Monday, October 26, 2009

EIF's iParticipate Week Had AEG, Sony & Paradigm Volunteers Building Green & Sharing The Good!

This past Friday was a wonderful day of building and sharing. We had some very dedicated and hardworking volunteers from AEG, Sony and Paradigm join us at our Lynwood build site as part of the Entertainment Industry Foundation's (EIF) iParticipate week, which launched their iParticipate Campaign to shine a spotlight on the importance of community service.

Because iParticipate week was about creating a buzz around the importance of volunteering we asked everyone to "share the good" throughout their build day in our inaugural and very official Tweet Zone. Throughout the day we shared experiences, pictures and video on our social networking pages.

In addition to helping us share the good, volunteers took on tough construction projects without blinking an eye. You wouldn't know it from this video, but before volunteering with us these ladies had never used a jackhammer!

There was also a great group of volunteers from Sony who spent all day packing and leveling soil with shovels and a large soil tamper and never lost their fantastic sense of humor! They took a much needed break from all that "dirty work" to record a special video for us.

All of the volunteers were excited to be building homes for deserving families and were through the roof that all the homes are going to be green homes. Joel, an agent from Paradigm, talked to us about what green usually means in his business and what green meant to him on Friday.

Not only did AEG have volunteers building on Friday and Saturday, they also donated TVs from Staples Center for the Lynwood homes. In this video from Friday Jennifer Lynch of AEG talks about what Habitat for Humanity GLA means to AEG and how AEG supports us throughout the year.

If you would like to see all the pictures, video and good that was shared that day (including a delicious lunch catered by Homegirl Industries) visit our Twitter, Facebook and Youtube pages!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dancing & Building with the Stars

If you are a fan of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" then no doubt you just saw Mya and her partner Dmitry building homes for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles. In fact, they built with us last week at our new Green neighborhood in Lynwood. This build site will be active for then next year and if you come build with us, we'll show you where they built and where they signed their messages for the family who will live there. Thanks to Mya and Dmitry for helping us Build a Greater LA and best of luck in the competition (although you're both winners to us.)

Dodgers vs Phillies Series is a Win-Win No Matter the Outcome

From the Huffington Post:

As the National League Championship Series heats up, friendly rivalries between cities are inevitable. The latest wager comes, however, not between rivals at a bar, but between mayors on Facebook. In reference to the Dodgers-Phillies series, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa posted on Facebook an e-mail he'd sent to Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter. The e-mail read as follows:

Mayor Nutter--How about a wager on the series between our ball clubs?The terms:I know we both see service as an honor. As such...If the Dodgers win, I will volunteer for a day of service with Habitat for Humanity. If the Phillies win, you volunteer for a day with Habitat for Humanity. Oh, and if we win, since we'll be working hard for Habitat for Humanity, we'd love it if you sent us some cheesesteaks, be they Pat's, Geno's or your personal favorite.And if you win, we'll send you some of LA's finest Pink's chili dogs to enjoy during your day of service.

Thanks, Antonio Villaraigosa

Villaraigosa has also been promoting the contest on his Twitter feed, though he seems almost as excited about the food as he does about the possibility of volunteering with Habitat For Humanity.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's Only Rock N Roll But I Like It!

A big thank you to Linkin Park and their Music For Relief Foundation for topping themselves by designing a new program aimed at uniting their fans, the music industry & other artists to build a Green home with us for a local family in need! (Read the release here.)

Visit to get involved.

In this economy, we need all the help we can get to help the hard working families we serve. Thank you.

(pictured: Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Youth United Celebrates World Habitat Day at School

Guest Blogger & President of Youth United: Kat Sim

At Webb School, we created a letter writing event. Over 75 students signed a letter to Congressman Dreier in support of Habitat's Neighborhood Revitalization initiative. (Congressman Dreier's District spans the foothill communities at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains just north and east of Los Angeles.)

Habitat for Humanity International sent a very useful box of goodies to assist us with our campaign. We held a raffle from those who signed the petition and two entrants won Youth United T-shirts.

It was a successful way to spread the word about Habitat for Humanity & drum up support from students who care about affordable housing and the struggles of families all over the world.

For more information about Youth United, please visit our website or email us.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Vote For Tom Gipson in the Ultimate Volunteer Contest on ABC's The View

Tom Gipson, the Raleigh, NC home builder who is the leader behind Habitat for Humanity's national Home Builders Blitz effort has been nominated for The Ultimate Volunteer contest from ABC-TV's The View.

10 volunteers have been nominated, Tom among them, and the voting for the winner begins today, October 6 through midnight Sunday, October 11. All you have to do is choose Tom Gipson, enter your email and hit Vote! You can vote once a day with all your email addresses.


