Women Build Community, 2017
The 2017 Women Build event was a huge success, and our construction team was wowed by Women Build volunteers for 2 straight weeks, starting May 2 thru May 13.
Volunteers framed walls, installed drywall, put-up exterior siding, painted, installed doors and generally made a HUGE impact on our construction schedule. We're thrilled for the participation, and looking forward to next May, 2018. Participants donated their time, energy and $100 per person to help pay for construction materials and supplies. Thanks to their efforts, we raised over $5,000 to help build decent, affordable housing in Loveland!
Special Thanks for their generous donations and incredible energy and enthusiasm:
• Colorado Women of Influence/Emerging Leaders
• Dakota Glen Neighborhood
• Loveland Housing Authority
• Loveland Habitat Fundraising Committee
• Keva Properties
• Lowe's Hardware
• Natalie Shamley & Investment Centers of America
• Jennifer Ward and Team
• Keysight Technologies- Deborah, Tami and Darlene!
A very special thanks to our local Dominoes restaurants for their unending support and fabulous pizza and sandwiches!
30th Anniversary Year
Loveland Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1987 by a small group of Loveland's community and religous leaders. Through their common interest in making Loveland the best city that it could be, these visionaries recognized a growing need for safe and affordable housing for Loveland's low income residents. Their goal-- to work with families seeking new and better housing in safe, family-friendly neighborhoods. Not to provide a hand-out, but a hand-up, so families could help build and purchase an affordable home. 30 years later, through the hard work of homeowners and volunteers, over 134 homes and 28 home preservation projects have been completed.
Save the Date: November 4, 2017
Mark your calendar for November 4, 2017, when we'll celebrate our anniversary with a dinner and fundraising event at Ellis Ranch. This will be a festive "Boots and Blue jeans" night out, and sure to be fun. Sponsorships are available now. Please contact Vince Deely at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Celebrating 30 Years of Building Community in Loveland
Founded in 1987, Loveland Habitat for Humanity will celebrate it's 30th Anniversary in 2017. To all of our volunteers, donors and homeowners, we’re honored to work with you to make an impact on our community. We could not do it without your help.
Since our founding, we’ve relied on the people and businesses of Loveland to help us build affordable homes. Through your efforts, 134 families have been able to buy a Habitat home. Where does this support come from? Today the majority of our building is supported through individuals, businesses, the faith community and the Habitat ReStore, in the form of:
1. Donations (monetary and donations of goods & services)
3. Grants and Foundations
However, as the cost of housing has steadily increased, many more families in our community struggle to keep up. Loveland Habitat for Humanity currently has a two-year backlog in construction, meaning families approved today won’t move into their home until 2018. With your help we can decrease this wait time!
We’re committed to providing opportunities for members of our community who are struggling with affordable housing. With your tax deductible donation, we can build decent affordable homes.
We’re eternally grateful for your support!
Girls Just Want to Have Fun! (Even Retired Ones)
By Joan Leri-Marcinkewicz, Regular Volunteer
It was nearly five years ago that I decided I wasn’t having enough fun! I had retired from my high school teaching career several years earlier, and while I enjoyed spending time with my husband and family, traveling, bicycling, gardening with no set schedule, I kept feeling like I could be doing something more in my life.
Then one day I was chatting with some women in my neighborhood who had worked for Habitat for Humanity in another city. They recalled how they threw a “stud party” for a Habitat home. People came to the site and made small monetary donations to paint on construction studs for the newly framed house. The artwork and messages they left were diverse—affection for the new home owners, Bible passages, congratulations, advice, good wishes and hopes for the future. It sounded like a lot of fun and a great way to enclose love and optimism in the new home. I had contributed money to Habitat International in the past, but suddenly the idea of actively volunteering my time and energy to a local chapter took root. I called the Loveland Habitat Chapter.
