Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford issued a statement regarding the events that transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend
Statement by Habitat CEO Jonathan Reckford on the
Violence in Charlottesville, Virginia
August 17, 2017
Last Saturday morning, as white nationalists gathered for their march of hate in Charlottesville, a very different group of people were gathering less than a mile away. On that city's Charlton Avenue, members of seven local churches had joined together to lay the floor trusses on the foundation of the community's newest Habitat home.
Those Habitat volunteers-and thousands more working that same morning across the country and world-had come together to share a vision starkly different than those who seek to divide us. Our vision is one that is welcoming to all. Our vision embraces diverse views. Our vision knows that no matter who we are or where we come from, we all deserve to have a decent life. Our vision says that every one of us deserves the opportunity for a better future.
As the forces of hate converged on Charlottesville's Emancipation Park to tear us apart, Habitat's spirit of inclusivity and understanding were working to bring us together.
The racism, bigotry and violence on display sickened and saddened me. I know I join the Habitat community in rejecting that hate, because those actions and voices run counter to everything we believe. As a Christian organization that welcomes people of all faiths and no faith, inclusivity is who we are. It's what makes us a strong community, and it's those same values that make us a strong nation.
As a lifelong Christian, I want to be clear: the white nationalists, neo-Nazis, KKK and their supporters who descended on Charlottesville have rejected the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Habitat for Humanity stands firmly against their words, actions and any suggestion that theirs is a legitimate grievance. We applaud and honor those who put their own well-being at risk to reject this hatred. We share in the nation's grief in the tragic loss of Heather Heyer, whose life was taken while she was standing to protect others. We mourn for Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen III and Trooper-Pilot Berke M. M. Bates, who lost their lives while protecting and serving their community.
The hate-motivated acts we saw this weekend do not define us as Americans, or as citizens of the world. And they don't define Charlottesville either.
Because even while that city grieves, there are forces of love hard at work. Later today, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville will break ground on a community of affordable housing that will give 14 families the opportunity for a better future. Dan Rosensweig, the CEO of this affiliate, shares these words:
We don't have answers as to why the kinds of evil and hatred experienced in Charlottesville this week exist in the world, but we do know these three things: People who are swinging a hammer are not swinging a stick or a flag pole. When we are given the opportunity to work side by side with someone from a different background, we inevitably replace fear with a shared sense of purpose and humanity. And when we commit to listening without judgment, we all inspire people to be guided by their better angels. [Click here for Dan's full letter<http://my.habitat.org/kc/download-detail/4318a/Message-from-Habitat-for-Humanity-of-Greater-Charlottesville>.]
Dan is right. Every nail hammered, every wall raised, is a rejection of hate and a step toward the future where everyone-irrespective of class, color or creed-has a decent life.
Jonathan T. M. Reckford
Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity International
270 Peachtree St. NW, Suite 1300, Atlanta, GA 30303-1263
direct dial: (404) 962-3401
firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> * @jreckford<http://twitter.com/jreckford> * habitat.org<http://www.habitat.org/>
Midland County Habitat for Humanity begins construction on second home build.
TODAY WE CELEBRATE WITH THE ZIMMER'S, DAVID AND KELLY AND THEIR CHILDREN ETHAN, HOLDEN, EVELYN AND THEODORE AS THEY BREAK GROUND ON THE SITE OF THEIR NEW HOME.
Shown in the first photo is the family with Habitat Executive Director Jennifer Chappel, Family Advocate Kathy Allen and Pastor Gerald Ferguson of Trinity Lutheran Church.
Building on the home will begin in early June.
Midland County Habitat for Humanity had a great day at The Dow Chemical "Take Your Child to Work Day", in the Dow Building Solutions room. Kids and even parents spent some time building some magnificent structures using small blocks of Dow Blue Board, a styrofoam used for insulation. Check out the gallery featuring the wonderful structures and design creations.
TODAY WE CELEBRATE WITH JULIE RAYMOND AND HER DAUGHTER LACI, AS THEY BREAK GROUND ON THE SITE OF THEIR FUTURE HOME.
Building on Julie and Laci's home began several months ago through a partnership with the Greater Michigan Construction Academy. The students of Greater Michigan Construction Academy have completed the initial building stages. The home will now be brought here to this site in late April and placed on its foundation to be further worked on during our Women Build event. (May 8 - May 12).
Shown in the photo is Midland Habitat Construction Manager, Matt Weckesser, Family Advocate, Samantha Nelson, Future Homeowner, Julie Raymond and daughter Laci and Vicar, Josh Parsons from St. Johns Lutheran Church.
Midland County Habitat for Humanity Restore and Midland's Arnold Center coordinate new volunteer partnership program.
Effective March 2017, persons referred by Community Mental Health of Central Michigan to the Arnold Center, will begin volunteering 2-4 hours each week with Midland County Habitat ReStore. Eligible individuals will be supervised by an Arnold Center job coach while volunteering.
According to Dan Laabs, ReStore Manager “the volunteers will garner training in a retail setting that we hope leads to employment for these individuals throughout Midland County.”
In an official statement The Arnold Center stated it is “proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity to provide service to the community through volunteering. Arnold Center individuals will be learning pre-employment skills such as customer service, retail marketing, and stocking while serving their community. It is a win-win for all."
Chris Chamberlain, Arnold Center Vice President comments, “It is community collaborations such as this partnership with Midland County Habitat for Humanity that helps the Arnold Center fulfill its mission; providing the people it serves the opportunity to engage in community inclusive lives. Many of the 250 people the Arnold Center serves each year wish for the same work, volunteer, social and recreational opportunities that are available to all community members. This new collaboration between the Midland County Habitat ReStore and the Arnold Center is yet another step toward shaping a more inclusive Midland community – something we as a community should be very proud of.”
Since 1988, Midland County Habitat for Humanity has helped low-income families in Midland County become new homeowners by bringing people together to build and revitalize decent, energy-efficient, affordable homes. We have proudly built over 80 homes and revitalized over 175 homes within Midland County.
Congratulations to the Schlief family on their new home. The Schlief's closed on their home on November 30, 2016, just in time for the Christmas holiday. On Saturday, January 7, 2017, Midland County Habitat for Humanity officially dedicated the home to the family. Family and friends joined in the celebration. The home was blessed in prayer by Rev. Rhonda Myers of Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church. MCHFH Board President, Gerri Reado welcomed guests to the celebration with the Schlief family. Board Member, Cathy Allen presented the family with a Bible and Matt Weckesser, Construction Manager talked about the remodel of this recycled Habitat Home and the energy improvements that were made.
Special thanks to Floyd Arbor Gleaners, Ginger Kruger for sponsoring the dedication and their donation of a fire extinguisher. Thank you to the Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network, Sally Ann Sutton for the wonderful food baskets, Warm-Up America Group for the warm handmade blanket, Sharing Tree for the kitchenware, Assumption BVM for the baskets of household goods and Joyce Glover of Alpha Kappa Alpha for the donation of bedding for all the children.
Congratulations to the Schlief Family!
Bennett and Amanda Schlief were excited to take ownership if their new home on Wednesday, November 30, 2016. As a Partner Family, Bennett and his wife Amanda have been putting in sweat equity hours as part of their commitment as a Partner Family. The family needed to give 400 hours of sweat equity, the first 100 hours had to be completed within the first 6 months of being selected. The sweat equity hours consisted of volunteering their time at the Midland Habitat ReStore, the front Office, at Habitat Construction sites and participating in Financial and Homeowner Classes. All their hard work was realized as they closed on their new home. The family is looking forward to spending Christmas in their new home this year.
We wish them many years of happiness and welcome them to our Habitat Family.