Friday, March 16, 2018

It's Kahuna Time!

11 Community Leaders Entered Watauga Habitat for Humanity's Big Kahuna Campaign

Big Kahuna Campaign Kickoff
On March 7th, we kicked off our annual Kahuna Campaign. Eleven community leaders are competing to raise the most money to support our vision to create a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Our Kahunas know that starts right here in our community!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Watauga County ReStore Shopping Experience

To shop at Watauga Habitat for Humanity ReStore is to go on an adventure.

Not your ordinary thrift store, proceeds from our ReStore is put to use to help build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter in your community and around the world.
There are many great reasons to shop at the Watauga ReStore. Here’s a very short list:
  • You never know what you’re going to find.
    Items are donated from people and companies in your community, the selection varies depending on what has been donated.
  • Every trip is different.
    Because of that ever-changing selection, you’ll see different inventory every time you shop. Sometimes you may find something unexpected, so come back often!
  • What you see is not always what you end up with.
    Many shop at the ReStore to find items they can upcycle and transform into something new. Check out how to turn skis into a tiki torcha wooden chair into a planter and glass jugs into lamps.

What kinds of things will you find at our Habitat ReStore?

We sell new and gently used building materials, furniture, appliances and much more. When items are donated to Habitat ReStore, they get a chance at a second life rather than being taken to a landfill.
However, the great stuff you find at great prices when you visit Habitat ReStore is only part of the reason shopping here is so great. In addition, you are supporting Habitat for Humanity.

Where does the money from your Habitat ReStore donation go?

Proceeds from the ReStore go to Watauga Habitat for Humanity’s mission to help build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. This work is done both in your community and around the world. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Why Do I Volunteer?

I struggle to explain why I volunteer for Habitat. Most of our “regular” construction volunteers have retired from successful careers. Such is not the case with me — and thus, I suppose, the frequent “why” question.
Why on Earth would someone step back from “working” to give away their time? My choice to do so has baffled loved ones who witnessed for years how hard I worked to earn my doctoral degree in psychology.
I have always felt very clear within myself that this is what I am supposed to be doing. As each attempt to explain myself fell short, I eventually resorted to responding, “It doesn’t so much feel like a choice as it does a calling.” I do believe that God has called me to this work, though I have no tangible proof of this, nothing in writing and certainly no formal job offer.
Habitat volunteer Donna Ricca shares how her faith and psychology profession inform her service.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” What I’ve done by volunteering with Habitat is to step in faith. I don’t know where it will lead, but I trust in the journey.
To outside observers, it appears that I am spending my time building houses, which is not what I have been educated to do. In my mind, however, I have not walked away from my psychology profession. Every time I listen to volunteers tell their stories or help instruct, encourage and support them as they struggle with a task, I am working as a psychologist. Each time I empower hesitant volunteers to face their fears, step out of their comfort zones and try something new, I am honoring my education and training. Every time I greet someone with a smile or a hug and let them know they matter, I am attempting to improve the human condition — a goal we, as psychologists, strive to achieve. It is through the activity of building houses that I am able to help build up people.
So why do I volunteer? I volunteer because I can, because God granted me the desire, strength, knowledge, resources and opportunity to do so. I volunteer for those whose circumstances don’t allow them to. I volunteer in the hope that it will inspire others to do the same. I volunteer because it fills a space in my life that money, possessions, titles and awards have never been able to do. I volunteer because each day on this Earth is a gift, and the least I can do is to give back in return.
Why Habitat? Because I know firsthand how important it is to have a place to call home. As a result of growing up in a neighborhood where I felt safe, I was free to roam with the careless abandon and idealistic sense of possibility that only a young child can possess. This freedom allowed me to learn, to dream, to hope and to visualize a positive future.
I plan to return to my career in psychology, perhaps teaching or working in schools. Volunteering for Habitat has helped me crystallize my life path. I am now more inspired than ever to ensure that working to improve the lives of others is always at the forefront of my occupational goals.
What’s in it for me? I love the physical exercise of hammering, sawing, climbing ladders, hoisting lumber and digging holes in the dirt. I enjoy the intellectual work of calculating measurements and figuring out how to bring the architect’s plans to life. I cherish the camaraderie that develops among people who labor toward common goals in challenging circumstances.
Most of all, what I gain from volunteering is a sense of purpose. Each time my car pulls up to the build site, I am filled with joy at the prospect of being able to make a difference — to matter to someone who matters to me.

