Monday, November 30, 2009

Adopt a Habitat for Humanity Family for the Holidays!

We invite you to help make the holiday season special for families who need it most, our Habitat for Humanity partner families!

Each year, Habitat for Humanity partners with low-income families to build safe and decent houses they can call their home. However, many continue to struggle to provide basic necessities for their families, like food and clothing, and often dread the holiday season.

Volunteers plan on hand delivering a beautifully wrapped basket filled with gift cards and treats (an average of $250 per family.) Your participation is as simple as providing a monetary donation or a gift card for a family in need.

Deadline to submit donations: December 10th!!

For more information on how to help by Adopting a Family visit our website.

Save the Date!
Wrapping Party - December 15th, 12-6pm

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Progress Update from our "Green" Lynwood 10-Home Neighborhood

We had a very public kick off at our Lynwood site this year thanks to all our friends at Disney Parks & all the volunteers who celebrated their big Give a Day, Get a Day announcement for 2010! So if you happen to see the foundation we started with on Sept 29th (especially if you were there) this video update shows how quickly things are moving.

Special thanks to our amazing volunteers & Mother Nature for her kindness too! Oh and ladies, if you built with us during the 2009 Power Women, Power Tools event...those are your walls on those second stories!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 4 in Chiang Mai at the 2009 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Southeast Asia

Jo-An Turman is in Thailand for the 26th Annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. She is our Senior Director of Marketing and Communications. As you will read below, so much is happening every day! Continue to check back for more updates from our Habitat for Humanity of Greater L.A. staff building at different locations throughout Southeast Asia.

Last night we were taken to a restaurant in Chiang Mai and treated to dinner and a traditional Thai show but the highlight of the evening was when we all got a chance to light balloon lanterns.  We released them into the clear Thai sky one after another, about 50 in all.  It was a spectacular moment. 

The weather today is absolutely perfect.  It has cooled down about 15 degrees and is comfortable. Our HFH GLA house is really coming along.  After our morning prayer from one of the Thai partner families in Thai we began our work.

Today we are placing the roof tiles and finishing all the grout work. Laura, Nikki, Isabel, Veronica, Vicky and Deanna are the best grouters in Thailand. Our fearless crew leader, HFH GLA board member Jay Stark, is making sure we don't fall behind, yet do quality work.  Our other board member, Ken Walker and his daughter Deanna, are such valuable members of our crew and Global Green's Matt Peterson and Laura's aunt Vicky never stop working.  Two other members of our build team include Lynn and Kem, friends of Jay, and some local Thai laborers and students.  Our translator is Oay and she is helping us more than she will ever realize by helping us communicate with our partner family and the Thai volunteers.  Our partner family is perfect, hardworking and so grateful.   

Our sponsored house is surrounded by the Cory Aquino memorial sponsored house from the Philippines and the India Builds house.  Across the street are other affiliate sponsored homes: HFH of Toronto and Canada, HFH China and several others.  There is a new and large community center in this housing community and beautiful paved streets. Later today we will paint the interior walls.  I am officially the concrete supervisor, mixer and grout bucket filler at our house, as well as attending any media events.  I love it!   

In the backyard (open field) are several white water buffalo roaming around.  Such an incredible site to see everyday.  The students from the universities are volunteering here as translators, bus and tour guides.  They are fantastic and so helpful. 

Tonight we have a Taste of Chiang Mai and our affiliate sponsor dinner.  Tomorrow is a big day, we have to finish off as much of the house as we can before the end of the blitz build week and take photos with our partner families with President and Mrs. Carter before packing up to return back to the states.

This has all been an incredible experience.  Our work truly changes lives. Can't wait for tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Update from Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project 2009 in Ke Sat Village (Near Hanoi, Vietnam)

Posted by Tami Phillips, VP Development:

I can’t even begin to describe the incredible poverty in Ke Sat Village, which is a few hours southeast of Hanoi, Vietnam.

I am with over 300 volunteers from around the world, including my husband who fought in South Vietnam 40 years ago, building decent affordable housing for 32 families with Habitat for Humanity. The home we are building is approximately 300 square feet and will house a family of eight. The house, while small, will be a world away from their life of living on a small fishing boat. The father of the house is 51 years old and living on a boat is the only life he has known. He will be living there with his wife and mother. His five grandchildren will also live with them as his children are grown and live quite a distance away in order to find work.

