“I think you will all agree that now, more than ever, people need a safe place to call home. Families need affordable housing so that they can provide food on their tables, pay their medical bills and pay for their children's education,” said Allison Jennings, Director of Development for Watauga Habitat for Humanity. “The cost of new home construction and affordable housing has sky-rocketed and is becoming out-of-reach for many members of our community. Watauga Habitat for Humanity invites you to support the 2021 Kahuna campaign and be a part of providing solutions to home affordability,” said Jennings.
This year seventeen affordable housing advocates have joined together to create four teams ensuring the 2021 Kahuna Campaign a successful year. Participating teams are App State’s Lambda Chi Alpha (Trey Knox, Caden Bondurant, Nicolas Lopina, Liam McHale, and Mason Zlotnick), Wonder Women (Ella Jennings, Traci Royster, Nikki Crees and Allyson Medlin), Boone Business Exchange (Kelley Harrison, Karl Mohr, Stacey Gibson, and Lori Holton) and Boone Sunrise Rotary (Gary Moss, Lane Robinson, Caroline Poteat and Hanes Boren).
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our community has been a top priority,” said Jennings. “We have had to create innovative ways to continue to advance our mission including virtual fundraising events while limiting volunteer engagement. We are thankful for everything our community has done over the last year to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19. We are grateful for the hope that spring brings amid increased vaccination rates and we are optimistic that we will be able to gather in person at Booneshine Brewing on June 10th for the Crowning of the 2021 Big Kahuna Team.”
Each Kahuna team and participant has their own donation page at https://charity.pledgeit.org/BigKahuna2021 or donations can be mailed to Watauga Habitat PO Box 33DTS, Boone, NC 28607.
“Families were already struggling before the public health crisis began. Our neighbors continue to face uncertainty as they struggle to find an affordable place to live and achieve the American Dream of homeownership. With your support, Watauga Habitat for Humanity stands ready to build back alongside these families. You can make a difference by donating to the Kahuna Campaign,” said Jennings.
Watauga County Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s to address COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on women during International Women Build Week
Boone, NC- March 8th, 2021– Watauga County Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s are partnering to raise awareness of the global need for safe and affordable housing for women during International Women Build Week (March 8-15). On International Women’s Day, Habitat and Lowe’s will kick off more than 300 Women Build projects supporting women-led households across the United States, Canada, and India to drive awareness and address the need. Watauga Habitat for Humanity is hosting a virtual event on Wednesday, March 8th called Women Build Trivia Night. Those interested in participating can visit appbuildsahome.appstate.edu to learn more and register for this free event.
Women have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, from job loss to evictions and foreclosures. According to The National Women’s Law Center, 80 percent of U.S. jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic were held by women. The United Nations (UN) has reported that 40 percent of all employed women globally work in the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Working women and mothers often shoulder the role of primary caregivers for their family”, said Allison Jennings, Director of Development for Watauga Habitat. “COVID-19 has working moms now bearing the brunt of homeschooling and having to balance work and childcare. All parents are the unsung (s)heroes in this crisis, however the pandemic has uniquely affected women as they juggle work and childcare.”
Despite the unprecedented challenges women are facing, women remain on the frontlines of the pandemic as essential workers, as caretakers within their households, and too often have to make the difficult decision between maintaining a place to call home and paying for food, health care, childcare, education or reliable transportation. Harvard University’s State of the Nation’s Housing 2020 report revealed that 37.1 million U.S. households spent more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing in 2019, including 17.6 million spending more than 50 percent. The effects of the pandemic have further highlighted the need for safe and affordable housing, as 29 percent of renters and 36 percent of homeowners experienced employment income loss between March and September of 2020.
This month, Watauga Habitat for Humanity will begin building a home for Sheila Potter in the Meat Camp Community. Although she owns her own land, new home construction in Watauga County is often not affordable for a single woman with one income. Watauga Habitat will offer Sheila the opportunity to pay for her home with a zero-interest, affordable loan. This home is being built in partnership with App Builds a Home.
Sheila’s story is not unique. Every day, millions of women face the challenge of a future without affordable, adequate and stable housing. This issue underscores the importance of Habitat and Lowe’s efforts to bring awareness to the issue, as well as a partnership focused on ensuring that more women have access to affordable housing.
Lowe’s and Habitat’s partnership began in 2003. To date, the program has brought together more than 143,000 women volunteers who have built or repaired nearly 6,000 houses. Lowe’s has committed more than $78 million to support the global housing nonprofit’s efforts, including the Women Build program, International Women Build Week, and Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization program. Lowe’s support of Habitat has helped more than 18,000 Habitat partner families improve their living conditions.
To learn more or join the conversation, visit habitat.org/womenbuild or follow #BuildHer and #WomenBuild on social media to share and view stories from around the world.
Publix Super Markets Charities Donates $5K for Next Watauga Habitat for Humanity Home
Publix Charities has awarded Watauga County Habitat for Humanity a $5,000 grant to build an affordable home in the Meat Camp Community. The funding is part of an $2.5 million donation to 113 Habitat for Humanity affiliates and 76 additional organizations providing housing and shelter services across the Southeast.
“We’ve had a long history of support from Publix Super Markets Charities,” said Allison Jennings, Watauga Habitat’s director of development. “Publix Charities understand safe and affordable housing transforms families and communities for generations to come. Now, more than ever, people need a safe place to call home,” said Jennings.
