Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another Local Family Celebrates Homeownership - We Break Ground this Saturday!

This Saturday, we will be celebrating homeownership with the Gaxiola family at the site of their new home in Los Angeles. Thanks to all our volunteers and Thrivent Builds for funding another home in Los Angeles!

Congratulations Gaxiolas!

Read the Media Alert

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fathers, Daughters & Puppies, Oh My!

In April the girls from Archer school organized a great fundraising event during our Youth United's Act, Speak, Build Week. They held their first Woof n' Wash in April and they hope to make this an Annual event! Over twenty young ladies, their fathers, siblings and a few moms helped organize the event, then volunteered to bathe dogs, and sell Habitat for Humanity items and refreshing beverages and snacks.

The group held a Silent auction where a Puggle was auctioned with proceeds going towards Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles. The event was held in Barrington Dog Park in Brentwood on April 12th, and volunteers spread the word about Habitat for Humanity. They also got to spend time with friendly dogs and their owners and enjoyed a bright sunny day! The fundraiser was a huge success and the group raised well over $3,000 dollars!

Just another creative example of how people are helping us Build a Greater Los Angeles!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Gayle Anderson from KTLA makes A Brush With Kindness Her Newsroom!

Last week, Habitat for Humanity Greater Los Angeles had the pleasure of spending A Brush With Kindness Day with Gayle Anderson. Many Angelinos know Gayle for her quirky and fun segments that air every morning on KTLA. Our day was just as much fun as a viewer would imagine! Gayle helped paint a fence, spoke with Partner families and really urged viewers to sign up to volunteer! She spoke with CEO Erin Rank and mentioned how therapeutic volunteering can be for your soul! If you would like to read about the segment go here, at the bottom of the article you can even view the segments that were on air! Thanks to the Lair family (the homeowners) for hosting us all before the sun even came up!

To learn more about A Brush with Kindness check out these blog posts:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Brush With Kindness will be Featured on KTLA Morning News Tomorrow - Check us out!

Several of our staff (including our awesome president/CEO, Erin Rank and AmeriCorps members) will join volunteers on the KTLA Morning News tomorrow, April 16th (that's Channel 5.) Gayle Anderson will be doing a live remote at one of our ABWK homes during the entire broadcast - starting at 6:25 am (yikes, that's early!)

Tune In:
KTLA Channel 5
Morning News - 6:00 am to 9:00 am
Wednesday, April 16th

And if it looks like we're having fun out there, we are, so join us by visiting our website!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Habitat for Humanity on American Idol!


Members Join First Lady of California Maria Shriver to Honor the Spirit of Volunteerism

Los Angeles CA – April 10, 2008: Several AmeriCorps members serving with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles took part in Fox’s “Idol Gives Back” special, which aired Wednesday evening. Wearing bright yellow Habitat t-shirts, they were invited on stage, with other charitable organizations represented, to provide the backdrop for a speech by First Lady of California, Maria Shriver. She spoke about the spirit of volunteerism and the important role it plays in bettering communities. Hollywood for Habitat for Humanity, the organization’s entertainment division, worked with “Idol” producers to include the AmeriCorps members who each dedicate one year of service to the organization’s mission in exchange for an educational stipend at the end of their service.

Read the entire release here.

Read about what it was like to be on stage here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

How I Got Onstage with Maria Shriver at Fox's "Idol Gives Back"

My name is Kate Wright and I am an AmeriCorps member currently serving with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles. In the past several months I've met the most amazing people, helped families change their lives and built alongside a former president and great humanitarian, Jimmy Carter.

Most days you'll find me working on a Habitat build site helping our volunteers discover power tools and a new found love for helping others. But this week, wow! I still cannot believe how I ended up on the stage at the Kodak Theater (like, where they hold the Academy Awards) with Maria Shriver!!! That's me in the yellow.

I really had the time of my life at the "Idol gives back" event! We (myself(Kate), Bethy, Jacky, David, Imani, and Alison) arrived at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood around 12:30 on Sunday, wearing our bright yellow HFHGLA shirts. At this point, we hadn't really been told what we were going to be doing, so we didn't know what to expect. After waiting a while in a lobby with a hundred other volunteers from different nonprofits, (and after accidentally eating some cookies that were really meant for the "Idol choir"), we were told that all one hundred of us would be on stage with Maria Shriver while she spoke about the importance of volunteering.

