Asheville Area Habitat to Benefit from Concert with Musical Patriarch Jim Avett

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NewSong is excited to announce the upcoming concert, ‘An Evening of Story & Song with Jim Avett.’ The show will begin at 7 PM on Saturday, June 6 in the beautiful and acoustically rich Sanctuary of downtown Asheville’s Central United Methodist Church (27 Church Street).

The concert is presented by Central United Methodist Church, in association with the Orange Peel, WNCW, NewSong Music and the Asheville Area Arts Council. Tickets are $17.00 in advance and $20.00 on the day of show, and are available for purchase online at theorangepeel.net. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.

The son of a Methodist minister and a classical pianist, Jim Avett grew up in a home full of love and music, learning the importance of hard work and honest living. He and his wife instilled these same values in their children – including sons and musicians Seth and Scott of the Avett Brothers – and tempered them with a lot of fun and music. His guitar was an ever present instrument, and there was always singing.

As much as he enjoyed writing and performing his music, Avett put his family first and spent 35 years running his welding company, building bridges along much of the east coast in order to provide for them. After retiring from welding, he returned to music and recorded Jim Avett and Family in 2008, a collection of gospel music, with his children, Bonnie, Scott and Seth.

In 2010 he released Tribes, a collection of original tunes, followed by 2012’s Second Chance, which draws heavily on classic country and early rock and roll influences.

Avett now tours across the country, performing in listening rooms and festivals from the Southeast to Pacific Northwest to New England. His shows are a combination of beloved country tunes, gospel, original ballads and the stories he tells to introduce them.

www.jimavett.com
www.centralumc.org

DATE: Saturday, June 6
Doors: 6:30 PM EDT
Showtime: 7:00 PM EDT
Seated Show / All Ages

 

LOCATION:
The Sanctuary
Central United Methodist Church
27 Church Street, Asheville, North Carolina 28801
828.253.3316

TICKET PRICE:
$17.00 advance // $20.00 day of show
A portion of the proceeds to benefit Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity

PARTNERS:
Central United Methodist Church
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
The Orange Peel
WNCW
Asheville Area Arts Council

Habitat Announces First “Business Bungalow” House

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Affordable housing is one of the most pressing unmet needs in our region. A recently released report* indicated that the combination of a lack of affordable units, a critically low vacancy rate and a significant projected population growth will make housing availability in our area, especially affordable housing, a rare commodity.

Thanks to an anonymous donation through the Community Foundation of WNC, Asheville Area Habitat is pleased to announce that its first-ever “Business Bungalow” House will soon begin in West Asheville. All donations to this house by local businesses, will be matched (up to $25,000) by this caring donor.

The donor, who wants to address the affordable housing shortage head-on, is offering this match to encourage the business community to get involved and be part of the solution. “This is an opportunity to work together to build a Habitat house, address a pressing community need, and most importantly, transform the life of another local family,” said Betsy Warren, Sponsor Coordinator for Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. “We are enormously grateful to this donor and we’re excited to partner with the local business community to collectively address the lack of affordable housing in the area.”

How to get involved:
Donations of all sizes are welcome and appreciated. All donors will receive a special window cling (decal), be recognized in AAHH’s annual report (printed and online) and be included in a printed program at the dedication of the house. Click here to Donate and select Business Bungalow under Area of Support.

Businesses that give $250 will be recognized as Housing Champions and will also receive the following benefits: the option to schedule one on-site volunteer workday, and a listing on AAHH’s website for the duration of the build (approximately six months).

Sponsorship opportunities ($1,000 and up) are also available. To learn more, visit http://bit.ly/AAHHsponsorships or contact Betsy Warren, Sponsorship Coordinator, at bwarren@ashevillehabitat.org  or 828.210.9363.

 

*The January 2015 Regional Housing Analysis by Bowen Research Group, commissioned by the City of Asheville.

 

Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s teamed up for National Women Build Week

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On Friday, May 8th, local Women Build volunteers and Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers were among more than 20 volunteers who joined Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity to help build affordable housing in Asheville as part of National Women Build Week, May 2-10.

