Rival High Schools Unite to Build a House

For the second time in Buncombe County, local high school students are raising funds and volunteering to sponsor an Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity home. The students will celebrate the start of the 2015 Student Build House with a wall raising ceremony on Friday, March 27th at 1:30 in Habitat’s Hudson Hills neighborhood in West Asheville. The event is open to the public.

Adding to their homework and after-school sports are “percentage nights” at restaurants, Hoops for Habitat, and school dances, among other fundraisers, to raise money for the house. Asheville Christian Academy and Christ School re-committed after their first successful Habitat Student Build two years ago, and Carolina Day School joined in this year. Each school will raise $18,333 to total $55,000. That’s a big chunk towards the $130,000 it takes to build a Habitat home: additional funds come from ReStore proceeds, individual donations, and current Habitat homeowner mortgage payments.

The partner family, Patricia (Trish) Wolfe and her two sons, are excited to get started. Trish is a Licensed Practical Nurse and Certified Nursing Assistant, and works at Mission Hospital. She is attending AB Technical Community College and will complete her associate’s degree in nursing this May. After purchasing her Habitat house, her next goal is to attain her bachelor’s degree in nursing. Trish posted on her facebook page: “In the midst of my final semester…the first wall to my family’s new house will be raised March 27th by a group of students. So cool that everyone in the house goes to school too.” Her home is expected to be completed in six months.

MANNA Sale on Saturday, March 21st Supports Two Important Issues

The Habitat ReStore will host a one-day food drive for MANNA FoodBank on Saturday, March 21 from 9am-6pm.  Customers who bring 5 cans of food will receive a 20% discount on purchases made that day.

Lack of safe, decent and affordable housing and hunger are both conditions of poverty.  Every day, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and MANNA FoodBank work to eradicate poverty housing and hunger, respectively. “This is the seventh consecutive year of our MANNA Sale and we hope that the 20% discount incentive will help us collect at least 800 pounds of food for MANNA FoodBank this year,” said Scott Stetson, ReStore General Manager.

The March 21st MANNA Sale at the Habitat ReStore is a great way for residents to simultaneously support two important issues facing our communities. Your ReStore purchase will help Habitat build and repair homes in this community – and your food donations for MANNA Foodbank will help feed our hungry and food-insecure neighbors. So buy a few extra cans at the grocery store and come by the Habitat ReStore on March 21st  to find a bargain and help your neighbors in need!




From Books and Gardens to Schools and Homes, Habitat’s Partnership with the Shiloh Community Continues to Grow

In 2014, we celebrated the completion of the nation’s very first “Pope Francis House”, an energy-efficient 4 bedroom/2 bath Habitat house in Shiloh that is now home to the Meadows family. This was the most recent of 41 single-family homes built by Asheville Area Habitat in the Shiloh community during the past 20 years. In the next 2-3 years, we will build 10 houses off Taft Avenue and a few others on in-fill lots.

New house construction is just one way in which Habitat has been involved in Shiloh, a historically significant community of Asheville. We have also completed numerous home repair projects for low-income homeowners, many of whom have lived in their homes for decades – like Eugene Rone. Work has included new roofs, siding repair and replacement, painting, heating system upgrades and more. All of this work is aimed at increasing safety, improving accessibility, and helping people live longer and better in the homes they already own.

Thanks to funds from Pisgah Investments Foundation and proceeds from the 2014 Biltmore Benefit ear-marked specifically for Home Repair projects in Shiloh, Habitat will do many more repair projects there in the next 1-3 years.

In 2013, Habitat helped build a storage shed and raised garden beds at the now-thriving Shiloh Community Garden.  Additionally, we were able to help the Community Association bring electric service to the garden and pavilion for the first time. Just recently, the Shiloh Community Association accepted a donation of land from Habitat, which sits behind the garden and adjacent to our Pope Francis House. Thrilled to have this parcel, the Association hopes a design professional will step forward to help them through the process of coming up with a vision for an expanded garden. Currently, classes and workshops are held at the garden, UNCA students and community residents raise fruits and vegetables in the beds, community yoga is offered Saturday mornings and the amphitheater (sponsored by Tupelo Honey) provides the community with a place for presentations and performances.

Another addition to the community came in the form of a Little Free Library (LFL). Dedicated last summer and located at the community garden across the street from the Shiloh Community Center, this LFL was the idea of a retired librarian living in the community and was constructed by Habitat volunteer Charlie Franck using some materials donated by Habitat. The initial collection of books came from the Habitat ReStore among other sources.

Last year, Habitat also partnered with Estes Elementary School. Though not geographically located within Shiloh, the school serves approximately 75% of elementary school-aged children who live in the Shiloh neighborhood. Habitat staff and volunteers built a storage closet, installed floors and painted walls in their new Community Resource Center. The Resource Center will provide food and clothing support for families of children attending the school and will work to connect those families to other resources in the community that they need.

Furthermore, just this week, one of our staff members, Ed McGowan, began teaching an 8-week Toastmasters Youth Training program. Held at the Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center, it is a partnership with the City of Asheville’s Teenager Leadership Development Program.

Habitat is building off of a history of participation in the Shiloh community that started with new house construction back in 1992. Habitat is just one of many partners working alongside the Shiloh Community Association toward achievement of the goals laid out in the Shiloh Community Plan 2025 approved by Asheville City Council in 2010.  We are proud to leverage our skills and work alongside others with different proficiencies to work collectively to address needs that go well beyond housing.

Paul Reeves, Director of Construction Services for Asheville Area Habitat adds, “It is truly a pleasure for Habitat to be working in a community that has a clear vision for its future and residents who are organized, motivated and actively working toward increasing the quality of life for all of its community members. Shiloh has embraced our work in their community and sees us as a strong partner in providing affordable housing and home repair.”

Asheville Area Habitat Receives Malachi 3:10 Award for Tithe Contributions


Malachi 3-10 Award (2)Recently, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity (AAHH) was presented with Habitat for Humanity International’s Malachi 3:10 Award for surpassing the $500,000 benchmark in our tithe program. Mike Carscaddon, Executive Vice President of International Field Operations at Habitat for Humanity International, presented the award at Asheville Area Habitat’s Staff and Board of Directors Holiday Breakfast.

Habitat for Humanity International explains why we tithe: Tithing within Habitat — a global organization that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the face of the earth — ensures that funding reaches the countries that have both a Habitat presence and some of the greatest need.

As Habitat is an ecumenical Christian organization, the name of the award comes from a bible verse on tithing. Malachi 3:10 reads: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

For every house AAHH builds locally, it tithes to build a house in one of these five countries: Bangladesh, Egypt, Guatemala, Haiti and Malawi. In addition to tithing, Asheville Area Habitat volunteers have participated in at least five Global Village trips to help build Habitat homes in Guatemala.