He is so very prideful of his new home and works side-by-side with the volunteers, meticulously spackeling the walls and helping us bring cement from the work yard. I can’t wait to meet the rest of his family on Friday when we give him the keys to his new home.

Even more remarkable are the children in this small fishing village. Despite the lack of shelter, electricity, sanitation and food – basic rights we all take for granted – they are so full of happiness and joy. Their love for people is so warm and genuine and they run up to you with incredible smiles and want to say hello and shake your hand. Imagine what the world would be like if all people shared the same love and compassion.

To learn more about the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, click here.

Update From House #25 At This Year's Jimmy Carter Work Project!

Jo-An Turman is in Thailand for the 26th Annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. She is our Senior Director of Marketing and Communications. As you will read below, so much is happening every day! Continue to check back for more updates from our Habitat for Humanity of Greater L.A. staff building at different locations throughout Southeast Asia.

Another beautiful day in Chiang Mai.  Up again at 5, breakfast with our fellow builders, on the bus at 6:30 and building on our HFH GLA sponsored house #25 by 7:15am. 

Our partner family is so terrific.  Very shy, humble couple.  Surathin Sritanachaiwong and his wife, Orawan. They make bags and other handicraft items for a living.  They have a 1-year-old son, Tanakrit.  They live in a small rented room, one of many in a row.  The rooms fill up with smoke and fumes daily.

Surathin said "I've wanted to give a house to my family so badly, I've looked at land, but it's all too expensive, I started thinking I would never be able to own a house so I want to deeply thank all the volunteers and everyone who is sacrificing for this project and our house."

They are there before us everyday and long after us.  They are building so hard on the house with us and never act as though they are tired.  

We are so blessed and fortunate to have this opportunity to be building with them and the thousands of other volunteers on this 26th Annual JRCWP.  It is because of families like the Sritanachaiwong's we do what we do.  We truly build hope, lives and communities.   

Today we are grouting the entire 40 meter brick house (about 350 sf) that is smaller than most garages in the US. We will have the roof on by this afternoon to begin to paint the interior walls tomorrow.   The entire 82 home community is so beautiful.  The backdrop is serene mountains and nearby rice paddy fields. 


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jo-An Turman With An Update From Thailand At This Year’s Carter Work Project!

Jo-An Turman is in Thailand for the 26th Annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. She is our Senior Director of Marketing and Communications. As you will read below, so much is happening every day! Continue to check back for more updates from our Habitat for Humanity of Greater L.A. staff building at different locations throughout Southeast Asia.

All is great here! We already have the entire home bricked in, door and window frames up and are finishing some grouting. Next we tackle the trusses. As you can probably imagine, we are working really hard. Today, Jet Li had a media conference announcing his partnership with Habitat China and his ONE organization. You can find out more about it here.

Erin (President/CEO of HFH GLA) left for Vietnam today to attend their VIP events, but she is leaving 100 degree Thailand for 50 degree Hanoi.  We are getting nightly $12 massages to help our sore muscles and achy feet, shopping and enjoying the lounge singers. One of the best parts about the trip is meeting so many new people from all over the world and trying to make so many new partnerships.

Today is a tad bit cooler, but it is still pretty hot. Yet still absolutely beautiful! Board members Matt, Ken and Jay are having a ball, as well as, our terrific team and guests. 


Monday, November 16, 2009

Hello From Thailand!

Jo-An Turman has arrived and begun building in Thailand for the 26th Annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. She is our Senior Director of Marketing and Communications. As you will read below, she has already been quite moved by the experience and it has only been one day! Continue to check back for more updates from our Habitat for Humanity of Greater L.A. staff building at different locations throughout Southeast Asia.

It is so great here and beautiful, just incredibly hot and humid. There are about 2,000 volunteers here in Chiang Mai. We are building 82 homes here in celebration of the Thai King, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 82nd birthday on Dec. 5th. 8.2 million people live in substandard housing in Thailand.

Today we met our partner family and are building on our house #25. It is so great. We are filthy but loving it. Today we laid bricks and mortar, framed doors and windows and it is only 12 PM!