Orientation was very easy and the coordinator went out of her way to match tasks to the talents and needs of the volunteers. Even though my husband and I travel several times a year, I could still contribute in ways that would fit in with my scheduled trips. I settled on working in the administrative office one morning a week. Duties included everything from clerical work and taking snacks to the construction sites for the volunteers to photographing new home dedications and putting together display boards for various events. I met many great people and had fun along the way.
I was soon helping with special events like the Voyage to Africa and the first Home Sweet Home Christmas event at the Loveland Embassy Suites. At Home Sweet Home I had the opportunity to take a local glass workshop called “Artisan You,” where I made little glass “home” ornaments to decorate the tree. How funwas that! We even won an award for our tree decoration that year. Home Sweet Home is now an annual event that not only raises money for Habitat and provides an outstanding family holiday outing, but is a lot of fun for the volunteers!
Gradually, my Habitat volunteering expanded to include several Women Build and Build-a-Thon construction days, during which I painted, caulked, framed and even used power saws and hung drywall. Through these experiences I gained new respect for the skills of our construction volunteers and the effort that Habitat puts into these quality homes. And I expanded my own confidence in what I am capable of contributing. And did I mention? It was fun!
Over the years, watching the stream of talented and giving young people who have come into the Habitat sphere has been beyond fun. It’s also been inspiring for me to meet all of these dedicated and creative individuals: the Bike and Build youth who travel through Loveland and stay a few nights every summer, building houses on their way across the country; the Iraqi students from CSU who help with a build day and take the experience home with them; the local high school music students who perform at Home Sweet Home each year; the high school construction class that gets practical experience working on a Habitat home; and the many other high school and college students who often volunteer on site and at special events. It does a Baby Boomer like me good to meet all of these caring young people.
It’s hard to believe that nearly five years have gone by since I started volunteering at Loveland Habitat. When I started, they had yet to complete their 100th home. Now, they’re at 119 and counting! I hope to be around when they reach 200 and beyond. Hanging out at Habitat is just too much fun!
Fountain of Youth by Greg Coonfare
Leaning over, the old man peers into the well before lowering the bucket into the water. Nervous excitement permeates his body as he retrieves the nearly full bucket of water, sets it on the ground, and hurries to ladle a drink. The first sip tingles against his lips and generates a warm, electric buzz that spreads throughout his body. Taking a deeper drink, he notices the skin of his leathery, wrinkled arms becoming pliable and smooth right before his eyes. Peering back into the bucket, his reflection reveals the smooth complexion of his youth. Bursting into a dance punctuated by leaps and bounds, he exclaims, “I’ve found it, I’ve found it, the fountain of youth!”
We’ve all heard a version of the fountain of youth. An explorer in a far off jungle finds a fountain, spring, or well containing a miraculous liquid that makes him perpetually young. Well, I’ve discovered a “fountain of youth” and I’ll even tell you where it is and please, feel free to share the location. You don’t have to travel to a far off jungle or wield a machete to get there. All you have to do is drive to the Loveland Habitat for Humanity construction site. There, the secret is out!
What makes me think the fountain of youth exists there? I’ve witnessed 50, 60, and even 80 year-old workers do things that would make 20-year-olds tired. I’ve watched this group of age-defying workers measure, cut, and fit materials, frame walls, and install drywall for hours on end. Many times these workers are so engrossed in their work that they have to be reminded to take a break. They toil, sweat, and occasionally bleed as they assemble the components of a house for someone they don’t know and may never know. Like most construction work, it is physically demanding, but unlike normal construction work, it is tremendously invigorating. These volunteers could be fishing, woodworking, quilting, or any other leisure-time activity, but they find time to help make someone’s life better by building them a home.