— Donna Ricca, a clinical psychologist and Morris Habitat volunteer in New Jersey since 2011

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Q&A with Jimmy Carter

“Service to others is a crucial element in the American character”

Q: We often talk about the benefits of service to strengthening and improving the community at large. But with Habitat, we also often hear the individuals who serve share how their actions help them strengthen and improve their own lives. What do you as an individual like best about service, and why do you think it should be an important part of everyone’s life?
A: A Habitat project in a deprived community inspires other property owners in the area to improve other homes and the general environment in the larger neighborhood. Dwellers there get the Habitat spirit of volunteering and helping each other. The Habitat homeowner’s family members participate in work on their own homes and are then inspired to help others. Perhaps the most significant after-effect is on the Habitat volunteers who join us in building projects, who almost unanimously agree that the personal benefits to their lives always exceed their own financial contributions, time and effort — and that this incentive lasts for years in the future, or for a lifetime.
Your own service has taken many forms — your time in the Navy, your tenure in public office, your work with Habitat and The Carter Center, your regular presence as a Sunday school teacher. What do all of these kinds of service have in common for you?
Like other Habitat volunteers, I have learned that our greatest blessings come when we are able to improve the lives of others, and this is especially true when those others are desperately poor or in need.
So many people look to you as a model of public service and servant leadership. Tell us where this impulse to serve first originated. Who (or what) inspires you?
My earliest and most basic service inspirations have come from my Christian faith, encouraged by others who have been dedicated to serving others and learning to treat those who are served with mutual respect as equals.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter shares the importance of service to others
Historically, we as a nation have invested in the concept of service. Why do you think public recognition of and support for service is so vital?
America is the most diverse or heterogeneous nation, comprised primarily by immigrants who were not afraid of an unpredictable future in a strange land. Almost all of them had great need when they arrived here and were then inspired to be of help to others. This concept of service to others is still a crucial element in the American character and has always prevailed in overcoming challenges and correcting societal mistakes.
What would you say to the next generation to help encourage them to serve? How does service impact our collective future?
“Enjoy your American freedom, and utilize it to expand your own opportunities and God-given talents as much as possible. You will find that these investments in helping others will always pay rich dividends.”
— Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, a Habitat volunteer since 1984

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Our Habitat ReStore Supports Our Mission

Watauga Habitat ReStore plays an important role in helping us build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.

Our Restore is owned and operated by our local affiliate.  The proceeds generated are used right here in our local community!

Why Habitat ReStores are unique
If you’ve been to more than one Habitat ReStore, you’ve probably noticed that, unlike many home improvement stores, ReStores all look different. The stores have different layouts and stock different items. In fact, if you’ve visited the same store more than once, you’ve probably noticed that the items for sale change from day to day – or even hour to hour.
This individuality is what makes Habitat ReStore unique. Since the Watauga Habitat ReStore is run by us, it is specifically set-up to best serve our area. There’s no one-size-fits-all mentality here; every Habitat ReStore knows how to best serve their specific community.
How you can help Watauga Habitat ReStore
Inventory changes often  because much of the merchandise for sale comes from donations; what is for sale is based on what is donated. If you have been cleaning out your garage or are looking to replace your gently used furniture,  the ReStore may be the place for you to donate the items you are no longer using. For other items you can donate, see our article on "8 Things to donate when renovating," and you can even check to see if you can have your donation picked up for free.
After donating at Habitat ReStore, stick around to do a little shopping. Just as your donations provide the items that we sell, your purchases provide the proceeds that go to provide decent places to live.
Habitat ReStores also are always looking for great volunteers to help in this process. Get in touch with your local Habitat ReStore today to see how you can help by shoppingdonating and volunteering.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Looking For a Few Good Kahunas!!

Watauga County Habitat for Humanity is looking for Big Kahuna Campaign Contestants

Boone (January 16, 2018)   Watauga County Habitat for Humanity (WCHfH) is celebrating a new year by planning the 4th annual Big Kahuna fundraising competition in the spring of 2018.  WCHfH is currently looking for campaign contestants.  Letters requesting participation have been sent to many community leaders.  There will be a maximum number of Kahuna Contestants. 
Since 2015, this fundraising campaign has collectively raised over $110,000, enough to build an entire Habitat for Humanity home.  Past winners include Linda K. Robinson of Premier Sotheby’s Real Estate, Justin Davis of Town Tavern Blowing Rock and Jenny Miller, Community Volunteer.  Joining this friendly competition is a great way to show your support for Habitat’s work in Watauga County, and participants are encouraged to compete as representatives of their businesses.
The Big Kahuna contest will kick-off on March 1st and the winner will be crowned at the “Don Ho-Down” in mid-May.  Contestants can organize and host various events to raise money during the competition period—for example, hosting a cocktail party for friends or donating a percent of proceeds from your business.  If a birthday or anniversary falls in that time-period, you can ask friends or family to donate to your campaign.  The ideas are limitless, and the Watauga Habitat staff will be behind you all the way, coaching and promoting all you are doing.

