This holiday season, help change the future.

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Thanks to an affordable Habitat mortgage, Maria Lomeli, a warehouse forklift operator, is now able to provide her children with an opportunity that she didn’t have at their age – higher education.

Her children took her advice and studied hard in their new, quiet and safe home. Now, her daughter, Maria, is at UNC-Asheville, Abel attends UNC-Chapel Hill, and Emmanuel studies at Berea College in Kentucky. Josue, a junior at Asheville High School, has his sights set on attending UNC-Chapel Hill, too. In the face of Asheville’s housing crisis, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity is committed to providing more hardworking families, like the Lomelis, an opportunity to own a home – a home that can be the foundation for growth and success.

Donate ButtonYou can change the future for families in our community.
Please donate today.

P.S. – Every dollar matters! $10 can buy a
porch light, $50 a kitchen sink, $150 a front door…

Thank You Thrivent!

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by Jonathan Dermid

Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity is a multi-year, multi-million dollar mission partnership between Thrivent Financial and Habitat for Humanity International. Thrivent is the largest non-government partner and sponsor of Habitat for Humanity, and this is the eighth year that Thrivent Financial has sponsored a Habitat house here in Buncombe County. Each time, they have donated 50% of the affiliate’s construction costs ($75,693), which is nearly 1½ times the designated full-house sponsorship level.

This year’s Thrivent Builds House partner family is the Hodoroba family. Originally from Moldova, Ion and Natalya have lived in the Asheville area since 2010. For more than five years, Ion has worked as a forklift driver for Carolina Transportation. Natalya stays at home to raise the children. They have a 3 year old, 2 year old daughter and a newborn baby girl.

With unseasonably warm temperatures and under sunny skies, today was a beautiful day for the dedication of their new home. (Photos coming soon!) The family is thrilled to be moving from an old, moldy apartment to their new GreenBuilt NC home complete with a yard, in a neighborhood full of children. And they are grateful for their house sponsor, Thrivent Builds and the partnering churches, that helped make their dream of home ownership a reality.

Today’s dedication event was made even more special by our special guests. We are pleased to be hosting Thrivent volunteers from Ohio, Wisconsin, and elsewhere around the country. They are spending the week working on our jobsite as part of Thrivent Builds Worldwide, showing a solidarity that goes beyond Asheville. These Thrivent members, through their loyalty to and trust in Thrivent, are providing both funding to build Habitat houses and making a hands-on contribution by volunteering.

In addition to this visiting team, we have our local Thrivent partners to thank. “We’re fortunate to be partnered again with Abiding Savior, Emmanuel, Nativity, and St. Mark’s in our Thrivent Build, as these folks volunteered on the house and have really been the backbone of the construction,” Betsy Warren said. “If we didn’t have the full support of our Thrivent Financial representatives, this would not be possible, so we thank them for that.”

Ed Hauser is one of the Thrivent representatives that makes the Thrivent homes come together, acting as the Chapter Build Specialist and doing background work that involves things like writing grants and planning events for the local Thrivent chapter. “I’ve been involved on the college level with grant writing and applications,” Ed said, “so it was a natural fit to be able to work with the local Habitat affiliate, particularly an outstanding one like Asheville Area Habitat, to bring something like this to fruition.”

Ed’s drive to give back comes from his own childhood experience. “I grew up the oldest of 14 children, and we lived in a 1,200 square foot farmhouse with no running water and a wood-burning stove,” he said. “So I know what it’s like to live in poverty.”

This experience allowed him to gain an appreciation for helping others as he was helped, and sees his work with Thrivent Builds as an extension of that.

“I’m thankful for so many people who helped me along the way, particularly when it came to college, because I was the first one of my family to go to college,” he said. “So, the gratification for me comes from helping others in a similar way, and in terms of Christian love and sharing, Thrivent Builds with Habitat is just such a great opportunity to give back.”

We at Asheville Area Habitat appreciate this love and sharing, and thank all of our Thrivent partners for everything that they have done, and continue to do, in the name of service.

Strong Response Provides Launching Pad for Business Bungalow #2

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Local businesses are deeply concerned about the lack of affordable housing in Asheville, and they’re doing something about it. The response to our first ever Business Bungalow was so great that the house is fully funded and we have seed money to start a second Business Bungalow House!

#23_BizBungalow_8.26.15 (3)Thanks to an anonymous donation through the Community Foundation of WNC, Asheville Area Habitat launched it first-ever “Business Bungalow” House this past summer. All donations to the house by local businesses, were matched (up to $25,000) by that caring donor. This house (pictured left) is nearing completion and will soon be home to the Booth family.

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. Numerous articles about the topic have been written in Mountain Xpress and the Asheville Citizen-Times, to name a few.

We are grateful to all the sponsors (listed below) who supported our first-ever Business Bungalow and we hope their support will inspire you to get involved with Business Bungalow #2.

How to get involved:
Donate
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 the green button 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.

Please click here to learn more.

 

THANK YOU TO OUR BUSINESS BUNGALOW SPONSORS!