Our board members Jay, Matt Peterson, Ken Walker and his daughter Deanna are doing so great as well as Nikki (Donations Coordinator), Laura (Director of Development), Isabel (Corporate Project Manager), Erin (President/CEO), Veronica (VP of Advocacy & Community Partnerships) and Laura's aunt Vicky.

The Carters are here and are workaholics as usual. The partner families here in Thailand will pay about $750 US for their new houses. The homes are about 40 sq. meters. We are so blessed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

From Hanoi with Love - Part I

Mark and Laurie Van Lue are traveling to Hanoi, Viet Nam from November 12th, 2009 to November 22, 2009 to participate in the Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter Work Project, helping to build over 100 homes with Habitat for Humanity International. Mark is Vice President of Construction and Real Estate and Laurie is cashier at the Home Improvement Store for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles. Mark will be reporting regularly from Hanoi on their experience.

In a few days my wife Laurie and I will board an airplane, heading for Hanoi in northern Viet Nam. As part of the Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter Work Project 2009, we will help build over 100 homes along the Mekong River. We feel adventurous as we pack, but then realize we know almost every step and nuance of this trip. We have tickets for the flight, and know exactly when we will leave, what seats we will occupy, the entertainment options for our flight, and what we will eat. We bemoan the long flight, the cramped quarters in coach, the hassles of security. We know each hotel where we’ll rest at night, and they know we are coming. We have viewed pictures of the lobby, the pool, and the rooms on their website, and know what their restaurants serve and how late they are open. We know about the Vietnamese culture, have learned basic elements of the language, and have studied maps of the cities we will roam. Compared to those who ventured forth 100 or more years ago, not all that adventurous, I guess.

But there are some things we will not know until spending a week in Viet Nam, laboring alongside hundreds of other volunteers and the families who will purchase the homes we build. How will our muscles feel after laying brick all day? What will it sound like on the site with everyone building and talking? Who will become a lifelong friend during the week? What stories will “our” family tell about their life as we work together? What will we say or do that will impact someone else? What will change us forever, and in what way?

In this age of information we face a real danger. We begin to think we can know a people or a place by reading about them on the internet or in a book. Can you know the smell or taste of a dish by reading its recipe? No, we must prepare the meal, and in the process impart a bit of ourselves on the final product making it uniquely ours. No one else will have our exact experience, and we have learned to expect and embrace that which often feels uncomfortable but, in the fullness of time, becomes a blessing. We expect to return different somehow than when we left, and that is as it should be. Author Mark Jenkins said, “Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.”

Habitat Profile on CSUN Radio KCSN News

Listen to KCSN News piece about Habitat for Humanity of Greater L.A.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Building Update On 'The House That General Hospital Fans Built'

We're well on our way to building 'The House That General Hospital Fans Built'! Be sure and check our blog for important weekly updates you don't want to miss.

Here's what's new this week:

- We have welcomed Leslie Charleson ("Monica Quartermaine") and John Ingle ("Edward Quartermaine") to join us in building a home for a deserving family just in time for the Holidays!

- A new video, which you can watch here, has made its debut and features many of your favorite General Hospital Actors.

- Are you bidding for a chance to build with 15 General Hospital Stars on December 12th in Los Angeles? If not, what are you waiting for? Get a group of your friends together to place a bid. The winner can bring 3 guests, so all 4 of you will get to participate! The auctions have been updated click here for more details.

More updates and video will be here soon, so visit the site often... and we hope you will donate (any amount you can) each time you visit! Thank you for supporting 'The House That General Hospital Fans Built'.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What Is "The House That General Hospital Fans Built"?!

Twelve cast members of GH pictured above have partnered with Hollywood for Habitat for Humanity to fund and build a home for a deserving family in need on 12/12 in Los Angeles and they are inviting YOU to join them!

Click on the photos or visit the official website to see their incredible “Home for the Holidays” campaign and please get involved! We need your help!