Those interested in joining the 2018 Watauga County Habitat for Humanity Kahuna Campaign should contact Director of Development, Allison Jennings at 828-268-9545 ext. 104 or

2015 Big Kahuna Linda K. Robinson with Watauga Habitat Executive Director, Alex Hooker

2017 Big Kahuna Jenny Miller with Watauga Habitat Development Director Allison Jennings

2016 Big Kahuna Justin Davis of Blowing Rock Town Tavern with Alex Hooker

Friday, December 29, 2017

A Brush With Kindness-Home Repair Program

In 2018, Watauga County Habitat for Humanity will begin repairing homes in partnership with qualified, low-income homeowners.  The new housing repair program called A Brush with Kindness is aimed at providing services such as exterior minor repairs to low-income homeowners in need.

Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush with Kindness has a goal to serve low-income homeowners who struggle to maintain the exterior of their homes.  The work is done by volunteers who use donated materials whenever possible.  To qualify, the homeowner must meet the demonstrated need, willingness to partner and ability to re-pay a no interest loan.  Payments made by the partner family are placed in a revolving fund to help ABWK serve others in need.    

“Habitat’s A Brush with Kindness initiative gives us a great opportunity to help more families in need, as well as have an impact on the entire community" said Alex Hooker, Executive Director, Watauga County Habitat for Humanity. “Helping people repair and maintain their homes fits in seamlessly with Habitat's core mission of making decent, affordable housing available to low-income families.”

For more information about how you can volunteer with Watauga County Habitat for Humanity, please visit

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Groundbreaking for the Bradshaw Family

On Saturday, December 16th, Watauga County Habitat hosted a Groundbreaking Ceremony for future homeowners, the Bradshaw Family.  Over 50 people turned out to welcome the Bradshaws, even Santa Claus!  What a great day and so many people to thank including Reverend Terry Alexander, Rumple Presbyterian, Boone United Methodist and Watauga County Habitat's Board of Directors.  A special thanks to WCHfH's Family Selection Committee and their commitment to providing affordable housing to hard-working families and individuals.  Together we build strength, stability and independence through shelter.
We are looking forward to next Christmas when the Bradshaw family will be celebrating a home of their own in our GreenWood Community!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

ASU Habitat Gingerbread Competition

From Caroline Comer with ASU Habitat Club:

Hi all! We at Habitat hope this semester has treated you as well as it has us! For a closer look into what we've been up to, follow us on instagram: @appstateh4h
Also stay tuned to more frequent post on this page! Anyone who is interested in joining our club in builds, fundraising, etc. you can find us on appsync!
Here are some photos from our 6th annual Gingerbread Competition that was held on Nov. 16th of this year

Monday, November 13, 2017

Volunteer Your Time!

It's the Season of Giving! Please Consider Giving Your Time!

Thank you for all you have done to support Watauga County Habitat for Humanity.  Today we are reaching out to those who have volunteered with us in the past.  Many of you have worked on the Love Family home in our eco-friendly GreenWood neighborhood.  We are making a big push to get this home completed so we can start building our next home in GreenWood for the Bradshaw Family.  

We have an immediate need for additional volunteers to join us and the Love family in finishing their new home so they can have safe, affordable and decent housing!  We work on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but with notice, we can work with your schedule.

The sooner the home is completed, the sooner we can begin the Bradshaw home!

Can you help tangibly impact families in need?

Can you organize your workplace, church or group of friends to volunteer?

If interested, please reply to this email or contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Jennifer Ramey at or 828-268-9545.

Join us as we provide affordable housing solutions to hard-working families!

The Love Home---almost complete!  

​Ready to Build for the Bradshaws!!​

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thanks IONCON and Patrick Beville!!

IONCON Engineering Raises $265!

Thanks IONCON and Patrick Beville for supporting Watauga County Habitat for Humanity for your Customer Appreciation Night last month!Thank you to all who helped make the night a success with great food, beer and wine!IONCON is a year-round Habitat supporter and we appreciate your generosity. 
PS. Your office looks great!

It's Kahuna Time!

11 Community Leaders Entered Watauga Habitat for Humanity's Big Kahuna Campaign Big Kahuna Campaign Kickoff On Marc...