Four decades of life-changing work is punctuated with impressive statistics and heart-warming stories. For Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity on its 40th Anniversary, those statistics and stories speak to the enduring power of partnership.
https://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Black-horizontal_AAHH-scaled.jpg9702560Ariane Kjellquisthttps://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/AAHH-logo_black_with-counties-tag-300x150.jpgAriane Kjellquist2023-02-06 14:51:532023-02-06 15:08:41Building together for 40 years
OnFriday December 9th at 3pm, Habitat’s New Heights neighborhood will be bustling with even more activity than usual. Following a short speaking program, Warren Haynes will join volunteers, supporters, and future homeowner Melissa Mitchell and her daughters to raise the first wall of their new home, the 2023 Christmas Jam House. This house is special for another reason too; it is 20-year Habitat staffer and Senior Construction Supervisor Kenny Busch’s 100th Asheville Habitat house!
To date, the annual Warren Haynes Presents: The Christmas Jam has raised more than $2.7 million for Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, constructing 40+ Habitat homes and helping to pay infrastructure and development costs of entire Habitat neighborhoods.
Future homeowner and Asheville native Melissa Mitchell is thrilled to be able to purchase a new and affordable Green Built Habitat home. Despite steady full-time employment in the healthcare field, Melissa has struggled to find decent housing for her family in the Asheville area, one of the state’s highest cost housing markets. With few options for affordable housing, the Mitchell family has had to sacrifice quality to make ends meet. Melissa has described her current subsidized rental as “shelter,” and looks forward to finally having a place she can call “home.”
With the return of the annual benefit concert, comes the return of Asheville Habitat’s signature volunteer experience, Before the Jam, Lend a Hand. Volunteers from near and far will help build new homes, work on a home repair project, and serve in the Asheville ReStore. Local restaurants including Luella’s BBQ and Mellow Mushroom and will feed the helpers, and Merrell will again sponsor the signature volunteer event.
Asheville Habitat’s Executive Director Andy Barnett noted, “Habitat has been uniquely blessed this year. We are proud to share proceeds of the Christmas Jam with BeLoved Asheville. Working with those facing chronic housing instability, their work is a perfect fit with our vision of a world where everyone has a place to call home.”
Interested in helping the causes that Warren Haynes and The Christmas Jam support? Here are a few suggestions:
There are a few Before the Jam volunteer slots available. Click here to see options and register.
Donate to Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity online. Select Christmas Jam 23 as Purpose.
Attend and participate in a variety of Jam by Day events, including a Toy Drive for BeLoved.
Stop by the Habitat tables at The Christmas Jam to say hello, learn about programs, donate $1 to sign a stud wall which will be used in the construction of a Habitat house, and enter a raffle to win a VIP package for the 2023 Christmas Jam!
https://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/45307164985_053ac4f094_k.jpg13812048Ariane Kjellquisthttps://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/AAHH-logo_black_with-counties-tag-300x150.jpgAriane Kjellquist2022-12-07 13:57:362022-12-09 13:57:57Music Builds Homes and Communities
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.
https://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Austin_HR_4.14.22_004-1-scaled.jpg17042560Ariane Kjellquisthttps://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/AAHH-logo_black_with-counties-tag-300x150.jpgAriane Kjellquist2022-04-19 09:23:212022-04-28 13:01:53Home Repair through the eyes of volunteer Austin Brown
We are currently building New Heights, our most ambitious neighborhood to-date, and community volunteers are invited to help build. Take an active role in ensuring everyone has an affordable place to call home by learning new skills or honing existing ones while working alongside community-minded people and future Habitat homeowners.
Asheville Habitat has been bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope for nearly four decades. The reasons people donate their time and talent to Asheville Habitat are as varied as the volunteer themselves. Those who so enjoyed volunteering once on the Women Build House that they keep coming back every week. Those that spent decades in a corporate boardroom and simply want to do something totally different in retirement. Those that work for a company that sponsors Asheville Habitat and therefore have the opportunity to participate in an employee build day. Those that are in high school and learning about our region’s affordable housing crisis. Those putting faith into action by working on a house their church sponsors. How people come to volunteer with Asheville Habitat is wide-ranging. Why they continue to volunteer is the same: Comradery. Meeting the families. Fulfillment. Fun. Making a difference. Feeling part of something bigger.
If you are ready to be the change you want to see in the world, learn more and sign up now or call 828.251.5702. “Volunteers are truly an extension of our staff,” shares Construction Services Volunteer Manager Stephanie Wallace. “We offer year-round opportunities for those age 16+. It’s hard work, but very rewarding. Stepping back at the end of the day, you can SEE the difference you’ve made and feel proud about it.”
If construction isn’t your cup of tea, contact Carrie at 828.210.9381 or email@example.com to learn about volunteer opportunities in the Asheville and Weaverville ReStores. Proceeds from ReStore sales support Habitat’s building programs, so your volunteer efforts there directly support affordable housing, too. Volunteer positions include customer service, such as running the cash register and providing sales support on the floor; intake and receiving; sorting and processing donations; testing and repairing appliances; and other fun opportunities. Learn more and sign up today!
We are thrilled to be the non-profit partner of the 2020 Southern Living Idea House! Proceeds from ticket sales are expected to raise enough to build an entire Habitat home! Built by Buchanan Construction in The Ramble Biltmore Forest, this 3,500 square foot, Victorian-inspired timeless farmhouse will open for tours on Wednesday, July 29th.
