4th Annual Cruisin’ for Habitat

By Kim Ouren, Contributing Writer

On Saturday, October 11th, the Cruisin’ fun began at Sickies Garage with a group of 36 people and 11 classic cars cruising to the Silver Prairie Saloon in McLeod, ND for lunch. During lunch, the participants played BINGO and Sickies t-shirts were given as raffle prizes.

Over $3500 was raised to support Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity!!

A special thank you to our event sponsors:Gate City Bank, Corey’s Customs and Collision, Rusco Window, Advanced Autobody & Glass, United Electric Service & Supply, Inc., Sickies Garage, Silver Prairie Saloon and Sandy’s Donuts.

Get your classic car ready and join us for next year’s cruise in the fall of 2015!

Veteran’s Build

By Amber Zolondek, Contributing Writer

With Veteran’s Day passing and we honor those who have served our country, I decided to do some research on our nation’s heroes. Sadly, what I found was heart wrenching. Nearly 1 million veterans who own homes are severely cost burdened, despite having access to VA loans and other assistance. That is a number too large for those who have risked their lives for our freedom.

In response to these staggering numbers, Habitat for Humanity launched Veterans Build, a national initiative to provide housing solutions and volunteer and employment opportunities to U.S. veterans, military service members and their families. Home Builders Care of Fargo-Moorhead Foundation, a local partner, kicked off Veterans Build with its first build on June 3rd of this year. Veteran Sonia Greer and her daughter, Madison, were our first home recipients. As a past volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Greer had made connections and volunteered for other home builds while she served as a communication/navigational specialist and technical order data assistant at Beale Air Force Base in California.

What most people forget is that for programs like Veterans Build to work, Habitat for Humanity relies on the community and local businesses to give back. On average, a Habitat home costs around $132,000. Local businesses like lumberyards, carpenters, painters, and other Fargo-Moorhead civilians donate supplies and time in order for us to be as cost effective and community driven as possible. However, if you don’t have supplies or times to donate, one could always donate funds so that our veterans can be supplied with home to come back to.

That means if just 917 people of Fargo-Moorhead gave $12 a month to Habitat, we’d have enough funds to build a home for a well-deserving veteran. We’re slowly but surely getting to as many as we can, but according to the census, there are roughly 14,000 veterans in the Cass Clay Area, meaning we have some work to do!

Please help Habitat for Humanity build these houses for our veterans, they’ve given us a free country, let’s give them a home.

To learn more about the national Habitat for Humanity Veteran Build Program, check out http://www.habitat.org/getinv/volunteer_programs/veterans.aspx

To learn more about Lake Agassiz’s Veteran Build Program, stay tuned for recent updates on our Facebook and Twitter

Something for Everyone: Volunteering with ReStore

Volunteering at Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a great way to give back to your community while doing work that makes a difference. The ReStore helps divert materials away from area landfills, gives people access to affordable household items and raises money for area Habitat builds that provide housing for families in need. If this sounds like something you’d love to be a part of, check out the various volunteering opportunities below to pick the best fit for you.

Are you handy with tools?

If you’re the handy type, we’d love your help fixing up some of the donations we receive to get them ready for their next home. Not a fixer-upper? Then you might be interested in tear-down projects with our deconstruction crews who uninstall cabinets, windows, doors and other household items to salvage them for sale at the ReStore

Are you a crafty DIYer?

If you’re a Pinterest fanatic or someone with an eye for repurposing, the ReStore could use your expertise. Some of the gently used materials donated to the ReStore get refinished and repurposed for resale, and we’re always looking for people who enjoy a crafty project.

Are you a people person?

The ReStore aims to provide its customers with affordable, gently used household items while providing quality customer service, and our volunteers are a big part of that process. If you enjoy helping people, ask us about opportunities volunteering at the front desk, where you’ll greet customers, ring up purchases and answer ReStore phone calls.

Are you a social butterfly?

The more the merrier. Bring a friend or a group to volunteer with you and make an event out of your ReStore volunteering experience. Groups can volunteer to help clean the store, sort donations, organize the sales floor and much more.

No matter what you’re interested in, call the ReStore at 218-284-5253 to set up the volunteering opportunity that will be the best fit for you. Wherever you decide to give your time, your help will make a big impact on the ReStore and an even bigger impact on your community

A Home To Be Proud Of

A Home To Be Proud Of

By Amanda Wurtz, HFH PR Committee

A safer neighborhood and a deeper sense of home. Those are just a couple of ways that life has improved for Habitat for Humanity homeowner Coreen Graham and her children, Raquel, 14 and Austin, 19.

“Moving here was amazing,” said Coreen, who has lived in the north Moorhead home with her children since 2008. “I feel proud of where I live.”

