The Habitat Dollar

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By Tina Barber, Development and Communications Director

Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, PA has been working for 25 years to make the dreams of homeownership a reality for low income families in Norristown, Pottstown, Upper Dublin, and Hatfield. We have built 59 homes and impacted over hundreds of Montgomery County residents. Each and every gift that is made to Habitat changes families. Your shared dollars transforms lives by building hope, uniting communities, and inspiring impact. To get a better understanding of just how far your gift to Habitat Montco goes, we wanted to give you a glimpse into what a typical Habitat Day looks like!

7:00 am: A dedicated construction volunteer arrives at Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, PA to load up a truck with hammers, nails, lumber, tools and coffee — his job every build day is to make sure that each of our construction sites have the tools and materials needed to work. By 7:30 am he’s out the door, making a stop at each site some days in Norristown, Pottsgrove, Ambler or even Elkins Park.

8:30 am: The Habitat office opens, the Director of Family services begins to sift through her voicemail messages. Today there are 15 new inquiries about our Critical Home Repair Program, families in need, hoping that we will be able to repair their roof, a single mom who needs a wheel chair ramp, an elderly couple living on Social Security in need of new plumbing so that they’ll have heat this winter.

8:45 am: The Habitat ReStore team prepares to open the doors to the store; orienting teams of volunteers to what is expected to be a busy sales day. Prices tags are checked, sales flyers are distributed, register tape is refilled and donations assistants are prepped.

10:00 am: ReStore Montco is busy! Customers are hunting for unique treasures in the furniture room, DIYers are planning restoration projects, and local folks are selecting paints, stains, flooring and tile--looking to keep up with their home maintenance

11:30 am: Habitat Montco’s Neighborhood Revitalization Committee meets to discuss home repair applications and review notes from several recent home visits. Together, the NR Committee and Habitat Construction Team sift through Critical Repair applications, visit homes to check out the work requested, meet the families and assess the viability of the projects.

12:00 pm: It’s time for lunch. Habitat Montco’s Volunteer Manager meets hardworking volunteers on Cherry Street in Norristown, delivering lunch generously donated from a local pizzeria. Our Executive Director meets with a local Pastor and his mission board to discuss raising funds for the construction of a new house in Hatfield that the church will sponsor.

1:45 pm: Your invitation to our newest home dedication goes out! Home dedications are the highlight of our year at Habitat. They are the day we make settlement on a homeowner’s new house and turn over the keys. We throw a little party, invite the volunteers and partners who helped build the home and spend time sharing the joyful moment together.

3:30 pm:  Construction winds down and volunteers begin cleaning up for the day. They have worked hard and they have built something that will last. They are tired and sore, but they also know that they are part of something bigger than themselves. Back at the office, the ED and Construction Director meet to look at a home that is in desperate need of rehabilitation. It won't be cheap, but preserving it will help stabilize the neighborhood.  

4:45 pm: Habitat Montco offices close, the ReStore will close for the night at 5:00pm, but the work doesn’t stop there. Staff and volunteers spend evenings at Rotary Club meetings, Youth Group nights, Girl Scout meetings, and Municipal hearings sharing the Habitat story throughout Montgomery County.

5:30 pm:  The ED and Family Services Director are off to do a homeownership interest meeting at the library in Norristown. Based on the number of calls we've been getting from families who are struggling to find affordable housing, they are expecting a big crowd, so they want to be there early to greet families and answer questions

At Habitat Montco, We Build. We build house, we build families, we build communities and we build hope. You build too, with each dollar you share, every hour of time you donate to us helps build Montgomery County.