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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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     This month marks the beginning of my second AmeriCorps term year at Habitat Kent. I have the privilege to tell our partner family's stories via social media, our blog, etc. I feel honored to remind people of the ‘why we do what we do’ here at Habitat.

     Last week, Habitat Michigan generously provided a scholarship for me to attend the Affiliates In Motion conference in Lansing, Michigan. The AIM conference brings affiliates in Michigan together for a three-day conference to collaborate ideas, network, and discuss how we can best serve Michigan together.

     I processed a lot of information in that three days, and I wanted to share some lessons and ideas that would be relevant to you and allow you to get to know the “deceptively complex” Habitat for Humanity.

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     Sweat equity. A phrase that is crucial to our mission at Habitat Kent. Because of the partner families invested in our mission, we witness empowerment, excitement, and hope.

     “It’s a way for Habitat families to pay it forward and give back to our community,” said Habitat Kent homebuyer Tiara VanDam about the approach of sweat equity.  “We’ve been given a great opportunity, and Habitat requires sweat equity so we can pass it on.”

      Some homebuyers will even go so far as to donate hours once they accomplish their required amount. Jasmine Mendez, a homebuyer in the middle of her sweat equity hours recently received 50 donated hours from another family.

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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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     Art Prize is Grand Rapids’ largest and most visible event of the year. In six years, Art Prize has hosted 10,688 artists’ entries and had 1.9 million visitors. This year, Habitat Kent decided to join the Art Prize fever by partnering with SiTE:LAB, a nomadic all-volunteer arts organization.

     By using the three-acre parcel of Plaza Roosevelt project land (breaking ground in 2017), SiTE:LAB was able to create their 2015 Art Prize entry called the “Rumsey Street Project.”

     The above video explains the relationship between Habitat Kent and SiTE:LAB working towards Plaza Roosevelt in 2017.

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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

CONTACT US
616-774-2431
425 Pleasant Street SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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