In recognition of National Women Build Week and in celebration of a well-loved Women Build volunteer, Habitat hosted a dedication ceremony mid-day in honor of Barbara Reynolds, a woman known by Habitat volunteers as the “Women Build Lunch Lady.” For many years, as a way to stay involved after aging out of swinging hammers, Barbara made lunch once a week for the Women Build volunteers, always with a secret ingredient, which she made them guess. Barbara died suddenly last year. To honor her, the Women Build Advocacy Team raised $10,000 for the “Barbara Reynolds Memorial Kitchen” with an online crowdfunding campaign and through memorial gifts given after Barbara’s death. After a potluck on the jobsite, an apron embroidered with the Women Build logo and “Barbara Reynolds Memorial Kitchen” was presented to Christina Demorgoli, the future homeowner of the Women Build House.

Demorgoli noted that although she never had the opportunity to meet Barbara, she felt a closeness with her because of all the love shared among the people that were present at the event and even those who loved Barbara but were not able to be there today. “All this love for Barbara will be felt in my new kitchen, in my new house,” she said.

In addition to the dedication of the kitchen, Lowe’s presented a $5,000 check to Asheville Area Habitat. Those funds will pay for materials used in the Women Build House.

To see photos from the event, click here.

National Women Build Week is a week-long event created by Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program that challenges women to devote at least one day to help build affordable housing in their local communities. Across the nation, more than 15,000 women volunteered at Habitat construction sites last week to spotlight the homeownership challenges faced by women.

Lowe’s helped launch National Women Build Week in 2008 and each year provides the support of Lowe’s Heroes and conducts how-to clinics at stores to teach volunteers construction skills. “National Women Build Week has made a difference in the lives of thousands of families since its inception,” said Joan Higginbotham, Lowe’s director of community relations. “We’re grateful to all the women in Asheville who got involved this week and were part of something bigger with Lowe’s and Habitat.”

Lowe’s donated nearly $2 million to this year’s National Women Build Week, including $5,000 to Asheville Area Habitat. National Women Build Week is one of the major initiatives supported through Lowe’s national partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Since 2003, Lowe’s has committed more than $63 million to Habitat and helped more than 4,000 families improve their living conditions.

Habitat’s Women Build program recruits, educates and inspires women to build and advocate for simple, decent and affordable homes in their communities. Since the program was created in 1998, more than 2,300 homes have been built in partnership with low-income families using Women Build crews. For more information on Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program and to learn about Women Build events in communities across the U.S. year-round, visit Habitat.org/wb or the Women Build tab on http://www.facebook.com/habitat.

 

Community Spirit is Alive and Well at Carney Place

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Two recent activities at Carney Place, an Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity neighborhood that received a 2014 Housing NC Award, epitomize what we often refer to as community. Last week homeowners in this engaged and vibrant neighborhood hosted a clean-up day for a section on the cul-de-sac. The local Boy Scout troop, which includes several Carney Place kids, helped with the project. They cleaned up the sidewalk, trimmed back overgrowth, planted apple trees and then celebrated their accomplishments with popsicles. In all, eight families from the neighborhood came out and worked side by side on the project. Click here to see photos.

The same week, Anna Herbert dedicated a Little Free Library (LFL) that she built for the children of Carney Place. Click here to see photos. With construction support and know-how provided by Habitat core volunteer Charlie Franck, Anna built the LFL and earned her Girl Scout Gold Award by doing so. A Little Free Library is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a small library constructed to be accessible for residents to take, leave and share books. Imagine a bird house – but slightly bigger. Little Free Libraries can hold anywhere from five books to possibly hundreds, depending on the size. In this case, the library will hold approximately 30 books for children ages 1-18. Residents are encouraged to take ‘take a book, return a book’. Anna built the Little Free Library to increase access to books, to promote a love for literature and reading, and to further increase a sense of community and sharing in Carney Place.

Defined as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals” community is evident at Carney Place. Check out this video about Carney Place and feel free to contact us at 828-251-5702 to schedule a visit to this or any other Asheville Area Habitat neighborhood.