Coreen’s last home was a 1970s trailer with two bedrooms and one bathroom. It had character. Electrical issues meant they couldn’t have more than two appliances operating at once or the walls would heat up and smell like dead fish. Space issues meant that family members and friends weren’t able to stay overnight. Concerns of neighborhood safety and being near highly traveled Highway 10 meant her children were restricted in the areas where they could play and ride their bikes. And the list went on.

“I didn’t have friends over very often because other people’s homes were nicer,” added Raquel.

While the monthly trailer fees were affordable and she was able to save money, Coreen felt completely stuck with her housing situation. “I wanted something better but I didn’t think I could do it.”

In 2007, she contacted a bank and was pre-approved for a home loan. But, every home that she looked at within the loan approval range didn’t put her in a much better spot than the trailer. Even the one that she was ready to put an offer on would have meant that she would have to go on food assistance to make ends meet.

That’s when she decided to pursue applying for a Habitat for Humanity home as her sister Danette had recommended. That fall, she filled out the application thoroughly and continued through the interview and home visit steps.

In early 2008, Coreen learned that she was chosen as a partner family for the upcoming build season. She was volunteering at the Habitat ReStore that day and couldn’t contain her emotions. She hugged Habitat volunteer Mary Jane Haugen and ran home to tell a friend who danced around the room with her. The announcements to friends and family continued to be met with tears of joy and shouts of happiness. “I put together Bob the Builder bags tool kits and put a simple message of ‘I got it’ in the bags,” Coreen recalls. “I left the bags at people’s houses or had another person give it to them and the reactions were incredible.”

She quickly embraced her sweat equity hour requirements and volunteered more than 500 hours that year, well above the 250 hour minimum. “I took vacation during the Blitz Build week and when I wasn’t working, my kids and I were putting in volunteer hours with Habitat for Humanity.”

Gratitude filled her heart and out-poured in her actions towards volunteers and donors. “I wrote individual thank you notes and also made gift baskets for some of the crew leaders,” Coreen said.

Soon, the home was completed and the dedication was underway. This is the place that they call home and feel secure in their living space. The neighborhood is safe and the families in the area look out for one another, explained Coreen. “We’re all like one big family.”

The smile on her face doesn’t go away as she describes so many ways her life has changed since the day she moved into the simple, affordable 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home.

For years, Coreen and Raquel were sharing a room and now they each get their own. They have two bathrooms which is more accommodating for the family and guests. Birthday and holiday parties are more comfortable because the living space has doubled. Family members are able to stay over on occasion.

And, when Coreen learned that her Dad had stage 4 lung cancer, she had the space to care for him in her house. “To do this, Raquel and I had to share a room again for a couple of months, but it was worth it to have that time with him before he passed away.”

Other things have improved for Coreen as well. The new home location placed the children on the bus route to St. Joseph Catholic School. “The bus didn’t stop near our trailer and when I worked early mornings at McDonald’s, I had the kids stay over at my Mom’s house to bring them to school.”

She’s now working for Clay County in the Social Services Department and the days of juggling two jobs and working weekends are behind her. “I have a regular work schedule,” said Coreen. “Being home means so much. This place is home.”

Although Coreen knew little about Habitat for Humanity when she applied for her home, she has become a strong supporter of the mission. She’s even served on the Family Selection Committee in recent years. “Anytime they call me to help with something, I am there if I am available. There is no way I can pay them back for what they did for me and my family.”

If you’d like to help a family like the Grahams change their lives for generations to come, please consider a donation to Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity. DONATE TODAY!  You can also text Home50 to 41444 to donate.

If you would like to receive our newsletter and other updates, text Home50 to 51555.

 

ReStore Committee Spotlight, Preston Johnson

We at Lake Agassiz Habitat are fortunate to have so many amazing volunteers! Our ReStore committee helps raise and maintain the community awareness of ReStore and spread the word on the benefits of utilizing the store. The members play an integral role in Habitat’s growth and are responsible for sharing Lake Agassiz Habitat ReStore’s values, mission and goals with the people living in Cass and Clay counties. Meet Preston Johnson!

Preston Johnson, Sundog, Writer

 

How long have you been on the ReStore Committee?

I joined the Restore Committee in 2011.

Why are you involved?

I helped get the ReStore’s current building ready for opening as part of a volunteer project in college. After I graduated, I stayed involved by joining the committee.

What’s your role in the committee?

I spend most of my time on the team contributing to our team’s marketing and advertising activities for the ReStore.

ReStore Committee Spotlight

We at Lake Agassiz Habitat are fortunate to have so many amazing volunteers! Our ReStore committee helps raise and maintain the community awareness of ReStore and spread the word on the benefits of utilizing the store. The members play an integral role in Habitat’s growth and are responsible for sharing Lake Agassiz Habitat ReStore’s values, mission and goals with the people living in Cass and Clay counties.

