. Listen to Danny, the construction program manager at Habitat Kent, discuss the importance of green building practices as well as the innovation of Habitat Kent construction. 

     Welcome to Beyond the Home. Habitat for Humanity of Kent County’s look into the people, places, events, and stories that brings us together to build homes, communities, and hope.


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     Employees from Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores gathered from multiple Grand Rapids area stores for a day a service in the Roosevelt Park neighborhood. 22 employees or “Lowe’s Heroes” took time from work to use their talents to help spruce up the Roosevelt Park Community Garden, which is located adjacent to the Caesar Chavez Elementary parking lot. 

     “Some [Lowe’s employees] are even volunteering all day, then working from 3pm-12am tonight,” said Lou Green, store manager and Lowe’s spokesmen for the event. “We love supporting the community that supports us.”

     The Lowe’s Heroes worked from 9:30am-3:30pm at the garden by taking apart an existing fence to move, spreading mulch inside and outside the garden, completing a pea stone pathway, and beginning construction on a new shed for the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association.

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      Habitat for Humanity of Kent County has been awarded a $35,500 grant from Lowe’s to revitalize the Roosevelt Park neighborhood in Grand Rapids as part of Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization, a nationwide program dedicated to serving more families through community development partnerships. Lowe’s awarded $1.2 million in grants to 14 Habitat affiliates across the country to support more than 300 community improvement projects ranging from critical repairs to new home construction. 

     Habitat Kent will use the funds to help residents improve their yards with curb appeal projects and to landscape public space. These projects will celebrate the arts, culture, and unique identity of the Roosevelt Park neighborhood, as well as making a significant contribution to the long-term neighborhood transformation effort.  

     "We are very thankful for Lowe's and their generous contribution to Habitat Kent," said Mary Buikema, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. "Our partnership with Lowe's will help transform the Roosevelt Park neighborhood into a place that enhances the community and homeowners who live there. 

     Through Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization efforts, Habitat affiliates offer an expanded array of housing services and partner with local residents, housing leaders, community groups and businesses to transform neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life in communities. 

     “Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization program has made a lasting impact in communities across the country,” said Joan Higginbotham, Lowe's director of community relations. “Lowe's is proud to support Habitat Kent to make a difference in the Grand Rapids community.”

      A national partner since 2003, Lowe’s has committed more than $63 million to Habitat for Humanity and helped more than 4,000 families improve their living conditions. Each year, Lowe’s provides grants and volunteer assistance to affiliates, supports National Women Build Week and conducts how-to clinics at stores to teach volunteers construction skills. 


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425 Pleasant Street SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503