“A home often represents stability and independence in one’s life. In what has already been a difficult year, there are far too many people in our country struggling with housing insecurity,” said Publix Super Markets Charities Executive Director Kelly Williams-Puccio.
Over the last 6 years, PSMC has donated more than $25 million to Habitat for Humanity affiliates and other nonprofit organizations providing housing and shelter services throughout the states where Publix operates. This latest $2.5 million donation reinforces PSMC’s commitment to meeting the basic needs of the communities it serves through transitional support, client service programs and financial support for housing.
The $5000 grant awarded to Watauga County Habitat will support the construction of a home for App State employee, Sheila Potter. This newly constructed home is the second App Builds a Home project. Students and staff from Appalachian State have committed to fundraising and building this home. “With so many people in our community struggling for access to safe and affordable housing, we are thankful for Publix Charities continued support and it could not have come at a better time,” said Jennings. “Construction on the App Builds a Home project begins this spring. Appalachian State students and staff are committed to working alongside Sheila Potter until she has achieved the American Dream of homeownership.” To learn more about App Builds a Home visit appbuildsahome.appstate.edu.
The three-day event, normally held in Washington, D.C., gives advocates an opportunity to convene with congressional leaders, address and discuss actionable solutions to the underlying policies and systems that hinder access to housing affordability and rally with one another.
As Habitat, through our national Cost of Home advocacy campaign, deepens our role in addressing the home affordability challenges that have been further exacerbated by COVID-19, Habitat on the Hill will focus heavily on historic and systemic racism in housing policy, and how the pandemic’s economic disparities have created a critical need for immediate and long-term housing relief.
“In some way, 2020 has impacted us all,” said Allison Jennings, Director of Development at Watauga Habitat for Humanity. “However, the past year was particularly hard for many Americans who were already struggling with a growing housing crisis amidst a global pandemic. Through this conference, we hope to affect change that will be felt throughout our community and the nation.”
Watauga Habitat will meet with NC federal policymakers to urge them to invest in housing affordability as part of any future economic recovery and infrastructure measure by prioritizing foreclosure prevention, neighborhood revitalization and housing production for low-income homeowners. These investments are critical for preventing major losses in homeownership and in wealth for communities of color, as well as expanding access to new affordable homes for all.
“Although it has only been a few weeks since newly elected leaders took office, Americans cannot
continue to wait for housing solutions,” said Jennings of Watauga Habitat for Humanity. “Our leaders have a job to do. Housing must be a priority for not only our federal policymakers but also at the local and state levels as well.”
Speakers at the conference include john a. powell, director of the Othering and Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley and Yamiche Alcindor, PBS NewsHour White House Correspondent and recipient of the NABJ Journalist of the Year Award.
Each year, Habitat on the Hill is made possible by the support of Habitat for Humanity’s partners. The Home Depot Foundation is returning as this year’s premier sponsor and has sponsored Habitat on the Hill
for five years and donated more than $47 million to Habitat for Humanity International, including this year’s contribution of $2 million to help build, repair, or rehabilitate veterans’ homes. To date, The Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $350 million in support of veterans in need.
Join the conversation using #HabitatontheHill and #CostOfHome as Habitat works toward its campaign goal to create policies that will allow at least 10 million American families have access to a stable, affordable place to call home.
The Home Depot Foundation works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap and support communities impacted by natural disasters. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $350 million in veteran causes and improved more than 48,000 veteran homes and facilities in more than 4,500 cities. The Foundation has pledged to invest half of a billion dollars in veteran causes by 2025.
Thrivent is awarding Watauga County Habitat for Humanity a contribution of $5000 to help families in Watauga County stay in their homes. Thrivent’s donation will allow Watauga Habitat to provide mortgage relief to Habitat homeowners who need temporary assistance making their mortgage payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. With Thrivent’s support, Watauga Habitat will sustain affordable homeownership costs for families who will be served through these funds. Prior to the spread of the novel coronavirus, more than 18 million households across the U.S. were paying half or more of their income on a place to live. As the pandemic continues to cause job disruption and economic fallout, many households are enduring lay-offs, unemployment, and pay cuts. This wage loss has amplified the financial burden on households to maintain essential payments and can result in families having to trade-off between bills, mortgage, or medical care. “We appreciate our partnership with Thrivent and the opportunity to help Watauga Habitat families during these trying times,” said Alex Hooker, Executive Director for Watauga County Habitat for Humanity. Watauga Habitat is one of 100 Habitat organizations across the nation partnering with Thrivent to help families stay in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, Thrivent is donating $750,000 to Habitat for Humanity to assist with mortgage-related relief and prevent foreclosures across the U.S. “This year has been incredibly difficult for many people as financial hardship has added stress and anxiety to daily lives,” said Nikki Sorum, senior vice president of Thrivent Advisors at Thrivent. “This pandemic has underscored how important it is for people to have safe, affordable homes. Given all we have endured in 2020, we are especially honored to provide financial support to Habitat for Humanity to help people stay in their homes so they can continue to build toward financial stability.”
Habitat for Humanity International and Thrivent began their partnership in 2005. Over the past 15 years, Thrivent and their clients have contributed more than $275 million to Habitat and have partnered with families to build safe, affordable homes across the U.S. and around the world.
Summer Newsletter Hi friends! Thank you so much for your continued support of Watauga County Habitat for Humanity. It has been some tim...