Shelby Cochran, DogIDs.com

How long have you been on the ReStore Committee?

Since 2012.

Why are you involved?
I really enjoyed working with this committee while I served at LAHFH ReStore and wanted to continue helping out where I could. ReStore has a great mission that I love sharing with new people!

What’s your role in the committee?
Mostly I use project management experience in coordinating our committee’s projects as well as communication in networking with others for projects. Having that year of working full time with Habitat, I also have a lot of expertise as far as what the ReStore has done in the past and what I learned in my experience that I can apply to our projects.

4 Ways to Turn Spring Cleaning Trash into Treasure

What’s your favorite thing about spring? The warm, sunny weather? The green grass and blooming flowers? The piles of junk on the curbside?

It’s the time of year for spring cleaning, and everyone’s throwing out their old furniture, appliances and more. But what if you could turn those trashed items into treasure?

With a few supplies and a little DIY effort, it’s possible to turn that junk into something completely new and functional—while keeping it out of the landfill. Whether you’re scoping out the sidewalks for something to revamp or ready to repurpose something of your own, give one of these spring upcycling projects a try.

1.    If you have an old couch

For a cozy place to enjoy the warmer weather, turn your discarded couch into a cozy outdoor daybed. All it takes is an old sofa, recycled wood and some elbow grease.

 2.    If you have an unused refrigerator

Spring is a great time to throw the first backyard barbecue of the season. Keep your drinks cold by turning your old refrigerator into an ice chest with just a friend and some lumber.

 

3.    If you have an empty dresser

 

To get your garden growing, turn your old, abandoned dresser into a potting bench. With
some handiwork and paint, it’s the perfect storage space for your pots, seeds, soil and tools.

 

 

 

 

4.    If you have a discarded headboard

Swing into spring with a unique piece of furniture for your front porch. Turn your unused headboard into a porch swing with the help of a few other upcycled materials, some pillows and paint.

 

 

 

 

Remember, if you have any usable furniture, appliances or home improvement items that you aren’t ready to repurpose, donate them to ReStore! Your donations are tax-deductible and we can do all the heavy lifting for free—just give us a call at 218-284-5253 ext. 3 to schedule a pick-up.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore is located at 210 11th Street North in Moorhead, Minnesota. Our hours are 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Monday through Friday and 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday. Visit us online at lakeagassizhabitat.org.

This CleanUp Week – Make A Difference with Habitat ReStore

Have you started your spring cleaning? If you are a resident of the Fargo-Moorhead area, you are likely getting ready for Fargo-Moorhead’s Cleanup Week, held this year on May 5-9. Every year, residents of Dilworth, Moorhead, Fargo, and West Fargo have this week to dispose of tires, appliances, and other large items at no charge on their regular garbage collection day.

 

 

This CleanUp Week, there’s a great opportunity to get rid of unwanted items in an environmentally sustainable way that also supports the local community.  Consider donating your new and used building materials, and furniture to Habitat ReStore and receiving a tax deduction! Habitat ReStore even accepts donations on materials that can’t be disposed of during Cleanup week.

Habitat ReStore is a home improvement thrift store that has a three-fold mission: to divert usable materials from area landfills, to offer a low cost option for shoppers doing home improvement projects, and to raise money to support Habitat for Humanity.  By giving their donations another life, Habitat ReStore is able to divert almost 500 tons of materials from area landfills annually!  All proceeds from Habitat ReStore support Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity as they build simple, decent, and affordable homes in partnership with families in Cass and Clay counties.

Cleanup Week Rules

Each city has their own specifications, which can be found on the Cleanup Week website. 

1. Separate items of the same type into distinct piles (tires, appliances, furniture, brush, household garbage, etc.). Separate trucks collect the items.

2. Place garbage in disposable containers, except for oversized items.

3. Items will be collected on your normal garbage pickup day. Do not set items out more than one day early.

4. Crews will not return to pick up garbage set out too late.

5. Remove refrigerator and freezer doors. Do not place food or any other waste inside appliances.

 6. Items must be from residences; no commercial waste will be accepted. Keep household garbage at least four feet away from other Cleanup Week items.

If you have home improvement materials that are in usable condition or are not accepted by the city, consider supporting your community and the environment by donating to Habitat ReStore and getting a tax deduction!

Drop Off: Bring your donation to Habitat ReStore, 210 11th Street North, Moorhead during store hours, which are 10-6 Mon – Fri and 10-4 Saturday.

Pick Up: Call (218) 359-0812 to schedule a FREE donation pick-up.