$25,000 Challenge Sponsor:
Fidel Duke Fund of the Community Foundation of WNC

Partial House Sponsors:
AvL Technologies ($20,000)
Publix Super Markets Charities ($10,000)

Blueprint Sponsors ($1,000):
Alice D. Hamling Foundation
Alicia Rodriguez DDA PA
Altamont Environmental, Inc.
Anonymous
Asheville Downtown Association
Asheville Fence
Beverly-Hanks & Associates
BlueStar Hospitality Fairfield Inns
Bart and Elaine Boyer
Boys, Arnold & Company
Team Browne – Keller Williams
Brunk Auction
Carlton Architects
Charlie and Pat Clogston
Community Foundation of WNC
Corner Kitchen and Chestnut
Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community
Erie Insurance
Gerry and Nancy Kitch
Mark A. Kleive DDS
Mast General Store, Inc.
New Morning Ltd.
Smokey Park Supper Club
WCQS

Housing Champions ($250):
Allergy Partners of WNC
Ambiance Interiors
Anonymous
Atlanta Bread Company
Bankers Insurance
The Bayshore Company
Builders FirstSource
Clean Environments
Kit and Mark Cramer
Dennison and Kay Crews
Daniels Group
Eaton Corporation
Groce Funeral Home
Harry’s on the Hill
Jeff and Anne Imes
Kilwin’s Chocolates, Fudge & Ice Cream
Leslie and Associates, Inc.
McAbee & Associates, PA
Mediterranean Restaurant
Milkco, Inc
One Who Serves
Parsec Financial
Power Plus Electrical Service, Inc.
Rankin Vault
RealtyPro – Michael White
Silver-Line Plastics
Skyrunner
Twin Hills Structure, PLLC
Hank and Nancy Young

 

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

More Than Meets the Eye

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Thrivent Financial supports Habitat in many different ways.

 

It was still early morning on the jobsite, but I could feel that the day was going to be a hot one. There was a group of volunteers that had traveled from Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and New Jersey. There were some locals too. I could see three individuals high up on ladders, hammering down top plates across the tops of the interior walls of the newly-started Thrivent Builds house.

I snapped a few photos (the reason for my visit) and went inside the neighboring house, which already had a roof and drywall. There were a few people from the group, Thrivent Builds Worldwide, working on painting; another was learning how to install trim. “Hi, I’m Greta. I work for Habitat,” I say to the first stranger I see. She was a smiling blonde woman, seemingly happy to be here to help. I inquired about her name and how far she’d come. “Did you know that the house next door is the Thrivent Builds house?” she asked. Yes, I did. It was neat to see the pride in her face when she said it, though.

The Thrivent Builds Worldwide team takes a break for a group photo.

The Thrivent Builds Worldwide team takes a break for a group photo.

This group of 13 had been here in Asheville only one day, yet they were already so attached to the new Thrivent Builds Habitat house going up. That’s representative of the community of Thrivent Financial members. Thrivent Financial is a financial services organization. It’s the only Fortune 500 Company that is a not-for-profit—a unique kind, for that matter. It’s a fraternal benefit society which, by definition, requires Thrivent Financial to provide insurance to its members and carry out social, educational, and charitable purposes for the benefit of its members and the public.

Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity is a multi-year, multi-million dollar mission partnership between Thrivent Financial and Habitat for Humanity International. It’s the largest non-government partner and sponsor of Habitat for Humanity. Through that partnership, local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, like Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, can apply each year for funding from Thrivent Financial. This is the eighth year that Thrivent Financial has sponsored a Habitat house in Buncombe County – each time, donating 50% of the affiliate’s construction costs ($75, 693), which is 1½ times more than the designated full-house sponsor level. They also get local Lutheran churches involved in helping by providing funds and volunteers. That’s something to be proud of.

But there’s more. Thrivent Financial also pays a portion of the travel costs for its members to participate in Thrivent Builds Worldwide trips, like the one that has brought this group to our Asheville jobsite for the week. But, what if you’re too young to go on a trip, or to volunteer locally on the Thrivent Builds house? That doesn’t stop the local youth from the four Lutheran churches that also fundraise for this house: Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Lutheran Church of the Nativity, and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.

Several years ago, the pastor at one of the churches came up with an idea to get their young people involved in the excitement of the Thrivent Builds House. He started Thrivent Youth Build. Each year, Asheville Area Habitat core volunteers, who are also Thrivent Financial members, devise a construction project appropriate for youth. They prepare the lumber, make the plans, and supervise the build, which takes place at one of the local Lutheran churches. Girls and boys come out to help build something useful for Habitat. One year they built dog houses that were sold in the Habitat ReStore; another year it was picnic tables for the jobsite volunteers to use during their breaks. Twice now they’ve built components like headers and ladders that will be incorporated into the Thrivent Builds House. It’s a great way to introduce youth to Habitat and get them thinking about volunteering and giving back.

The first wall of the 2015 Thrivent Builds House was raised in early June.

The first wall of the 2015 Thrivent Builds House was raised in early June.

It’s apparent that Thrivent Financial members are fired up about being a part of such a giving organization. In building the Habitat house, they are building a future for a family they may not even know, and they are also building community among themselves. The trip leader, Tim Bauer, summarized it well. “This type of trip has people working together, forming great friendships, and helping the community—it’s a great program.”

We think so too. Thanks, Thrivent Financial, for your continued support over the years.