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Builders Circle

Pilgrimage to Koinonia Farm and Global Village

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Written by Maura Kautsky, Board Chair

A group of Tigers, fellow board members and staff took a four day service and educational trip to Koinonia Farm and the Global Village & Discover Center in Americus, Georgia to see and hear the Habitat story. Our trip was guided by our chauffer, the one and only Jim Morris. We picked up our tour guide and chief story teller Clive Rainey, the Habitat for Humanity’s first ever volunteer, and off we went to Koinonia Farms.

We spent the first two days at Koinonia Farm, a Christian fellowship community, the place where Millard and Linda Fuller conceived Habitat. Together with Koinonia founder Clarence Jordan and a few others, the Fullers initiated a ministry in housing where they built modest houses on a no-profit, no-interest basis. Homeowner families were expected to invest their own labor into the building of their home and the houses of other families and from it Habitat was born. As part of our tour Clive showed us where those first homes are located and they look like many of the homes we build today. While on the farm many of us sorted pecans and learned about golden pecans, the best quality. The farm makes its money from the sales of pecan goods.

We then headed to Americus to visit the Global Village. It was so inspiring to me to see how far reaching Habitat has grown to serve so many countries. The Global Village is right by Habitat’s headquarters so we stopped in to look around. We ended our time in Americus with a dinner Clive arranged with Linda Fuller, co-founder of Habitat. What a blessing for us to talk with her and hear her journey. View photos from the trip!

We had a lot of fun together and I want to share a few other notable memories from our trip:

  • Have you ever seen a Palmetto bug? If so you won’t forget how big they are. (Sorry Eileen for screaming and waking you up.) And thanks to Ted and Paul for coming to the rescue and removing it from our room.
  • Did you know you can tap two pecan shells together to crack them open to get to the raw delicious nut inside?
  • John Peer is a great euchre partner. Thanks for making us the undefeated champs.
  • The southern food is incredible in Georgia. I think I ate more food in four days than I do in two weeks. In particular, Mom’s Kitchen has the best fried chicken and Grits Café serves a delicious fried green tomato sandwich and sweet potato fries. Yummy!
  • I am inspired by Clive Rainey’s servant leadership and how he dedicated his whole life to Habitat’s mission. He is a true inspiration and I am privileged that I can now call him my friend.

I walked away from these past four days with a full heart, new friends and an ongoing appreciation for what Habitat has done and continues to do to serve families with a goal to provide affordable housing to all. I will leave you with something Clive shared with us that he heard form a homeowner that sums up how Habitat changes and impacts families: “As I built my house, I built myself.” -Habitat homeowner

P.S. Koinonia Farms is still serving after 75 years and they have a focus on hospitality, an internship program and demonstrating sustainable farming practices. Their golden delicious pecans are used to create wonderful chocolate, pecan brittle, breads, and they sell bags of nuts. All great gifts  – koinoniafarm.3dcartstores.com.

Builders Circle Quote: Peggy & Paul

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Why do we support Habitat for Humanity?

We support Habitat because of the good work it does in uplifting our broader Indianapolis community, the benefits it brings in improving housing in local neighborhoods and the opportunity it provides for homeownership.

Aside from that, we enjoy the sense of accomplishment in seeing a new home constructed or an existing home refurbished from beginning to end.

Peggy and Paul

Peggy and Paul are Builders Circle members, and Paul has been a Tiger Team member and leader for nine years. 

Kick Off Event Recap: Amy

By | Builders Circle, Events, Homeowner, Tiger Team, Volunteer, Women Build | No Comments

This week we kicked-off our 30th year with more than 150 of our supporters. We are again is awe of the outpouring of support and encouragement that fills the room at this annual event.

We started the evening with a private reception for our Builders Circle members, allowing them a sneak peak at the info tables and more personalized attention speaking with our team about ways to get involved. President & CEO, Jim Morris, as well as future homeowner Amy Brown spoke to the members about the important role individual donors play in our mission and the need for continued growth in this area of support.

