As we welcome the close of another year, we look back and reflect on the changes that have occurred for us and our organization. What an incredible year it has been!
Scripture tells us “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and truth” 1 John 3:18.
This year we focused on our actions to further our mission and to achieve our vision of a world where everyone has a decent, safe, affordable home. Affordable housing is of the utmost importance to us. We partnered with other nonprofits and businesses in our community to start addressing the housing crisis in Grand Island by joining the Grand Island Housing Coalition. We welcomed a liaison from Hope Harbor onto our board of directors so that our two organizations can work hand in hand to achieve both of our missions. We welcomed many new faces into our organization, with new editions on our multiple committees, board members, and as volunteers.
All who share our passion for affordable housing.
We also successfully completed the construction of three new Habitat houses, providing
stable shelter for 6 adults and 7 children through our 0% interest loan program. Over the next thirty years these homeowners will pay back the cost of construction, and combined,
all of our mortgages are able to fund one Habitat house each year. These houses were constructed with the help of dedicated volunteers and sub-contractors. We are eternally grateful to all who gave their time and energy to our construction projects.
We are also thankful for those who offer our organization financial support. We know the money we are blessed with is just that, a blessing. A precious gift from someone else for our mission. We’d like to also thank JBS Beef for sponsoring our Spring Build and St. Pauls Foundation, Wells Fargo and JBS Beef for their sponsorship of our annual Faith Build.
To ensure every dollar is honored, we have made changes to our floor plans. Our three-bedroom design won the award for Best in Affordability from Habitat for Humanity International in April. The design changes eliminated hallways and changed the overall dimensions. The new design allowed us to decrease construction waste and unnecessary expenses. We have also started construction on a two-bedroom unit to meet a variety of family sizes. This house is being constructed thanks to our partnership with GIPS and the juniors in the construction pathway at the Career Pathways Institute.
The effects of the pandemic still lingered as we started the year but as we have transitioned from a negative operating budget to a surplus we have decided to add a full time construction manager to our organization.
This doesn’t mean we will be parting ways with Amos Anson who has spent the last two decades volunteering with Habitat. We are all eternally grateful for Amos and his commitment to Habitat. If we can find someone with half of his heart for Habitat, we know we will be in good hands. The search for his replacement will begin in 2023 but don’t worry, we will still have a couple of Saturdays available for volunteers to still be able to build with Amos.
December has not been without its accomplishments either!
Our annual Cookie Walk event sold out in 17 minutes with more than a 60% increase in donations over last year! Thank you to everyone who baked and purchased cookies this year - now we have to top it next year!!
The last thing we would like to highlight from the past year is our Cans for Habitat program. We won first place in both rounds of the national competition sponsored by Novelis offering $10,000 grants to build affordable homes. Cans for Habitat is an amazing representation of our community. 34 cans adds up to 1 pound and this year all of you helped us recycle over 30,000 pounds in aluminum cans! Thank you to everyone who recycled their cans and to our amazing volunteers who collect the cans in all types of weather.
When we look back on the year, we see all of you putting God’s love into action.
Thank you for helping us build homes, communities, and hope. All of our love to you and yours.