This is a different kind of house tour. This year my little organizing and design company made a big commitment to the Habitat for Humanity in our area. We worked all year long in so many different ways, and you can read how we partnered with Habitat for Humanity on their mission to provide safe, decent, affordable housing. It doesn’t always work out that we get to cap off a big project like this with a neat bow. The end of our year’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity MontDelco also starts a whole new chapter in this family’s life. In December my girls and I attended the home dedication in Bridgeport for Terria and her family. That’s right, this beautiful lady learned in April that she was eligible to work for a Habitat home, and she rocked it. I kept seeing her all year because she had to put in her 200 hours before she would be allowed to move in. She actually racked up 250 “sweat equity” hours! This on top of taking care of three special needs kids and getting ready to go back to college this January. Our company efforts were nothing compared to the work that she put in for this big day when she finally got her keys. She had a houseful last weekend! It’s kind of hard to see the beautiful new kitchen and dining room with the crowd that showed up. I think I’m standing in what will be the family room. Her house is lovely. A brand new 3 bedroom townhome with a garage and storage room. All 4 units in this row are brand new Habitat construction.They are going to be sooooo thankful this winter for the garage and the offstreet parking. All the homeowners have banded together to share a snowblower, to help each other out. Smart! Right. Pretty pictures of the storage room. This is only half of it. She’s going to have no trouble storing Christmas decorations! Right, only a professional organizer would be excited to show you the huge storage room. HUGE. I’m such a dork for storage spaces. She was gracious enough to let us all tour her brand new home. Can you imagine having this many people walk on your brand new floors, touching your brand new doors and paint? LOL. My girls picked out the room they’d choose if this were their home. The one with the walk-in closet, of course. #Jealous This particular Habitat affiliate does some really nice things with their home designs. They think about how to maximize each home for the family who will live there. Instead of closing off this stairwell, they kept it open and created a little nook right next to the washer/dryer closet. I’m eyeing that up as the perfect spot for a laundry hamper. They also created a super-functional bathroom. It has a shower/tub, toilet and single sink on one side of the door, and another single sink on the other side. I’m not one for double sinks, but this setup makes perfect sense with three youngsters in the house. The speech that Terria gave during her dedication ceremony was really more like a testimony to her journey over years of hardship and the power of friends. If you get involved in Habitat, you’d better be prepared for lots of hugs. Marianne, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Montgomery County and Delaware County, is definitely a hugger. I like her. 😀 Terria must feel like a queen in her new home. She even had some royalty show up to grace her day. Another Habitat homeowner’s daughter is the Miss Montgomery County Jr High America, and she attended the dedication in her finery. If you’ve read this far, you are into the whole “safe and affordable housing for all” thing like I am. I love that Habitat provides “a hand up, not a hand out.” Habitat does NOT give homes away. Homeowners have to be able to pay the mortgage that Habitat offers them. They take classes on finances and home maintenance, to be able to care for their assets. And they become part of a community that believes in them. They get all the tools they need to be successful as homeowners. What kind of a world would it be if, whenever we moved to a new place, our neighbors all showed up with brooms, paintbrushes and hammers and said, “Welcome. What do you need?” It would be the kind of world where we celebrate each other and our accomplishments. It would be the kind of world where we didn’t wait for someone to do something about our neighborhoods, but we all made them better.
In fact, Habitat doesn’t just build houses, but they take that “help your neighbor” idea one step further with their Critical Home Repairs program, which helps even more people throughout the year. People who already own homes but need an intervention to keep their home safe and functional and can pay a portion of these critical repairs benefit, and in fact, the whole neighborhood benefits.
HeartWork Organizing didn’t quite make our $15,000 goal for Habitat for Humanity Montco/Delco, but the year isn’t over yet. If you are still sorting out your end of year giving and want to make an impact right here in our community, please consider an online gift to Habitat for Humanity. Just make your donation and put “HeartWork Organizing” in the notes or on the memo line of your check. (Mail checks to Habitat for Humanity, 533 Foundry Road, West Norritown, PA 19403.) THANK YOU THANK YOU, THANK YOU to those of you who told me you’ve made a donation.
Thanks to my loyal local readers. But if you are one of my nationwide or even worldwide readers, there is a Habitat affiliate near you doing the same kind of great work that we see here in southeastern PA. They’d love to have you get involved or make a donation. If you choose to donate as noted above, a big old holiday THANK YOU for helping us reach our Doors and Floors goal for 2017.