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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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“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” – Malachi 3:10

     The definition of a tithe within Habitat for Humanity is essentially the same as the biblical definition of tithe – to take 10 percent of what we have been blessed with and give it back to God. Through Habitat’s Tithe program, Habitat affiliates in the United States are encouraged to donate 10 percent of all unrestricted cash donations each year to further the organization’s work in other countries.

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     On March 4, 2016, the SpartanNash Foundation is launching a companywide fundraising campaign in partnership with Habitat for Humanity local affiliates where corporate-owned retail stores are located. The scan will run through March 13, 2016.

     At all Kent County Family Fare Supermarkets, D&W Fresh Markets, Forest Hills Foods and Fuel Centers, customers will have the opportunity via any checkout lane to donate $1, $5 or $10 to Habitat for Humanity Kent County. When customers make a donation, they will receive four coupons toward Spartan® brand products. Stores will hold additional fundraising activities during the 10-day fundraiser. The SpartanNash Foundation will donate 100% of funds raised to the Habitat for Humanity affiliate serving the community where the dollars were raised. SpartanNash corporation underwrites the cost of the campaign through its more than 160 stores and provides volunteer opportunities for associates to assist with home builds.

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     Most people who work in social service or economic development know the "babies in the river" folk tale. It has a few variations, but essentially the storyline is as follows:

     The residents of a village are gathered by a river for a picnic when someone notices a baby in the river, struggling and crying.  

     The villagers’ panic subsides as someone successfully saves the baby; but to their horror, they notice another screaming baby in the river. Before they know it, more and more babies come down the river. Fortunately, the villagers are up to the task and quickly organize their efforts. Some people are in the water and others take care of the babies on land. But as the work continues unabated, several villagers stop working and run upstream.

     "Where are you going?" shouts one of the rescuers. "We need you to help with these babies!"

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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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425 Pleasant Street SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503