 

Celebrating National Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 12-18) with a very special house dedication and more

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Volunteers support Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity staff and homeowner families in every aspect of their work. Last year, 2,100 volunteers contributed more than 64,000 hours of service – a service valued at more than $1.3 million!* Another way to look at it: the hours contributed by volunteers equates to having an additional 30 full-time staff members!

As Executive Director Lew Kraus often says, “We can have all the money in the world, but without volunteers, the Habitat model doesn’t work. Volunteers are the backbone of our organization.” And what better way to honor them, than to build a house in their honor.

That house was started last fall and is known as the Hearts & Hammers House; built in celebration of all Habitat volunteers who make safe, decent, affordable homeownership a reality for local families. On Friday, April 17th at 12:30pm, Habitat will dedicate the Hearts & Hammers House and present a ceremonial key to future homeowner Gwen Jones and her family. The event will be held in Habitat’s Hudson Hills neighborhood in West Asheville and the public and media are invited to attend.

Habitat announced the idea for a house honoring volunteers last fall and the community responded swiftly to a $30,000 challenge match by generous sponsors New Morning Gallery and the local branches of BB&T, Carolina Alliance Bank, SunTrust, and Wells Fargo.  During the past six months core volunteers and visiting team alike, were busy building the Jones’ future home and Gwen herself contributed 200 Sweat Equity (volunteer) hours on the jobsite, in the ReStore and Office and in homeownership education classes as part of her partnership with Habitat. She is absolutely thrilled to soon move into her forever home. In fact, Habitat staffers heard her shrills of delight just the other day when Gwen received the good news that her closing would happen even earlier than anticipated!

During National Volunteer Appreciation Week, volunteers will receive small gifts of appreciation as well as complimentary lunch. On the construction site, lunches will be provided by Subway for the second year in a row. Subway will be saluting approximately 2,000 Habitat for Humanity volunteers working across the Carolinas by providing catered boxed lunches from local Subway franchises.

We hope you’ll join us on Friday, April 17 at 12:30pm to celebrate our volunteers and welcome the Jones family home!

 

Earth Day Incentive – Get Cleaning!

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Clear the clutter, empty your attic and take back your garage! There is no better time than now to start your spring cleaning. To help motivate Buncombe County residents, during the month of March the Habitat ReStore will give merchandise donors a coupon for 25% off their total purchase during the week of Earth Day (April 18-26, 2015). Donations are accepted at the Habitat ReStore Monday through Saturday between 9am and 6pm. Or, for larger items, call 828-254-6706 to schedule a free pick-up (within Buncombe County).

In addition to feeling good about giving usable items a new lease on life by donating them, you can also feel good about supporting affordable housing; because that’s exactly what you do when you donate to (or shop at) the Habitat ReStore. Proceeds from ReStore sales help fund Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s building programs (new home construction and home repair) and cover administrative and fundraising expenses.

Since 1990, the Asheville Habitat ReStore has provided the community with a source for affordable, gently used—and sometimes new—building materials, furniture, appliances, housewares, books, art and much more. And thanks to this community’s strong commitment to reuse, the ReStore diverts 1,500 tons of usable materials from landfills annually. Please read the Donation Guidelines and drop off your donations or schedule a pick-up today!

Core Construction Volunteers Honored

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“Core” Construction volunteers are those who help Habitat build and repair homes on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Last year, these core volunteers helped Asheville Area Habitat build 14 new Habitat houses in Swannanoa, Shiloh and West Asheville. They also repaired 33 existing homes in Buncombe County. We thanked and recognized them with a breakfast event at Warren Wilson College recently. Click here to see photos.

“While these folks don’t volunteer for the recognition or the accolades, we feel it’s important to thank them and honor the immense contribution they make to our organization and the community at large. Without volunteers – especially the cores who we can count on week after week – we would not be able to build and preserve communities,” notes executive director Lew Kraus.

In 2014, 74 core construction volunteers collectively contributed more than 16,000 hours of service to Asheville Area Habitat! To put that in perspective, 1,700 individuals volunteered on a construction site last year, collectively providing a whopping 35,000 hours of service! 46% of those total hours (16,000 hours) were completed by just 74 individuals – the “core” volunteers!

