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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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     Stephanie Harris got involved with Habitat for Humanity in high school and has continued to be a driving force in raising up the next generation of volunteers for Habitat Kent. Stephanie is currently the president of Habitat Young Professionals of Kent County, which is a group that helps support Habitat Kent’s work through volunteerism and giving. HYP also provides a platform for networking and fellowship for young professionals through service.


      “My position is trying to get everyone equipped with what they need,” Harris said. She serves as a liaison between the group and Habitat Kent staff in order to most effectively create opportunities for service and fundraising.

      Harris has been around Habitat for many years locally and in her hometown of Cincinnati, giving her a unique perspective on the impact of Habitat.

      “Everyone is coming because they're looking for something,” Harris said. “People connect and people find community and people get houses in safe places.”

      When Harris went to college she actively pursued involvement with Habitat Kent that led her to join HYP as a student. Harris said her connection to Habitat as a student and now as a young professional has changed her view on unity and serving with others.

      “I’ve become more aware of the beauty of diversity.”  

      HYP will be hosting their 4th Annual Build-a-Spike Volleyball Tournament on June 18th at the Score in Grand Rapids. This will be an opportunity for corporations or groups to sponsor a team, have fun, meet new people, and raise money for Habitat Kent. Email if you’re interested organizing a team, sponsoring a table, or donating a silent auction item.

Click to learn more about HYP

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   Below is a guest blog post written by Tom Rademacher b2ap3_thumbnail_Tom-Rademacher.jpg

       It began with a gentle reference to Chinua Achebe, one of Africa’s most celebrated storytellers.

     It concluded with a profound quote from American writer Anne Lamott.

     Not your typical luncheon.

     But just the kind you might expect from Habitat for Humanity Kent County -- an organization that puts people first.

     Upward of 100 men and women gathered recently to engage a trio of speakers – Kenyatta Brame, executive vice president at Cascade Engineering; the Rev. Doriane Parker-Sims, pastor at Kingdom Life Ministries; and Robert Torres, executive director of the Hispanic Center of West Michigan.

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     On March 9th Habitat Kent hosted a lunch dialogue on embracing justice in your organizational strategy. The goal was to create an inclusive space for community members and friends of Habitat to discuss how justice can be incorporated into the work that we do, no matter if it’s in ministry, nonprofits, or the corporate world. The dialogue was helmed by three panelists: Kenyatta Brame Executive Vice President of Cascade Engineering, Roberto Torres, Executive Director of the Hispanic Center of West Michigan, and Reverend Doriane Parker-Sims of Kingdom Life Ministries.

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It started with a successful millionaire couple 40 years ago. Millard and Linda Fuller sought to reaffirm their Christian faith by giving away all of their possessions and moving to a farm, where a group of Christians had gathered to intentionally live according to New Testament values.

Millard Fuller’s approach to starting Habitat for Humanity was counter-cultural even by today’s standards.

As part of their ministry at Koinonia Farm in Americus, Georgia, the Fullers helped neighboring low-income families build affordable homes. Homeowners were expected not only to work with Koinonia volunteers during the construction process but pay back the cost of the house to a revolving fund, called the “Fund for Humanity.” This model allowed volunteers to build even more houses.

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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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Grand Rapids, MI 49503