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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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It changed my life,” explained Dalia. “I never thought the simple act of volunteering could do that.” Dalia has an inspiring passion for serving others. “It all started in the Habitat program,” she said.

Dalia and her family moved into their Habitat home about six years ago. Before, her family lived in an area of town where safety was an issue and living conditions were substandard.  “Our Habitat home really brought us together as a family. As a family, we’re all more responsible and connected than we’ve ever been. We’re getting our debt paid off, and the home really united us. If I could describe home in one word it’d be blessed.”  

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Some volunteer with a hammer; others with a needle. Once a month, 15 people from the Grand River Needlepoint Guild gather together to needle pictures for future Habitat Kent homeowners.  

When I visited them recently, they were quick to clarify that a variety of ages and genders enjoy needlepointing. One needler spoke up for the guild: “It’s not just us old ladies that do this, we promise.” She also clarified a common misconception. “It’s different than stitching. Needlepoint allows you to get creative with a much broader palette of techniques and threads.”

The Grand River Needlepoint Guild is affiliated with the American Needlepoint Guild, which was founded in 1972 and now has almost 9,500 national and international members. The Grand River Needlepoint Guild started meeting in western and central Michigan in 1994. Last year, they began partnering with Habitat Kent and have needlepointed 22 pictures since.

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     When most college students traveled south in search of some fun in the sun, a group of enterprising students from Boston College headed to Grand Rapids to serve with Habitat Kent.

     Last week 13 Boston College students donned their work boots and hard hats and serve at two Habitat Kent builds.

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     I don’t know about you, but I could use a little help when it comes to shaping my worldview. If I’m honest, hearing the phrase “religious institution” often creates a bit of fear in me. It gets my blood pumping a bit.

     It’s a complex feeling. One that I’m not proud of. But whether we like it or not, we’re all going to form a worldview which shapes how we see people. What’s important is taking a step back to realize what has shaped our worldview. And at this point, I’ve let negative news headlines and people’s opinions (not facts) shape how I approach other religions. Partner that with a lack of exposure and sticking to my familiar, comfortable, Christian circle and it’s no wonder I have this feeling.

     None of our worldviews are perfect. And they never will be. However, in my year and a half at Habitat Kent, I’ve learned a lot about taking small steps towards “building” peace and simply seeing all people as fearfully and wonderfully made. And for me, a big part of the realization came from exposure to Habitat Kent’s approach to interfaith work.

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     On October 7, Habitat Kent and local Bank of America Merrill Lynch volunteers participated in the Bank of America Global Build Week by working on a new construction build in the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood. This volunteer day is part of the long-standing commitment from Bank of America to help individuals and families achieve home ownership.

     “At Bank of America Merrill Lynch we believe in the positive change that affordable housing and home ownership can have on a community,” said Jeff Dykstra, Merrill Lynch financial advisor and Habitat Kent board member. “Our Habitat for Humanity Global Build Week allows our employees to support our partnership with Habitat by rolling up their sleeves and volunteering.”

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425 Pleasant Street SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503