What are the secret ingredients of the fountain of youth? It starts with a belief in something bigger than yourself, combined with a commitment to giving and a passion for helping fellow human beings. It’s building homes for the spiritual investment in someone’s future versus a financial profit. It’s knowing that what you do will improve a family’s life. It’s the transformation of strangers to friends over the course of shared work. It’s a feeling of accomplishment because you’ve helped build something with substance and permanence. It’s having a new homeowner expressing their tearful, heartfelt gratitude for the gift they’ve received. It’s a belief in the words of Robert Byrne, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
Please don’t think the effects of the fountain of youth apply only to those over 50 because no matter what your age, you will feel its positive impact. Please don’t think you have to be an expert carpenter because there is need for all skill levels. Besides the age-defying and uplifting impacts, you will learn skills you can apply to your own home or use to help others. You’ll get to experience the tired, exhausted feeling at the end of the day that somehow makes you feel younger and vital, as if you just drank from the “Fountain of Youth”. Want to feel it, experience it? Then join us at Habitat.
By Greg Coonfare, a regular construction volunteer
Kearney, NE Church Mission Trip
First Presbyterian Church in Kearney, NE traveled with a group of 8 volunteers to Loveland, CO at the end of May to build with our affiliate. Joining them was another volunteer from Vail, Colorado, son to the team leaders, to experience build opportunities in this area for families in need. Kay Payne, one of the team leaders, served on the Habitat board in Kearney for many years. She and her husband, Rodger, have also traveled to build with other affiliates as part of the RV Care-A-Vanners program. Kelsey C., a youth member of the church, shares her experience of building with our affiliate:
“This was my first mission trip by myself and my first time coming to Colorado so I was pretty excited to see what’d we be doing. Teaming up with Habitat was a great experience; we got to meet and connect with the people and help with the houses being built. It was also cool to go into someone’s Habitat home and hear how they’ve grown and changed through their experience with Habitat. Overall it’s been an inspiring trip.”
Collegiate Build Reflection
By Andrew Duback, volunteer from Oakton Community College
Arriving in Loveland, I had much to expect from a place so different from my home in Chicago. I was amazed at how clean and beautiful the town looked as we drove in after 16 hours on the road.
The mountains were beautiful and the sun shone brightly. On Memorial Day, we didn’t work and took the day to do a hike on the Rocky Mountain National Park trail. I felt so blessed to be able to see the beauty of this trail, much like I had hoped to see in Colorado.
My eyes were enjoying the beauty of the state but my hands had not yet done any work. On our first day of work at the Loveland Habitat construction site, I was eager to start and feeling great. I was already falling in love with Loveland and my Habitat work group from college.
When I arrived on site, I was impressed that there were also many other non-student volunteers. This added to the experience, not only because it reminded me how many good people there are in the world, but because these volunteers used their experience to teach us. We learned how to work many different jobs and had the guidance of our leaders Shelly and Levi, which I appreciated so much.
Once, when I was preparing to caulk and paint the trim on the bottom of a wall, I realized I didn’t exactly know what to do. Levi showed me how: first, cover the nails with putty, then, caulk the edges of the trim, and finally, paint. It made things so simple and all of a sudden I became a master caulker and painter!
Gathering together for lunch every day was a time of relief and reflection. We did not over-work ourselves, but it was nice to eat some food after building up an appetite. One day, we gathered in the basement of the house we were dry-walling—a cool retreat from the hot sun. It was then that I really understood the incredible process of building that house—so many hands had helped build it, including my own. When I walked back upstairs after lunch was over, I noticed the walls looked different. Together, we had put up a lot of drywall and the wall started to look like it was truly part of a home. It was a group effort—even when I was tired or didn’t know what to do, someone always came alongside me to lend a helping hand.
I volunteer with Habitat not only because it is a way for me to do some good in this world while learning construction and building skills, but so that I can meet like-minded people who are very easy to make friends with. I would like to thank everyone who went on the trip, as well as all of the people who watched over us on our journey. It was an excellent time of growth and discovery. I learned how to have patience and give other people the opportunity to learn. I also learned to share and give others the opportunity to use the same hammer that I used. I can’t wait for my next Habitat trip.