Among this core group, were 10 individuals who contributed more than 300 hours and one who topped the scale at more than 600 hours! Habitat congratulated and thanked:

Top Ten Hours volunteers

CJ Obara – 640 hours
Dick Allen – 622
Ken Clark – 454
Bob Laveck – 424
Jerry Ray – 407
Bill Reid – 343
Ray Ducharme – 321
Kevin Cox – 316
Ross Akin – 315
Paul Finegan – 309

In total, 32 core construction volunteers were recognized for contributing more than 250 hours of service last year, each receiving a golden hammer to signify the milestone.

Habitat also recognized those who hit significant longevity milestones. The honorees were:

10 Year Award – Alan Lang and CJ Obara
15 Year Award – Ted Faber and Cliff Joslin (pictured

In addition to Construction volunteers, Habitat utilizes volunteers in the ReStore, administrative office and on committees. These volunteers are recognized in separate appreciate events. Collectively and across the entire organization, nearly 2,100 volunteers contribute more than 64,000 hours to Asheville Area Habitat in 2014.

With a volunteer hour valued by Independent Sector at more $21/hour, this equates to a “gift” of more than $1.3million. Volunteer labor helps keep construction costs low and houses therefore affordable to the families who purchase them (from Habitat). Kraus added, “The Habitat model only works with a strong volunteer component. We cannot overstate the value of volunteers to our organization”.

Setting a Good Example

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What makes the current Silent Auction so special? Every item in it was donated by Brian and Susan Haynes! Looking to be a model for other families who are downsizing, cleaning out an estate, or simply pairing down their possessions, the Haynes family donated a collection of items to the ReStore specifically for the Silent Auction. Items include vintage toys and lunchboxes, a mid-century Drexel chest, instruments handmade in Black Mountain, NC, vintage barware, a collection of Beatles memorabilia, and much more. Brian and Susan are life-long area residents, they are the former owners of Almost Blue, and they also happen to be Habitat employees. Now with grown children, they recently down-sized and donated a collection of unique items to the Silent Auction. You can also find many unique albums, posters and music memorabilia in the ReStore’s Book and Music area, thanks to the Haynes family. To see photos of just some of the items in this auction, click here. Auction ends January 21 at 2pm.

New Year Truly Marks a New Beginning for Local Family

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The New Year is symbolic of new beginnings, resolutions, and goals. For Lekisha Beamon and her two children, 2015 will truly mark a fresh start. On Friday, January 9th at 12 noon in Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s Hudson Hills subdivision, Habitat volunteers raised the first wall of the Beamons’ future home. See pictures from the Wall Raising here. By June, Lekisha will be a first-time homeowner and the family will be moving into a new, energy efficient, affordable home of their very own.

“This will be a new start for me and my family…This will be the security that my family and I need in our lives. My children being able to go outside and play in ‘our’ yard means so much to me”, Lekisha wrote to Habitat.

This home will be fully sponsored with a generous gift by Steve and Frosene Zeis and is to be built in honor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. In turn, Lekisha will repay a 30-year, 0% interest mortgage to Habitat, which Habitat will use to build more homes.

 

Meet your match on the Habitat jobsite!

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This Valentine’s Day, join 30 other young, single professionals for a meaningful day of making connections and making a difference.

Your $20 registration fee will cover the cost of building materials and lunch. Participants will also take part in fun meet & mingle activities and will be invited to a Singles Build happy hour at the end of the day!
No experience is necessary, just come prepared to work hard and have a great time.

♥ Saturday, February 14, 2015

♥ 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hudson Hills jobsite off Johnston Boulevard in west Asheville.

Step 1Sign Up: Register on HUB, our volunteer sign-up page.
Step 2Donate: Your $20 donation will complete your registration; please click here to donate online. Remember to choose “Singles Build” as your Area of Support.
Step 3Build! You will receive an email confirmation with details upon registration and a reminder before your build day on February 14th.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Wallace, Construction Services Volunteer Coordinator.

Jen and Josh Morris met on a Habitat jobsite on the Gulf Coast. They married last summer and honeymooned in Asheville, where they spent a day volunteering on Asheville Area Habitat’s jobsite (pictured here).