From the CEO
In my first year as CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, I’ve met a lot of wonderful people. From our generous donors, to our dedicated volunteers and to our grateful families. However, I recently met a mom whose story really tugged at my heart.
Lulu is a single mom with three children. Her family went through a tough, personal time a few years back, and they had to move to the only place they could – her parent’s basement. Her parents live in Sun Prairie and today, the four of them live in the basement and all sleep in one bed. She said her children miss their own space.
I was moved by the passion and love I heard in Lulu’s voice when she told me she promised her son that someday they would live in a house and he would have his own space.
What most impressed me about Lulu is that she isn’t afraid to work hard for her family and her home. She came to Habitat with a true need for a simple, decent and affordable home. She works full time at restaurants in Sun Prairie and Cross Plains, and still finds time to work an additional 20 hours a month building and preparing to move into her home. There was no hesitation about Lulu’s dedication to partner with Habitat and to put in 325 hours of sweat equity.
When Habitat decided to build in Sun Prairie last year, the fit for her family was a perfect one. Her children already go to school in Sun Prairie, and her family lives there too. Lulu applied to the Habitat program by filling out the 18-page application. She then passed a criminal background check and a check on her credit. She was finally approved for the program after her in-person, home meeting with members of Habitat’s Family Selection Committee.
When Lulu said she received the call telling her that she was accepted, she jumped up and down and celebrated with her children.
“My kids can’t wait to have a room with their own bed,” she told me. “For the first time, they will have a place that they can call our home. Thank you Habitat for helping people achieve their dreams!”
If it wasn’t for Habitat, Lulu told me, she would never be able to afford her own home. Her inspirational story is one of several reasons why Habitat is needed more than ever today, and makes my job so rewarding.
New Programs will Help Habitat Assist More Dane County Families
A program that assists low-income families in repairing their homes will be piloted next year by Habitat for Humanity of Dane County. Called A Brush with Kindness (ABWK), the program includes low cost exterior projects such as painting, weatherizing, landscaping, minor repairs and clean up around their property. The pilot will target the South Madison area.
A Brush with Kindness is one of several new ideas that are part of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County’s 2013-16 Organizational Strategic Plan.
Almost Home, a financial capability program for current and prospective Habitat homeowners, is second new project that is part of the plan. In addition, a land-banking campaign is also planned.
A complete copy of the Habitat for Humanity of Dane County 2013-16 Organizational Strategic Plan can be found at www.habitatdane.org.
New Habitat Board member
Welcome to Andrew Dries, who will be the UW Madison Campus Chapter Representative on the Habitat for Humanity of Dane County Board of Directors. Andrew was named president of the student chapter this past spring and will serve on the board for a one-year term.