Thanks to Tom's efforts over 800 homes have been built by professional builders for Habitat for Humanity throughout the U.S. Tom has agreed to donate his prize winnings from this contest to Habitat to continue the work of Habitat for Humanity.

Please feel free to share this message with your network.

Building Hopes, Dreams & Friendships with Habitat for Humanity

Guest Blogger & Habitat Volunteer: Kira Tashjian

It's a busy world. Everywhere you look is need. Unemployment is high. Spirits are low. Time is of the essence, but there is no time. Life can be, for many of us, a constant race to do what we have to do, need to do, and want to do.

Nobody knows this better than me. I'm a writer, an entertainment editor, a photographer, and I work in film. I also run a bird store and sanctuary. And in between breaths, I try to have a social life, go grocery shopping, hike, skateboard, meditate, put out lots of crazy fires, clean my house, and occasionally, sleep.

Everything in my life, welcomed or not, has meaning for me. BUT, if I didn't take the time out to help someone in need, my plate would only be full, not fulfilling. I won't lie, I believe in altruism. That may sound corny, but I do. I believe I am my brother's keeper. I believe that the world would be heading for a train wreck, if somebody didn't jump on those tracks and try to slow that bad boy down. I believe that no one has a good enough excuse not to step away from their own personal messes and suffering, and give someone else a leg up to their bliss; even if their bliss is just meeting their basic survival needs.

Bottom line is, I simply cannot be happy without contributing what I can to the happiness of others. Habitat For Humanity has given me the platform to lighten my heart, and lighten someone else's load.

Taking an active role in your community is the simplest way to accomplish this joy for yourself, and the beauty of volunteering with Habitat For Humanity, is that nearly ANY community, locally or globally, can benefit from what this international charity provides. It's never been enough for me to donate a couple of bucks for a good cause. I'm a front-lines kind of gal, I WANT to get dirty, I NEED to feel the burn, and the solidarity that comes from working with people whose self-less commitment goes far beyond token. The staff and volunteers at Habitat For Humanity are a unique and diligent breed.

Bottom line is... there's truly no better way to flex your humanitarian muscles than at a Habitat build. I love getting out and meeting new people, learning a trade, hammering, sawing, and laughing up a storm. There is something so liberating about making a commitment to giving of yourself, mind, body and soul to someone who will benefit from your hard work. And you may never meet the family whose home you've helped build, but for me, it is the very definition of charity: to give of your own volition, without expectation, knowing that you've provided one of the most important things in anyone's life; a safe, sacred space to live out their lives with the ones they love the most.

My first Habitat build was in June 2008 with actor Jared Leto's band 30 Seconds To Mars, and most recently in the 5th annual Power Women Power Tools event. I'm super proud to see members of the entertainment community giving back in such an inspiring and hard-working way! And I also love that Habitat provides opportunities for the fans to work alongside their favorite celebrities as well!. The Habitat family recognizes everyone as a star; staff, volunteers, and celebrity builders alike! I look forward to building many more homes for deserving families, and building many more friendships along the way!

Best Regards,
Kira Tashjian

To read more like this check out these postings:

Celebrating our Worldwide Volunteers

Guest Blogger & Habitat World Volunteer: Julie Spezia

I connected with Habitat for Habitat in Northern Ireland with my first international build in 2000. The peace process was still very fragile and Habitat's role in rebuilding cross-community ties and restoring people to homes in a conflict where whole neighborhoods were destroyed was very inspiring. So much so that I went back again and again. The bonds were further strengthened by the friendships made and the most fun I'll ever have working hard.

Most recently I led a youth build (photo) and was able to share the experience with my two children and my brother. Every time I go I make memories and recommit to the vision of everyone in the world having a safe, decent place to live. (I can't wait to go back Peter!)

Thank you, Julie! If you have a story to share please let us know.

Monday, October 5, 2009

World Habitat Day

Today is World Habitat Day! We invite you to join us in honoring all those who donate their time and resources to make decent, affordable housing a priority for hard working families all over the world. We will be featuring your experiences on our blog all week long so please send us your story about building with Habitat.

Read the press release here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Muppets Give Back at Habitat Site in Lynwood

Thank you Suzanne Marquez and Fox11 for your great support, we love this video!

Our Foreclosure Rehab Program Featured on KCBS/KCAL

Thank you to KCBS/KCAL's Stacey Butler for helping spread the word about our foreclosure rehab program. If you are interested in applying for homeownership, its a great time. We plan to rehab another 100 homes in L.A. and you could be our next homeowner partner family.

Visit KCBS/KCAL to view the coverage.