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Volunteer

National Volunteer Week-Finding Your Fit : Meredith

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“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

A friend told me recently that she set a New Year’s resolution to find an organization where she can consistently use her skills in a volunteer opportunity. With a little guilt in her voice, she told me that she hadn’t even begun to find the right volunteer fit, and we are already 4 months into the year! Lucky for her, April 23-27 marks National Volunteer Week, and it’s perfect timing to revive that resolution!

Just as 1 Peter 4:10 suggests, each of us has a gift or skill to utilize when serving others. Knowing your gifting – as well as your heart and your schedule – will help you discover your volunteer fit. Below are a few questions to ask yourself as you get started:

HEART: What sort of missions or causes do I naturally desire to be a part of?

SKILLS: What gifts or skills could I offer to support a mission and would it be something I would enjoy doing?

SCHEDULE: How often (i.e., once per week, once per month, etc.) would I want to volunteer?

God calls us to be cheerful givers, just as written in 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” This verse in scripture might make you think of only financially giving; however, I think it also has to do with giving of your heart, your skills and your time. We hope that wherever you find yourself giving, you are able to do so with a cheerful heart!

If your fit is here with us at Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity, we would love to have you serving our mission of seeking to put God’s love into action, by bringing people together to build homes, community and hope! We have chosen to show God’s love through the vessel of building homes; however, did you know we offer a variety of volunteer experiences that do not entail swinging a hammer, installing siding or painting walls? You could be a mentor for one of our homeowners, volunteer in one of our ReStores or even travel to El Salvador as part of our Global Village program to make a difference internationally.

Our volunteer opportunities entail varied time commitments and incorporate a variety of skill sets. To learn more, please check out our Volunteer Opportunities listed on our website or email us at volunteer@indyhabitat.org to learn more. We hope to see you soon!

Five New Habitat Homes : Ted

By | Tiger Team, Volunteer | No Comments

Yesterday we started the construction of FIVE new Habitat homes!

The sunny spring weather could not have been more perfect to raise the walls and get the homes started alongside the future homeowners. Some of the Habitat staff, board and Tiger Team members spent the day working on one of the builds together.

Often when I meet someone for the first time and tell them I work at Habitat for Humanity, they assume I am on build sites with a hammer in my hand most days. The reality is, most of us work in an office or around a conference table. Some of us can build a spreadsheet much easier than we can build a house!

A couple of times a year though, office staff shut down their computers and get out to work. Yesterday was one of those days.

Each time I get on a build site, I am reminded of how important Habitat’s work is and how easily we can see the mission statement being lived out. I was reminded as I watched Danyelle put the first nail in her new home. I was reminded as we gathered together in the morning and took a moment to pause and pray. I was reminded as we raised heavy walls while holding conversations and sharing laughs. I was reminded as I looked past the homes being built today and looked at the houses that were built last year—no longer just houses, but now part of the fabric of the community forever.

The build we worked on today is called the “Habitat United Build” and is a first of a kind build for our office. The funds needed to make the build possible were donated by the board members, Tiger Team, staff and friends. And each volunteer day is being filled by those same people. The build shows that all of us are fully invested in the complete Habitat mission: in the office, on the build site, with our finances and with our friends. In order to see a world where everyone has a decent place to live, it will take all of us.

Three new Habitat families have already cut the ribbon on their homes this year. Five homes started yesterday. We are well on our way to getting 27 families in their homes before the end of the year.

Yes, Habitat builds houses. But it’s never just about the houses. It’s always been so much more.

Join Us.

Interested in being involved this year?

Check our Volunteer Page often  *  Support the Habitat United Build  *  Join the Builders Circle

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!

Habitat Mentors: Kimberly & Jon

By | Homeowner, Volunteer | No Comments

Many Habitat volunteers pick up a hammer or a paint brush to work alongside future Habitat homeowners; however, did you know there is another group of volunteers that are picking up phones, pencils and personal budgets to support Habitat homeowners on their journey?

Each future Habitat homeowner develops a relationship with a mentoring volunteer who is both a resource and friend on their journey. Mentors and Habitat homeowners communicate at least once a month and help with classroom material, provide homeownership tips and generally encourage and listen.

Wonderful relationships have been formed through the mentor program. Current mentors include long-time volunteers, first-time volunteers, current Habitat homeowners and Builders Circle Members. We recently spoke with new Habitat homeowner Kimberly and her mentor Jon. Here’s what they had to say.

Thoughts from Kimberly, 2016 Homeowner:

Why do you think the mentor program was valuable for you as a first-time Habitat homeowner?
I think having a mentor was one of the best parts of the program.  It was the comfort of knowing that if I had a question about something or needed a little assistance in something I had somebody I could call.  John was AWESOME! It also gave me a chance to not only meet somebody new BUT to meet somebody great.

What does home mean to you?
Having my home now gives me a feeling I can’t quite explain yet. Most days I’m still in shock or shall I say disbelief. Having my home though has given me a peace of mind and a great sense of comfort. The best feeling in the world is knowing that it’s mine, and I had a big hand in building it. When you’re the one actually helping do the work to build your house, it means so much more! Thanks to Habitat, as well as my mentor Jon, for this lifelong experience and journey.I think the overall program that’s offered by Habitat truly prepares future homeowners for what’s to come.  It’s so important that you know how to budget, as well as how to save. During the class, it gives you the opportunity to get to know other future homeowners and that too allows you to have other people to create friendships with, in case you might need help or have a question. I love everything that Habitat stands for, and I’m so honored to have got the chance to be a first-time homeowner through Habitat!

