Volunteer Spotlight: Joe Young

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Joe Young sitting at his desk next to his current sewing machine repair project.

Joe at his desk next to his current repair project.

In November 2021, volunteer Joe Young offered to help combat a growing problem under the Asheville ReStore: sewing machines were piling up in the basement. Despite having minimal experience with the machines, Joe pivoted from large appliance repair and set to work. Today, he is a seasoned sewing machine repairman putting his love for fixing and maintaining tools into a new passion. We sat down with Joe on National Sewing Machine Day to talk about his volunteer work, history, and, of course, sewing machines. Learn more in the video below.

 

Celebrating National Volunteer Week

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Hundreds of Asheville Habitat volunteers were celebrated and thanked at Highland Brewing on April 20th during a National Volunteer Appreciation Week event.

Meet office volunteers Aaron Finkel and Steven Casciato

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Affectionately dubbed “The Boys,” Aaron Finkel and Steven Casciato are our exceedingly dedicated volunteers tasked with conquering piles of waivers and sign-in sheets ­– a task vital to the efficient operation of our large volunteer program.

Home Repair through the eyes of volunteer Austin Brown

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If you ask Austin Brown about his favorite moment as a volunteer with Asheville Habitat, his answer might sound like a platitude: “they all are.” But that is not a brush-off.

ReStore Volunteer Spotlight: Anne Justice and Lou Towson

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Part-time volunteers and full-time friends, together Anne Justice and Lou Towson sort, curate, and price the enormous volume of jewelry that passes through the ReStore.

Habitat receives transformational gift from MacKenzie Scott

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Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, Habitat for Humanity International and 83 Habitat affiliates receive transformational $436M gift from MacKenzie Scott

Asheville Habitat will use gift to address affordable housing shortage in Buncombe and Madison Counties

ASHEVILLE, NC (March 22, 2022) — Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, along with Habitat for Humanity International and 83 U.S. Habitat affiliate organizations, recently received $436 million in unrestricted giving from American author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. [Of that, Asheville Habitat received $5M.] This transformational donation will substantially help further Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has equitable access to a safe, decent and affordable place to call home.

“We are incredibly grateful and honored to receive this gift. It comes at an opportune time as we are finalizing our ambitious five-year strategic plan that will keep us on track to realize our current 10-year vision of serving another 1,000 families by 2028,” shared Andy Barnett, Executive Director of Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.

Over the next 3-5 years, Asheville Habitat will use the $5 million donation to ramp up its home repair program, accelerate its new home construction program in Buncombe County, expand services to Madison County, and secure land to build future Habitat neighborhoods.

Affordable housing is needed more than ever before. Housing costs far outweigh local salaries and nearly half of all households in Buncombe County (48.5 percent) are “cost-burdened,” meaning that they pay more than 30 percent of income toward housing. Nearly two in five households in Buncombe are “severely” cost-burdened, paying half of more of all income to meet housing costs. “Receiving these generous and unrestricted funds allows us to scale up our work and meet more of the growing needs of our region,” added Barnett.

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About Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
Founded in 1983, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity was the first Habitat affiliate in North Carolina. Through Habitat homeownership and home repair programs, 2,000 adults and children in Buncombe County have achieved the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build a better future. A decent place to call home and an affordable mortgage enables Habitat homeowners to save more, invest in education, pursue opportunities and have greater financial stability. Learn more about Asheville Area Habitat, a Charity Navigator 4-star non-profit, and how you can get involved at ashevillehabitat.org.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity found its earliest inspirations as a grassroots movement on an interracial community farm in south Georgia. Since its founding in 1976, the Christian housing organization has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.

 

 

 

 

Blue Ridge Service Corps Spotlight: Evan Johnson

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Evan has spent the past nine months as a member of the ReStore’s Deconstruction team, a group of Asheville Habitat staff and volunteers that extract reusable building materials like kitchen cabinets, appliances, and bath installations prior to demolition or remodeling.

Asheville’s Swimming Pool: Learning from the Past

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In The Sum of Us, author Heather McGhee uses public swimming pools as a metaphor for her thesis that zero-sum thinking about race creates policies that hurt the whole community. In this blog post, learn the history of Asheville’s Recreation Park and how the same zero-sum thinking that led us to “drain the pool” shows up in housing, too.

13 Non-Profits Helped by Generosity of ReStore Shoppers in 2021

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When you shop at the Asheville Habitat ReStores and round up your purchase to the nearest dollar, you don’t just support one non-profit, Asheville Habitat– you contribute to the work of a wide range of NPOs meeting myriad community needs. In 2021, thanks to the generosity of shoppers, $25,411 was raised through the Asheville Habitat Register Round Up program and donated to these thirteen non-profits:

  • ABCCM Veteran’s Quarters
  • American Red Cross of WNC
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC
  • Community Action Opportunities
  • Eagle Market Streets Development Corp.
  • Habitat for Humanity Guatemala
  • Haywood County Schools Foundation
  • Homeward Bound
  • MLK Jr. Association of Asheville & Buncombe County
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness – Western Carolina
  • Our Voice
  • Western Carolina Rescue Ministries
  • Working Wheels

“The ReStore offers a unique opportunity for Habitat to use its platform to support the community in a larger way. Our work is focused on housing, but there are so many agencies doing work that intersects – from transportation and healthcare to disaster relief and community development,” said Scott Bianchi, Manager of the Asheville Habitat ReStore and chair of the ReStore’s Societal Impact Committee. “Asheville Habitat provides the mechanism, but it’s the generosity of our shoppers who make this program successful. All those small incremental donations – 10, 30, 65 cents – they add up to big change.”

Implemented in 2019 to support other non-profits serving our community, the Round Up program raised $11,717 that first year. In 2020, thousands of small, sub-$1 donations from made an even bigger impact with $18,000 raised– even with the Asheville and Weaverville ReStores being closed in April and May due to Covid. Add in the $25,411 from 2021 and the cumulative 3-year total is more than $55,000 raised for area non-profits.

Pam Jaillet, Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness-Western Carolina shared, “Your contribution helps us host local support groups, offer educational presentations, and maintain an office run by volunteers who are in recovery from mental health challenges or who have loved ones with mental health issues. We appreciate your support!”

See below for the Round Up program’s impact across the community in 2021.

2021 Register Round Up Recap