Deadline Approaching: 2016 El Salvador Trip

By | Volunteer | No Comments

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.

The American Dream: Paid Off

By | Homeowner | No Comments

“It was in 1992, I actually moved in on October 2nd of 1992.” Hilday (Dina) Batts-Davenport remembers the day clearly, the day she purchased her first home from Habitat for Humanity. The importance even at that time was not lost on her: “When you are buying and actually now owning a home, it gives you a nice comfortable feeling. You know, a feeling of stability; I have an asset.”

Hilda (Dina) Batts-Davenport_by doorDina hit another milestone, one that most Americans have not reached; in 2001, she paid off her mortgage. Dina is one of 74 Habitat homeowners in Greater Indy to have reached this milestone. Just this year, 15 homeowners are expected to make their final mortgage payment.

Since paying off her mortgage, Dina has been able to invest her savings in additional ways. “Oh man, it’s been remarkable. It did free up that income,” Dina shared. “[For example] I bought new windows this year; good, solid windows. Just some investments that I am working on now to keep us stabilized. It has been very rewarding to be a homeowner and to do stuff like that, and have that asset.”

For Dina, the impact of homeownership extended to her children. Her eldest daughter and son are both homeowners and she believes her experience taught them the value of and desire to pursue homeownership. “It lets them know that you can do it, and there is always something more you can do; something you want to accomplish in life,” said Dina.

Through it all she acknowledges the many people and organizations that made her home possible, and gives glory to God: “If it wasn’t for Habitat and their program and the love of God who held all of that, we would be out of [a home].”

Hilda (Dina) Batts-Davenport_with house

Multiplying the Miniscule to Build Respect

By | From the CEO | One Comment

Jim Morris (1)From the Desk of the CEO

In the Habitat for Humanity values, we state that through faith, the miniscule can be multiplied to accomplish the magnificent; and that, in faith, respectful relationships can grow among all people. While I always appreciate alliteration, recent events of violence in the United States and the current political rhetoric and atmosphere both at the state and national level have challenged my belief in this value, especially the last part about respectful relationships growing among all people.

Go to the foundation

Through faith, Clarence & Florence Jordan and Martin & Mabel England formed a religious community in southern Georgia in 1942 called Koinonia (originating from Greek to mean Christian fellowship or community), where they farmed for their livelihood and built relationships with neighbors. A core principle for the community was that all are brothers and sisters all are equal under the parentage of a loving God. In the early 40’s, Koinonia set about having black and white families work, live and worship alongside of each other peacefully and equally. Respect was commonplace at Koinonia.

Koinonia was the birthplace of what became Habitat for Humanity. Clarence Jordan is considered the spiritual founder of Habitat, while Millard and Linda Fuller launched the current model that is still in place now 40 years later. The founders of Koinonia inspired the value today of which I am wrestling. They lived it. Koinonia still prospers 74 years later in Americus, Georgia, but their commitment to racial equality, pacifism, and economic sharing brought bullets, bombs and a boycott in the 1950s as the KKK and others attempted to force them out. Koinonia was a beacon of hope when it seemed like hatred was everywhere.

How did they do it? They responded with prayer, nonviolent resistance, and a renewed commitment to live the Gospel.

Challenges of yesterday, today, tomorrow

Now, over 50 years later our country is still seeing division along racial lines played out with violence. In the Indianapolis Star on July 25th, it was reported that the Ku Klux Klan distributed more than 200 letters to Fishers residents, calling for white Americans to “wake up,” encouraging them to join United Northern & Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. If you only paid attention to the news, it would appear that not much has changed.

In the New York Times article by columnist David Brooks, titled “Are we on a path to national ruin?” Brooks references the late 19th century as potentially similar to our current times of division. He wrote, “Back in the 1880s and 1890s, America faced crises as deep as the ones we face today. The economy was going through an epochal transition, then to industrialization. The political system was worse and more corrupt than ours is today. Culturally things were bad, too. Racism and anti-immigrant feelings were at plague-like levels. Urban poverty was indescribable. And yet America responded.” Read the full article here.

He references various instances where people responded with ways to multiply the miniscule to accomplish magnificent things with and for others.

We can debate the differences between our current ethnic and socioeconomic division and that of any point in the past. Is it better? Is it worse? That can be healthy, but I am more interested how Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity can build off the legacy of Koinonia and be a beacon of hope. Our heritage is wrapped up in action as Koinonia has shown.

