2016 Milestones, 2017 Goals

By | From the CEO | No Comments

From the desk of Jim Morris, President & CEO

By this time of January, the holidays are clearly in the rear view mirror and many of us are living into the spirit of renewal as a benefit of a New Year. Our energy is on 2017 planning. Our board, staff, and Tiger Team (our “mostly” retired group of regular volunteers) are preparing to accomplish the year’s goals from activities like finalizing the budget, creating the build project calendar, and preparing the workshop for another fulfilling year.

While our team’s planning rhythm and contagious energy is familiar for the start of the year, it will be unique as we will recognize 30 years of bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope (learn more about our founding). Be on the lookout for a few fun things to highlight our 30th anniversary.

Before we dive into 2017 plans, reflecting on 2016 showed that with the support of our donors, sponsors, Tigers, and board, we walked alongside 65 families throughout Hancock, Hendricks and Marion counties to provide 21 new or rehabbed homes and 44 repairs that helped preserve homes for owners. That is the most housing solutions provided in the history of the organization.

We hit a few additional milestones last year:

In 2017 the goal is to build and rehab 27 homes and provide 40 repairs to existing homes. We’ll continue building on the tradition of our three main theme builds: the State Fair Agricultural Build, Women Build, and the Interfaith Build. We will be building in Hendricks County, Marion (in a variety of neighborhoods) and Hancock County.

I invite you to jump in and join us this year. Donate. Volunteer. Visit one of our ReStores. We look forward to seeing you help build strength and stability through homeownership in 2017.

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!

Help Kick Off our 30th Year!

By | Events | No Comments

As we enter into 2017, the significance of our mission and need for affordable housing is as great as it was 30 years ago, when Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity was founded. Throughout these years, we have had the privilege to work with many companies, organizations and individuals who selflessly gave their time and money to lend a hand up and help us partner with more than 540 families in our community.

We invite you to join us for an enjoyable evening to hear the many ways you can be a part of serving our mission in the Greater Indy community in 2017!

SAVE THE DATE: 2017 Kick-Off Event, Thursday, March 16th, at 6 p.m., at DeveloperTown.

Register to join us today!

In addition to meeting future homeowners and recognizing our outstanding partners from last year, we will share how we plan on continuing our mission this year, including ways you can get involved, including:

So please join us as we celebrate the year to come, and prepare for the work ahead! Spread the word, bring a friend, and get ready to build homes for families, hope for the future, and community in 2017!

Drinks provided by Sun King Brewing Company.
Light Hors d’oeuvres will be served.
Limited number of door prizes for attendees.

With questions please contact Amy Donhardt, adonhardt@indyhabitat.org or 317.777.6085.

Set Apart

By | Interfaith | One Comment

Jonathan is a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) spending his service year with Greater Indy Habitat through the Presbyterian Church (USA). Learn more about the YAV program!

In my previous post, I discussed the practical value of working alongside people from different backgrounds as a way of pursuing our Biblical conviction in learning how to “maintain constant love for one another.”

interfaith-dedication-2016As I write this post, I sit on the other end of that work. The house is complete, has been dedicated, and will soon become a home. I’ve had the opportunity to see and hear the process of its construction from beginning to end. I’ve had the privilege to hear how people have reacted to it. And now I have the responsibility to share that experience – to describe what we’ve created together, beyond just the physical homes, or even the hope for a stronger, more unified image of God in humanity.

Today I want to share about the sacred perpetuity we found – the sense of eternal value we experienced through the work we shared, the time we spent, and the place we made.

At an interfaith discussion I recently attended, we focused on the concept of sacred space. We took time to learn from one another and pursue the various avenues that led to what each of us understood of sacredness. We discussed how we honored that understanding, individually, collectively, and cross-culturally. It was a beautiful conversation, and it challenged and invigorated my thought processes in some wonderful ways, but it didn’t quite satisfy my personal relationship to what I hold as sacred.

The discussion focused on sacred space, but what I find equally important, and perhaps more significant in my own experience, is sacred time. The word sacred is defined as “set apart,” but how are we to know what to set apart in order to create or perpetuate that sacredness? All too often, we find ourselves attacking one another’s deepest religious values, simply because of our misunderstandings on how to approach sacredness. I believe we are called to set something apart, or hold it as sacred, when we find connection to God through it. Otherwise, this setting apart becomes entirely meaningless, and potentially dangerous. However, it can be a struggle to know whether something actually provides connection to God in some manner, or if we just want it to do so. In my life, I hold my most sacred things in this way because of their ability to tap into eternity; because of how the impact of the time or place that surrounds it becomes eternal in the instant it happens.

And while that sure sounds cool, I admit it doesn’t make a lot of sense. I think that sacredness, because it is “of God” in that weird, infinite/inconceivable way, is a real bear to try to understand – much less discuss in practical terms.

interfaith-dedication-2016_rapheal-homeBut I can say this:

What we’ve done through this Interfaith Build is sacred. We set it apart, because the impact it has for Rapheal and Brittney, the homeowners, is too massive to describe. We set it apart, because the way we were able to come together and complete the Image of God in our unity and service is too holy to understand fully. We set it apart, because the understanding and love that was able to grow for one another there is too profound, and too vital in our efforts to further the Kingdom of God here on Earth, to put into simple human words.

We set it apart, not from one another, but for one another, and with one another; because it is of God, it is eternal and incomprehensible, and it is very good.

The work we shared, the time we spent, and the place we made is sacred. The thing that matters now that this project is done, is to continue. Let us continue building homes, let us continue to maintain constant love for one another, and let us continue engaging in this sacred perpetuity.