Thoughts from Jon, Mentor volunteer

Why did you become a mentor for a Habitat homeowner?
I had been involved with Habitat as a volunteer in some capacity for several years, and my favorite part always involved the homeowner. Becoming a mentor allows me to be able to walk with the homeowner through their journey from start to finish and realize how their hard work paid off.  The best part though is cultivating a relationship for life.

What has been your favorite part of working with your mentee, or what are you looking forward to?
Working alongside Kimberly on the panel build was special because it was the first work we had done on her home.  Dedication day was very exciting too because the dream was a reality.  Just as joyful though was visiting a few weeks after move in and seeing that Kimberly had made her house her own unique home.

How have you learned from your mentee?
Kimberly showed me another level of dedication and determination.  Through all the hard work and hours spent she also had an amazing ability to have fun, which made it that much easier to spend time helping.

Interested in becoming a mentor? Click Here to learn more!

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!

Meet Our 2017 A-Team

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Our mission requires the work of many hands and feet to build/rehab/repair homes for families in need of affordable homeownership. One important set of hands in this work is that of our AmeriCorps members, or as we call them, the A-Team. These fine folks allow our organization and Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the state to more efficiently serve our families, volunteers, and partners. Read below to learn a bit more about each member of this year’s A-Team!

americorps-a-team-2017

Meet Lauren:

  • Where do you or have you called “home”? I am originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin but am proud to call Fountain Square in Indianapolis my new home.
  • Why did you choose to work with Greater Indy Habitat? My grandpa used to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and my family has always been a large supporter of the Habitat mission – when I was looking for my next adventure I was drawn to Habitat and ecstatic to find AmeriCorps positions available.
  • What’s one construction skill you look forward to learning/improving in the next year? I am excited to really understand the WHY of what we do when building a house – to understand the specifics and gut of my own home by the end of this year
  • When not working on a Habitat build site on the weekend, where might someone find you? When I happen to find myself not on a Habitat site chatting with and co-leading the volunteers, I can be found riding my bike, doing yoga at Invoke, trying a new restaurant or brewery around town or listening to NPR while working on a home project.

Meet Gavin:

  • Where do you or have you called “home”? Home for me is right here in Indiana in a town called New Palestine, lived here all of my life.
  • Why did you choose to work with Greater Indy Habitat? My brother did this program a couple years back, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to do this and I think working with habitat will help me as I try to find out what I what to do.
  • What’s one construction skill you look forward to learning/improving in the next year? There are a lot of things I am learning right now, but I really just want to improve on all that I can so I can work to be the best that I can be.
  • When not working on a Habitat build site on the weekend, where might someone find you? My weekends are usually spent with my family and friends on the days that I have off.

Meet Austin:

  • Where do you or have you called “home”? Downtown Indy
  • Why did you choose to work with Greater Indy Habitat? I have friends in Indy from school.
  • What’s one construction skill you look forward to learning/improving in the next year? Framing
  • When not working on a Habitat build site on the weekend, where might someone find you? Martial Art school (Meng’s Richmond)

We look forward to working with this 2017 A-Team to build homes, communities and hope across Indiana!

Habitat Hosts Fourth Women Build in 2017

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Women Funded, Women Built

Each year hundreds of women pick up hammers, power tools, and paintbrushes while leveraging their networks to raise funds and build a Habitat home. The Women Build program recruits, educates, and nurtures women to build and advocate for affordable houses in their communities. In 2017 we will host our fourth Women Build, with the support of women leaders and volunteers, for a first-time homeowner.

Women from all walks of life will work together to raise the funds and walls for the Women Build project. Together they will make up the more than 300 volunteers needed to construct the home. Friends and family will be recruited to support their work through a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. From its inception in 2014, the volunteers of the Women Build project have raised more than $332,000 to provide homes for three families, and support the Greater Indy Habitat mission. View photos of the 2014, 2015, and 2016 builds!

Though team leader spots are filling up, we invite you to share your interest in learning more, or participating in 2017, by emailing womenbuild@indyhabitat.org.

Deadline Approaching: 2016 El Salvador Trip

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Vision: A world where everyone has a decent place to live. 

The vision of Habitat is profound and its intentions to see this goal realized are sincere—and attainable. Since the founding of Habitat, more than 6.8 million people around the world have achieved better living situations. We think it’s a great start.

Greater Indy Habitat’s primary focus on this vision is in our own backyard. However, we still stand alongside and support Habitat offices around the world. Since our founding in 1987, our local office has tithed more than $1.3 million dollars to support Habitat’s work in Central America. This support equates to more than 340 homes provided in the area.

Global Village GroupIn recent years, we have formed a partnership with the office in El Salvador through the Global Village program. Since 2013, our local staff, volunteers and supporters have traveled to El Salvador to better know and support how God is working through Habitat in that area.

Greater Indy Habitat is assembling a team to travel to El Salvador November 5-13. The group will fly into the capitol, San Salvador, and will travel to the outlying country to work alongside a future homeowner and local Habitat staff to complete one phase of a home. The trip will be led by longtime volunteer and 2015 trip participant, Chris Parker.

Global Village_Chris and Brent“When I signed up for the El Salvador trip last year, I was excited but apprehensive as well,” shared Chris. “I quickly learned after our first meeting that there were a lot of great tools and resources to help folks raise money… After sending out an email to family, friends, and coworkers about my upcoming trip, I was completely blown away by their support and encouragement.”

“When it came to the home building, we worked alongside the family and local tradesmen. The work itself was some of the hardest work I’ve experienced in 20 years of serving with Habitat, but also some of the most memorable. At the end of the week, we had made a new family and at the final blessing there wasn’t a dry eye in the place… To sum it up, my trip to El Salvador far exceeded my expectations, and that’s why I can’t wait to make the trip again!”

The deadline to sign up for the trip is August 15th. If you are interested in this, or future trips, please visit this page and use the form to submit your interest or questions.