For a list of accepted donations, please visit our webpage

 

5 Easy Ways to Start Living Green

You probably have a daily routine established—from a shower and cup of coffee in the morning to a home-cooked dinner and cup of tea in the evening. But do you ever take a moment to consider how much water you use? How much waste you generate? Earth Week is a great time to analyze your impact on our planet. Get an easy start with these 5 tips to jump-start your green living—and check out even more tips from HGTV.

1. Upgrade to a high-efficiency showerhead
Your typical morning shower could be costing you close to 50 gallons of water. Replace your old showerheads with newer, more efficient models and you’ll save up to 3,000 gallons of water per year—plus 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide and $50 in energy costs.

2. Make your lighting more efficient
Replace old light bulbs in your home and halogen bulbs in your yard with more efficient compact-fluorescent bulbs or LED lights—you could reduce the amount of energy you use by over 80%. For outdoor lights, consider installing motion sensors.

3. Use a compost bin in your backyard
Compost is great for your garden AND keeps your trash can empty! Collect “green” waste like food scraps, tea bags and coffee grounds and layer them in a compost bin with “brown” waste such as leaves and shredded paper. You’ll end up with nutrient-rich soil for your yard.

4. Keep track of your trash output
Monitor the amount of trash you generate over the course of a week, from empty bags to disposable cups, paper and more. The result might surprise you. Then explore alternative options to help cut down on that waste, like reusable bags and coffee mugs.

5. Donate to ReStore
ReStore helps keep usable materials like lumber, furniture and appliances out of local landfills. Instead of throwing away old building materials and household goods, donate these items to ReStore where they’ll be repurposed and reused!

Find out what you can donate to ReStore—then give us a call at 218-284-5253 ext. 3 if you
need your items to be picked up!

Habitat for Humanity ReStore is located at 210 11th Street North in Moorhead, Minnesota. Our hours are 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Monday through Friday and 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday. Visit us online at lakeagassizhabitat.org.

 

Happy Earth Day!

April 22nd marks a global event in which people across the world show their support for protecting the environment. In fact, many individuals and groups celebrate Earth Week, participating in acts of environmental appreciation for several days.

At Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity ReStore, we like to think of it as an Earth Year, and we make an effort to protect our environment every day — by reducing waste of building materials and household items. ReStore stocks its shelves with gently used materials donated by members of the community. The result? More than 4 million pounds of materials have been diverted from local landfills through ReStore. Last year alone, 1,214,089 pounds of usable goods was kept from landfills because ReStore recycled, reused and revamped the items.

In addition to keeping these goods out of landfills, the ability to sell these gently used products has allowed ReStore to continuously support Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to build affordable homes in the FM community.

Not convinced yet?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. produced approximately 251 million tons of trash in 2012. While small percentages of this trash was able to be recycled or combusted, a large amount still ended up in landfills. In fact, the EPA estimates that 2.9 pounds of waste per person, per day, ended up in landfills in 2012. This totaled to 135 million tons of waste ending up in landfills — in the year 2012 alone.

The best way to keep these items from the landfills is to recycle them. You may already recycle your aluminum cans, plastic bottles and newspapers — why not consider recycling your building materials and household goods as well?

Here’s what we accept:

  • Cabinets, up-to-date and not damaged
  • Plumbing, usable fixtures, parts and supplies
  • Electrical, usable fixtures, parts and supplies
  • Windows, insulated glass, no broken glass, no sashes accepted
  • Hardware, knobs, hinges, locks, nails, cabinet pulls, nuts, bolts, screws
  • Lumber, clean, no cracks, splits, nails
  • Doors and door accessories
  • Roofing, no scrap metal materials please
  • Tools, hand, garden, working power
  • Flooring, wood (clean), ceramic tile, vinyl
  • Millwork/trim, wood casing and base (clean), vinyl base, ceramic
  • Furnaces and air conditioners
  • Large Appliances, any condition
  • Furniture – no rips or stains
  • Paint, full gallons, less than 2 yrs old
  • Kitchen and bath fixtures, neutral color
  • Bricks

And here’s what we cannot accept:

  • Broken bricks
  • Broken glass or Mirrors
  • Open or partial cans of paint
  • Paint thinner or other hazardous or toxic chemicals
  • Pesticides
  • Unframed glass
  • Open or used wallpaper
  • Used carpet
  • Beds, mattresses or bed parts
  • Carpet pads
  • Window screens or Storm windows
  • Window treatments, i.e. shades and curtains
  • Partial sheet goods (less than ½ sheet)
  • Window parts and pieces

 

Thank you for helping the ReStore protect the environment and support the building of affordable homes in our community. We hope this is your best Earth Day yet.

Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity ReStore is located at 210 11th Street North in Moorhead, Minnesota. Our hours are 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Monday through Friday and 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday. Visit us online at lakeagassizhabitat.org or call 218-284-5253 to arrange a pickup.