Monday, June 16, 2008

Sharing in a Celebration of Giving, Hope & Homeownership

As president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater L.A., I have the privilege of meeting some amazing people. My staff for example. They are extremely hard-working and they truly care about serving this community. Their selfless dedication warms my heart on a daily basis. Our supporters – donors, volunteers, city officials – are always going above and beyond to help change the lives of people, some of whom they have never met. Our AmeriCorps members who sign on to work with us each year are so young and full of hope. Their presence gives me faith that our future is in good hands.

I derive my daily motivation from one thing above all - our partner families. These men and women have worked so hard to provide a safe place for their families to live. If you have ever considered donating time or funding to Habitat, I guarantee not only will your gift be transformational for these families, but working along side them will forever change your heart and your perspective. They are the reason we rally through the challenges of building affordable homes in the least affordable county in America.

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of celebrating the completion of 14 townhomes in S. Los Angeles. I got to see the smiles on the faces of 14 families who recently moved into their own home, which they helped build. It’s a Habitat tradition to celebrate a new home with the family and when we are able to create an entire neighborhood, like Vermont Village, we throw a block party!

Vermont Village has 14 townhomes comprised of 3 and 4 bedroom units and they all surround a one-of-a-kind playground designed by the children who live there. Resources for the tot lot were generously donated by KaBoom! and The Home Depot Foundation.

Thousands of volunteers came to L.A. last fall to join President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter for a week-long blitz build at this location (and another in San Pedro.) Now the structures are completed and better yet, the homes are now inhabited by the special families who worked so hard for them. We don’t give homes away - these families are homeowners with a real, yet affordable mortgage. They have also put in at least 500 hours of build time, which we call “sweat equity,” as their down payment.

This coming Saturday is going to be another memorable day for all of Los Angeles as we welcome another 16 of the city’s newest homeowners into their new homes in San Pedro!

If you or someone you know would like to experience the magic of Habitat for Humanity, please contact us and start building hope and changing lives today.

Posted by Erin Rank, president/CEO, Habitat for Humanity GLA

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