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity is recognizing milestones and thanking volunteers during Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 20-25). Though this year amidst Covid-19, it means ZOOM coffee breaks, mailed rather than hand-delivered cards, and gifts presented at a later date.
“Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference.” ~ Kathy Calvin
We love working with our business community. Seeing our local businesses – both the large ones with multiple worldwide locations and the small ones located in downtown Asheville– step up to be part of the housing solution in our community brings us great joy.
Local businesses know that our entire community is stronger when residents – and employees – have decent and affordable housing. We see this throughout the year at Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, but never more so than when building the Business Bungalow house.
Our 5th Business Bungalow, built in partnership with our local businesses, is currently under construction in our Candler community, Curry Court. The future homeowner, Belinda, will be unlocking her front door before summer begins.
Belinda has worked for Mission Hospital since 1999, and has been raising her son in a 1-bedroom apartment as a single mother. Like many people in our community, she got creative and Belinda turned a converted carport into a makeshift second bedroom, using a sheet for a door. This apartment had one other undesirable feature –a $400 plus heating cost during the winter months.
A sheet is not a door, and Belinda needs a permanently affordable option. She’s grateful to the businesses who agree – and are investing in her future home through sponsorships.
Our business community sees the benefits of providing funds – and volunteers – to support this work. Companies use this partnership to create meaningful employee engagement, to get team members to know each other outside of the office – and to be part of the larger community effort addressing a real local problem.
The financial support that local businesses provide – whether as a Housing Champion, Blueprint Sponsor or at a higher level – helps make Habitat homes affordable. Every dollar adds up to an affordable Green Built home that Belinda will purchase, with a monthly mortgage (and energy cost), that fits her budget. Asheville Habitat is proud to collaborate with our business community to make affordable homeownership within reach for more local families.
If you are interested in joining this diverse group of businesses, please contact me (Beth Russo) at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Thank you!
https://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Champion-Credit-Union_9.12.19.jpg15122016Ariane Kjellquisthttps://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/AAHH-logo_black_with-counties-tag-300x150.jpgAriane Kjellquist2020-01-23 09:52:162020-01-23 12:53:52Businesses Step Up to Support Affordable Housing
By Ariane Kjellquist, with contributions from Sydney Monshaw
Like most of our Home repair clients, Ms. Priscilla McDowell is an aging adult in need of home improvements that improve access and safety. Our Home Repair team recently tackled the job of completely rebuilding two large, crumbling and unsafe porches at Ms. McDowell’s home. This included removing the existing structures and building a smaller deck and landing with less steep stairs. Thanks to a crew of four volunteers from Beach Hensley Homes, the project was completed ahead of schedule. “I was planning to spend at least a week at this job,” shared Project Supervisor Sydney Monshaw. “With Beach Hensley’s help we were able to complete this project in just three days!”
Their volunteers arrived on Wednesday to the old decks already removed and footers for the new one ready to go. In the first hour, the deck was framed and the posts were set. By lunch break everything had decking, the stairs were hung, and handrails had been started. By the time the Beach Hensley crew left at 4:45pm (staying later than needed because they wanted to get it done) they had the entire porch completed, with the exception of one stair tread and three kick plates. And that work was only outstanding because they ran out of materials! With just a handful of very small things to finish the following day, this 5-day job was done in just 2 ½ days!
It’s not surprising that a team of professional contractors work more quickly and efficiently than a staff supervisor and a few volunteers with less or no construction experience. Habitat is used to working with volunteers that run the gamut from never having used a saw to trade professionals that could do the work in their sleep. But this crew brought added-value in the form of knowledge sharing. They took a minute here and there to explain why they were making certain choices. Sydney said, “As the supervisor of this jobsite, I am grateful for their efficiency, skill, and knowledge. As a member of the greater Asheville community, I am grateful for their generosity and willingness to give back. Ms. McDowell is not only safer because of them, she’s also proud and excited about her new back porch.”
Home Repair for low-income homeowners is a significant and growing community need. The population of aging adults in Buncombe County continues to grow, and one of the best ways to help residents live with more safety, security and dignity as they age, is to help them remain in the homes they already own. To try to keep up with demand, we have grown our repair program by adding a second supervisor and a second work van, and we continue to utilize three AmeriCorps members. We increased our goal mid-year from 60 to 70 jobs. Additionally, we manage “Aging in Place”, a sort of program-within-a-program, that serves clients that come to us through a partnership with The Council on Aging. And this year, we did a community project with Poder Emma, in which we served 25 families in one day, and trained community members to serve another 75 with security and safety upgrades.
As you can see, being able to complete a project in half the time is a substantial win for a program with aggressive goals and a team stretched thin. If your business of trade professionals can spare just one day to volunteer on a Habitat Home Repair project, we would LOVE to have you! Asheville Habitat has committed to serving another 1,000 families within 10 years and 600 will be through Home Repair. Be part of our success story! To learn more, call 828.210-9383 or email email@example.com.
https://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/IMG_9347_edited.jpg14281862Ariane Kjellquisthttps://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/AAHH-logo_black_with-counties-tag-300x150.jpgAriane Kjellquist2020-01-17 10:27:572020-01-17 10:33:01Volunteer Team Makes Big Single-Day Impact