How will we take action?

We use homeownership as a means to provide strength, stability and self-reliance with the families who purchase a home with a 0% interest mortgage. Our board, staff, Tiger Team of year-round retired volunteers and the 8,000-10,000 annual volunteers all walk alongside homebuyers to assist with teaching long-term, homeownership success strategies and help by volunteering to build or rehabilitate their future home. It is simple, yet profound. Help a family achieve ownership, an American desire since the early homesteaders settled Indiana.

When the weight of the current culture pushes down on me like a wine press, I am encouraged that just as the tension of the press creates fine wine, we see the fruit of thousands of people who choose to love their neighbor through their volunteer action. Thousands of people from various ethnicities, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds come together, respectfully, to work together for a day or several times a year to help a family.

Love through action

There is power in setting aside differences and working alongside each other for the benefit of others. It is this power that helps me see that division can be overcome through love in action. Koinonia responded with prayer, nonviolent resistance, and a renewed commitment to live the Gospel. While our model was born out of Koinonia, today Habitat for Humanity is as an ecumenical Christian organization, and while pacifism isn’t at the core of our values, we see the gospel lived out through the actions of those who help those who aspire to a stronger and more stable life.

The division is real in our culture and so is the action of neighbor loving neighbor as played out in our mission every day. If we can continue to magnify that love which is displayed every day in our work, then once again, we can rise up to chip away at the face of hate with the action of love.

World Habitat Day

By | Events | No Comments

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of World Habitat Day!

World Habitat Day is a day set aside annually to recognize the basic right of all humanity to adequate shelter, and to encourage grassroots action toward ending poverty housing. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2016, as in years past, Habitat for Humanity joins with our partners around the world to rededicate ourselves to a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Moment of Prayer Oct. 5 at Noon

On Oct. 5 at noon, join your voice with Habitat for Humanity supporters all over the world and help raise awareness of the global movement and importance of housing issues.

 

Join us in the following prayer:

Home. God, give us the hands, hearts and resources to continue building homes for – and with – our neighbors in need.

Hope. Thank you for the hope you offer and prayers you answer through the Habitat mission. Help us to be your hands and feet as you love and provide for your children.

Community. Guide us in breaking down barriers and connecting people through communities. Build your Kingdom here as it is in Heaven.

Amen.

 

Did you know?

  • Every four minutes, Habitat serves a family in need of better housing.
  • Habitat has helped more than 5 million people since our founding in 1976.
  • Habitat works in more than 1,400 communities in the United States, and in more than 70 countries worldwide, from Argentina to Zambia.
  • About 2 million volunteers work with Habitat every year worldwide.

 

Read more about worldwide housing facts and Habitat for Humanity’s response to inadequate shelter across the globe.

Stay up-to-date on ways to get involved locally or through our Global Village program by signing up for our enewsletter!

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Cover Indiana

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Cover Indiana is an annual weeklong bicycle tour through Central Indiana that raises funds and awareness for local Habitat for Humanity affiliates. Created in 2004 by Habitat for Humanity of Indiana, the ride begins in Lafayette and concludes in Indianapolis.

The 2016 Cover Indiana riders will depart on Sunday, May 8 from Lafayette for a weeklong, approximately 380-mile journey that will culminate in Indianapolis on Saturday, May 14. Along the way, cyclists overnight in churches and community centers as a group, and riders are supported by two “SAG” vans.

Our riders say it best!

“It was a great time biking with other fund raisers for such a great cause as Habitat – we experienced fellowship, a driving rainstorm along with 100 hungry folks descending on a small luncheon cafe in Clay City…I plan on participating again!” – Greg Maiers

Each rider will pay a registration fee that covers the lodging, food, rider support and the end celebration. In addition to the registration fee, each rider is challenged to raise funds for the affiliate of their choice.

Week Riders

  • Registration: $225*
  • Minimum Fundraising Goal: $350

 

Multi Day Riders

  • Registration: $35/day
  • Optional Fundraising Goal: $50

 

Day Riders

  • Registration: $20
  • Optional Fundraising Goal: $50
With questions about the ride, contact Ted Mosey at 317.777.6091.
Visit hfhcoverindiana.org for additional information about the Cover Indiana Bicycle Tour.