We were then all lined up backstage for the rehearsal so we could practice walking onstage and know where we were supposed to stand for the final taping. Once we were all onstage, Nigel Lythgoe rearranged us so we were spread out all over the stage. Imani, Alison, Jacky and I were all standing together when Nigel yells out "We need two yellow shirts over here please!" Jacky and I hear Alison saying under her breath "GO! GO! GO! GO! GO!" So, we move to where Nigel had wanted the "yellow shirts." As it turns out, where he wanted us was just about center stage, right near where Maria Shriver stands to deliver her speech! The producers ran through what Mrs. Shriver would say, and what we were supposed to do and how we were supposed to exit the stage.

After our rehearsal, the all of the volunteers were invited to watch the rest of the rehearsal, but we were told that we may not be able to stay during the actual taping. Because we had four hours until the actual taping, and because no one wanted to pass up a free concert (we did not know that we would later be invited to stay for the real show), we stayed and watched the different stars rehearse. We saw John Legend perform, Fergie sing "Barracuda" with Heart, Miley Cyrus sing and dance twice, Carrie Underwood sing a George Michael song, Gloria Estefan preform "Get on Your Feet," and the Idol contestants sing the finale of "Shout to the Lord."

When it was time for the final taping, we were all lined up backstage waiting for the show to start. Backstage, the Idol contestants were also waiting for their time to go on. I just about died when Carly Smithson put her hand on my shoulder and asked me to hand her a bottle of water! A few minutes later, Simon Cowell stepped on my foot as he walked on stage, but that was way less fun.

It was amazing to be able to stand onstage with Maria Shriver and one hundred other volunteers while she spoke about the importance of giving back. It was a once in a life time experience to look out at the audience and recognize celebrities in the crowd who were looking up at us, there to support the charities and support us as volunteers. I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of such an amazing event and support such a worthwhile cause.

Local homeowners get much needed repairs, thanks to ABWK

A Brush with Kindness has recently helped many families repair their homes. Many families can't afford to make repairs, or are simply physically unable to make such repairs. For more information about how you can become involved with A Brush with Kindness, or even get help repairing your home, read the following information.


Habitat for Humanity Kicks off Second Year of Providing Free Home Repairs - Volunteers & Applicants Needed!

Los Angeles, CA – April 9, 2008: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles ( is launching its second year of its “A Brush with Kindness” program and is currently seeking qualified homeowner applicants and volunteers. Repairs are limited to home exterior painting, landscaping, some window and door repairs and all work is typically completed in one to two days. Habitat for Humanity launched the program last year, providing much-needed repairs to 70 homes throughout Greater L.A. The program is run completely by donations and volunteers who assist homeowners who are unable to maintain their homes due to age, illness or income restraints. Individual and group volunteer opportunities are available Tuesday through Saturday.

“Our “A Brush with Kindness” program allows us to help more families than ever before, many of whom are struggling to keep their homes safe or simply to stay in their homes,” says Erin Rank, president/CEO Habitat for Humanity GLA. “As our volunteer base grows, so will our ability to help more families. This program is a critical step in achieving our mission to eliminate poverty.”

Habitat for Humanity has built over 230 homes in Greater Los Angeles and last year they announced a three-year “Building a Greater Los Angeles” campaign with a goal to build and renovate 250 more homes. The “A Brush with Kindness” program increases the organization’s ability to help more local families, while strengthening communities and uniting neighborhoods. Additionally, young people who would not otherwise be allowed on a construction site are able to participate in the ABWK program.

Volunteers focus on exterior repair services and all work is performed by 10 -20 volunteers alongside able-bodied homeowners such as Donna Russell of Los Angeles. “There were at least twenty things wrong with my house from the plumbing on up,” says Russell. “I had no back door and broken windows, they replaced them all. I have an old furnace that hasn’t worked in at least 15 years, and they got that working! The time that the volunteers put in is really heartwarming, I wish I was retired so I could do this more often!”

Applicants must own their home and demonstrate the need for assistance due to age, illness or low-income status. Able bodied homeowners or family members must also assist with the repairs. Homeowners may submit their own application or be nominated by a family, friend or neighbor. Volunteers are needed now to help A Brush with Kindness families weekly from Tuesday to Saturday. Individuals and groups are encouraged to volunteer by contacting the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles offices at 310-323-4663 or by e-mailing Homeowners may apply online at or by calling the main number 310-323-4663.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Linkin Park builds with Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity held an Build event in New Orleans last month and the musicians of Linkin Park were there to lend a hand! The best part is that Rolling Stone Magazine was there and gave due notice to the band for helping others! Below is the clipping from the Random Lengths section of Rolling Stone Magazine, where Chester Bennington (lead singer) shows of his building skills.