Ever wanted to spend a day with your favorite GH star? Now you can! On December 12, Lexi Ainsworth ("Kristina Davis"), Bradford Anderson ("Damien Spinelli"), Brandon Barash ("Johnny Zacarra"), Julie Berman ("LuLuSpencer"), Jane Elliot ("Tracy Quartermaine"), Nancy Lee Grahn ("Alexis Davis"), Lisa LoCicero ("Olivia Falconeri"), Ronnie Marmo ("Ronnie Dimestico"), Nathan Parsons ("Ethan Lovett"), Kirsten Storms ("Maxie Jones"), Jason Thompson ("Patrick Drake"), and Dominic Zamprogna ("Dante Falconeri") will join Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles and future HFH homeowners for an invitation-only, private build event! Details on how to “Win a Chance to Build” can be found here.

This is the interactive, online “The House That General Hospital Fans Built!” campaign. How did it all begin? About two years ago, Brandon Barash (“Johnny Zacchara”) attended the Building a Greater Los Angeles gala in LA and met several Habitat GLA families...he quickly offered to do anything he could to support Habitat and we quickly took him up on his offer by auctioning off a lunch with him to raise funds to help our families...The day of the lunch was one of the first days that Brandon was shooting scenes with Lisa LoCicero (“Olivia Falconeri”) and Brandon brought Lisa to the lunch to surprise the winner..(little did she know it was the beginning of “Jolivia,” soon to become one of the most popular super-couples in the daytime drama world...and one of the most generous!)

A few months later, Lisa came out to build with us during our annual Power Women, Power Tools event and had the chance to meet several HFH GLA families...she was greatly moved by what she heard and she and Brandon worked together and rallied their cast members to join them in support of the families that had impacted them so deeply....many came in on a rare “day off” in order to attend the initial meeting about the program...It was clear that this was a group of people with their hearts in the right place, who wanted their fans to be at the core of any program they created... it should also be noted that ALL actors that came to the initial meeting immediately signed on, and then they brought in even more of their cast members and friends to participate!

So this is “The House That General Hospital Fans Built,” the actors asked that we give their fans several ways to join them as they build a home with Habitat...and we are! On December 12, over 50 lucky fans will join their favorite cast members as they pick up hammers and put on hardhats and help us build a home for the holidays! Additional ways to win a chance to build will be announced soon, and new up close and personal videos recorded for the program by this extraordinary group of actors will be posted at the website each week. Make sure to visit the site often to see what they each have to say about what “home” means to them.

EVERYONE who participates in any way will be a part of this home (visit the website to see how you can leave a message for the future homeowners!) And did we mention that 100% of the proceeds through donations and the “Win a Chance To Build Auctions” go directly to fund THE HOUSE THE GENERAL HOSPITAL FANS BUILT?

Of course we’ll let you know everything we hear...follow @HabitatAli on twitter for more info on this incredible program!

To all involved...we thank you! Join us, as together we build a home for the holidays!

PS: Please feel free to post the program graphic and link on any of your websites and/or forward this email to anyone you think may be interested in participating!

Check out more post like this one:

General Hospital's Resident "Bad Boy" Does Good for Habitat GLA

Have You Registered for our 2nd Annual "The House that General Hospital Fans Built" event?!

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Rockin' Good Time At The Rock-N-Platinum Party!

The Rock-N-Platinum party on the 29th to celebrate Lofts @ Cherokee Studios, green building and music history definitely lived up to its name - it rocked! Especially with the help of Aussie singer/songwriter Ben Lee. Ben played an amazing set for all the greenies and design buffs in attendance and was more than happy to record a message for our blog!

The Lofts @ Cherokee Studios, which now sit on the site of the iconic recording studios and are aiming for LEED Platinum certification, pay homage to some of the artists that recorded at Cherokee Studios over the years. The great, sustainable interior design was done by Dennis Design Group, Rogerio Carvalheiro, Jennifer Siegal and Sandra Sharma.

After touring the Alice Cooper Lair, complete with a giant leather snake on one of the walls and all of the skulls and handcuffs you could imagine, we got to talk to the designers behind the tastefully, ghoulish space. It turns out that Dennis Design Group and, according to them, Alice Cooper are big fans of Habitat for Humanity's work!

The interiors of the lofts are impeccably done and would provide anyone with an endless amount of design inspiration. The building itself is also something to see - the elevators use less energy than a hair dryer! Luckily, if you missed the party you can take a tour now through November 15th. They run every Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-5pm and you can buy your tickets here. Plus, the proceeds are generously being donated to us and will help us build more green homes for deserving families in Los Angeles.