Once the doors opened for the public portion of the event, the “streets” of the DeveloperTown warehouse were flooded with individual, corporate, and faith-based supporters eager to learn more about the work we are doing in Indy and how they can be a part of it in 2017. We paused for a brief moment for Jim to share more about our plans in our 30th year and to recognize those who have gone above and beyond to support our mission.

We would like to thank our award recipients for their past and continued support:

  • “Frank Hartman” Volunteer of the Year: Jamie Gardner Hall
  • Legacy Corporate Partner: Eli Lilly & Company and Eli Lilly & Company Foundation
  • Build Sponsor of the Year: Davis Homes
  • Legacy Church Partner: St. Paul’s Episcopal

Thank you to everyone who was able to help us kick-off our 30th year. We hope you can find a way to join our work in 2017 as we unite to build homes, hope and community!

Special thanks to DeveloperTown, Sun King Brewery and Monarch Beverage Company, for helping make our Kickoff a success!

Builders Circle Quote: Diane & Joe

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Read more to find why Diane and Joe think volunteering and supporting Habitat for Humanity is addicting. 

Why do we support Habitat?

It’s ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE! PEOPLE WITH A PASSION… homeowners, volunteers and HFH staff.

You can feel it when you attend a kick-off event.  You can feel it at a home build or home dedication. You can feel it when you talk with the homeowners, volunteers, Tiger Team, construction workers and Habitat staff. You see it in people’s eyes and in their smiles. That’s how Habitat was started… someone with a passion!

Habitat for Humanity is an organization that exhibits God’s love to others in a very concrete way! (no pun intended)

We should warn you…..it’s addictive! Once you experience that kind of passion you’ll want to be a part of it! We do!

Diane and Joe

Diane and Joe are Builders Circle members, volunteer with Greater Indy Habitat through their church, St. Mark’s UMC, are homeowner mentors to two Habitat families, and have traveled to El Salvador to build homes twice with our Global Village program.

Making Others’ Lives Better

By | Builders Circle, Tiger Team, Volunteer | No Comments

“I always feel so blessed to have found Habitat, although I have dreamed for years to work on a build.” Like many, once Terry Cohoat first volunteered with Habitat for Humanity she was hooked.

“I started volunteering in April of 2015,” shared Terry. “From that very first time I knew I had found my calling. I continued volunteering as often as I could by going to the volunteer hub and signing up. By the end of the year, I was a Tiger, a decision I have never regretted.”

In 2016, Terry spent more than 440 hours volunteering with Greater Indy Habitat as a Tiger Team member, a year-round volunteer. For Terry, the commitment to Habitat’s mission moves beyond just hours on the build site as she also supports Habitat as a donor and Builders Circle member.

“My parent’s grew up during the depression,” Terry reflected. “My father’s family was very poor and he told me how they would pick up coal along the railroad tracks to heat their home. Circumstances enabled them to get a home through an insurance settlement, but he never forgot his humble beginnings. My mother grew up in better circumstances, but never lived in a home that they owned. I support Habitat for my parents. They always wanted our lives to be better. Owning a home makes lives better. I volunteer with Habitat to make others’ lives better, the way I was taught by my Dad and Mom.”

As a Tiger, Terry works with a variety of volunteers on different projects throughout the year. “My favorite part of volunteering is working with the volunteers teaching them new skills,” Terry shared. “So many think ‘they can’t’ do something when they ‘can,’ and when that happens, we high-five all around! Those are the moments that make being a Tiger worthwhile.”

With Terry’s goal of making others’ lives better, the homeowners remain at the heart of her volunteer work: “All of the homeowner’s are so thrilled to be getting a home that it brings tears to my eyes whenever I think of them. Each has a unique story, with the same theme: they are going to be a homeowner, the first in many generations. I feel so proud of them, and am always glad that I have contributed to making their dream a reality.”

Thank you, Terry, for your commitment to serving our homeowners, volunteers, and community!