Our donors kept showing up for us this past year. When our largest fundraising event of the year, the Blueprint Breakfast, had to go virtual at the last minute in late March, not a single sponsor withdrew their committed funds. What’s more, when we raised money on GivingTuesdayNow for our COVID-19 family fund, Hope for Homes, you all showed up and gave more than $60,000. We are so very thankful for the tremendous support you have given us! Learn more about some of our supporters below.
In 2019, Credit Suisse Raleigh women united once again to participate in the Women Build initiative, which they have done annually for many years. Habitat Wake’s Women Build program seeks to bring women (and those who empower women!) together to build a home, learn new skills and empower local homebuyer families.
Last fall, 23 Credit Suisse Raleigh women volunteered to help build two homes in Wake Forest, both purchased by female homebuyers.
"Building alongside families, and witnessing the value and dignity Habitat for Humanity of Wake County brings to their clients, has been inspiring to us all. Our Credit Suisse team especially enjoys rolling up our sleeves for the annual Women Build and the annual CEO build, in addition to volunteering all year long.”
-Sophia Wajnert, Head of Credit Suisse Raleigh.
Habitat Wake, in partnership with local Latino community groups and congregations, launched the Fiesta Initiative in September 2019 to engage the growing Latino community in Wake and Johnston counties. Community leaders gathered and organized while Spanish-language media outlets helped spread the word that Habitat was seeking Latino homebuyers, donors and volunteers.
The Initiative became a build: White Memorial Presbyterian, with partner church Iglesia Santuario, agreed to be the Foundational sponsor for the inaugural Fiesta Build. Their $25,000 contribution put them over the lifetime $1 million contribution level to Habitat Wake. Fiesta Cristiana and its partner, Apex United Methodist Church, also agreed to be sponsors.
Pastor Villasenor beautifully captured the significance of this initiative and build:
“I feel called to social change, and social change moves at the speed of relationships. This is why I build with Habitat: through bringing people together toward a common goal, we build unlikely friendships in the process, which is perhaps more important now than ever.”
Coastal Credit Union President/CEO Chuck Purvis has long been a strong supporter of Habitat Wake. We are grateful for his leadership in being a past Blueprint Breakfast honorary chair, CEO Build participant and engaged volunteer on Coastal-sponsored builds.
This year, we are especially grateful to him and his wife Gail for making a major personal gift to help keep us building as COVID-19 struck.
Purvis said he and his wife believe the long-term route for lifting people out of poverty is access to affordable housing.
"It’s really about honoring my parents and also seeing more people get into great housing," he explained. "It’s amazing what you can do when you’ve got the right group of people, and they believe in what they're doing."
Habitat Wake’s biggest annual fundraising event, the Blueprint Breakfast was scheduled for March 25, 2020. We usually host nearly 900 people in PNC arena and hear from Habitat supporters and homeowners.
Of course, by mid-March our state was shutting down, and we had to move our event to a virtual space at the last minute. Not a single sponsor pulled their funding.
Thank you to Smedes York, of York Properties, for his impeccable leadership as our Honorary Chair, and to Wells Fargo, who led the way in honoring their gift even without the physical event happening.
106 congregations worked with us this year in 18 faith coalitions and sent 1,721 faith volunteers before COVID closed our build sites to volunteers in March 2020. Thank you to our faith coalitions!
Apostles Fall Build • Apostles Spring Build • Baptist Build • Cary Coalition • Catholic Coalition • Downtown Coalition • East Wake Coalition • Episcopal Coalition • Fiesta Build • Interfaith Build • Johnston County Coalitions • Lutheran Coalition • Methodist Coalition • Northern Wake Coalition • Orthodox Build • Presbyterian Coalition • South Wake Coalition • Southwest Wake Coalition
*These two figures reflect only a portion of the fiscal year, since we had to close our build sites and ReStores in March 2020 due to COVID-19.
Much of this year’s advocacy strategy at Habitat Wake laid the groundwork for the Raleigh Affordable Housing Bond, which passed with a significant majority. The added bandwidth of the Advocacy Coordinator position this year proved a tremendous help with this effort and our other policy priorities. Our team also began sending weekly alerts to rally advocates in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Habitat for Humanity of Wake County was inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame on November 11, 2019. Smedes York, former Mayor of Raleigh and long-time Habitat Wake supporter, nominated the organization for the prestigious award. In his nomination letter, York wrote about Habitat Wake’s commitment to providing affordable housing as the Raleigh area grows more expensive.
“Raleigh has enjoyed tremendous growth in the past 30 years, and is often touted as a great place to live or do business. However, as many residents in Raleigh thrive, the number of families in need of affordable housing grows,” Smedes wrote.
Habitat Wake was inducted among individuals like Greg Hatum, Sabrina Goode and Marjorie O’Rorke, as well as organizations like the Tammy Lynn Center.
On October 7, 2019, Habitat Wake received the NC Housing Award from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency for our 119-home community, Crosstowne. This Southeast Raleigh neighborhood is one of our most diverse -- many of the homeowners are native to Wake County and others immigrated from countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Morocco, Colombia and El Salvador.
In addition to owning their own homes, Crosstowne residents have access to downtown Raleigh via the GoRaleigh city buses, as well as food shopping centers like Food Lion and Walgreens which are only a mile away.
Thanks to the support of our community and trusted partners, hundreds of children in this community are able to enjoy the stability of growing up in a home their parents own, and those parents are building equity and wealth for future generations.
On Sunday, November 25, 2019 we celebrated the completion of Crosstowne, our largest-ever Habitat neighborhood. We came together with our families, volunteers and donors with a block party and parade.
The parade included members from the nearby Southeast Raleigh High School marching band, as well as floats from long-time Habitat supporter Builders Mutual.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make homeownership a reality for 119 local families!
Habitat Wake announced our new CEO, Bill Ahern, in August 2019.
“We are delighted that Bill accepted the position, and with his passion for Habitat and affordable housing, we know that he will bring his wealth of experience and knowledge to the role and the next chapter for Habitat Wake,” said David Booth, Habitat Wake’s Board Chair at the time. Read more here.
The generosity of Robin Ratchford made it possible for us to partner with Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG) to study the impact of our program on the families we have served and their quality of life. We were staggered by the significance of their findings and thrilled to share them with our community.