The Executive Director's Blog

From John Paukstis, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Maryland, Inc.

Metro Maryland Women Rock!

Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland and Lowe’s volunteers help families build strength and stability in celebration of Habitat’s National Women Build Week


More than 150 businesswomen, teachers, builders and community leaders from across Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties  volunteered alongside Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers over the course of two weeks, helping local families build a decent and affordable place they can call home. This year, women from Montgomery & Prince George’s Counties raised over $70,000 in support of National Women Build Week and volunteered a total of 1,120 hours, helping to rehabilitate four homes in Prince George’s County. The work completed also supports “Home for the Holidays,” a nationwide initiative launched by Lowe’s and Habitat for Humanity to work alongside 1,000 families to help them build or repair their homes by December.

Habitat for Humanity’s National Women Build Week is a weeklong event created by its Women Build program that invites women to devote at least one day to help families build strength, stability and independence through housing. The week is meant to spotlight the homeownership challenges faced by women. Lowe’s donated $2 million to Habitat’s 2016 National Women Build Week and will provide the support of Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers. The home improvement chain will also conduct how-to clinics at stores to teach volunteers construction skills.

More than 300 Habitat for Humanity organizations across the country are hosting Women Build projects this year.




Habitat partners with Housing Initiative Partnership (HIP) for home restoration and façade improvement in Kentland/Palmer Park (Prince George’s County)


The Home Restoration Façade Improvement Program was administered by Housing Initiative Partnership (HIP). The Kentland/Palmer Park TNI Home Restoration Façade Improvement Program provided grants to 25 income-qualified homeowners located on three designated streets: East Lombard, East Kilmer and East Inwood in the Kentland community of Prince George’s County.  (TNI is the acronym for Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative)

In addition to Kentland/Palmer Park TNI Grant funds, the program leveraged the Prince George’s County Raincheck Rebate Program.  Homeowners could receive grants for storm water management features such as the installation of rain barrels, planting of 115 native trees, removal of concrete, and the installation of permeable pavers for walks and driveways.

Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland completed weatherization work and minor home repair on four homes, totaling over $40,000 of value.


Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III took time out of his busy schedule to tour the neighborhood.


“I am grateful to Habitat for Humanity for replacing an old roof and for rebuilding my back porch.  It worked out better than I hoped for.”

Habitat for Humanity is Named the Most Loved & Trusted Non-Profit Brand

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Habitat for Humanity named ‘Brand of the Year’ in Social Services Nonprofit category based on the 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Study

Habitat is also recognized as the highest ranked brand in “Trust” and “Love” within the social services nonprofit category

ATLANTA (April 20, 2016) Habitat for Humanity has been named “Brand of the Year” in the social services nonprofit category based on the 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Equity Score. This is the second consecutive year the global nonprofit has been recognized for its strength in brand equity.

In addition, Habitat for Humanity earned the distinction of being named the “Most Loved” and “Most Trusted” brand within its category this year.

“It is truly a blessing for Habitat to be honored by the public in this way for a second year in a row,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Every donation and helping hand Habitat has received over the years made it possible for us to help millions of homeowners worldwide create a place to call home for themselves and their families.”

Habitat for Humanity’s vision for a world where everyone has a decent place to live unites more than 2 million volunteers annually in our mission to build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter in every community we work in throughout the U.S. and around the world.

The Harris Poll EquiTrend Study is an annual survey that measures the brand equity of for-profit and nonprofit organizations in the U.S., ranking them on three key factors: familiarity, quality and consideration.

Habitat for Humanity received the highest numerical Equity Score and the highest numerical score relating to Trust and Love among social service nonprofit brands included in the 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend Study, which is based on opinions of 97,120 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online between Dec. 22, 2015 and Feb. 1, 2016. Your opinion may differ. “Highest Ranked” was determined by a pure ranking of a sample of social service nonprofit brands.

To learn more about the Harris Poll EquiTrend Study, visit

About Habitat for Humanity International
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity has grown from a grassroots effort that began on a community farm in southern Georgia in 1976 to a global nonprofit housing organization in nearly 1,400 communities across the U.S. and in over 70 countries. People partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower.

To learn more, visit

Solar power installed on a Habitat home

Direct Energy Solar partnered with Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland (HFHMM) to install an energy-efficient system in the home of the Woldesenbet/Demeke family living in Gaithersburg.  The home is 100 percent powered by electricity so saving money on utilities is important for the family.  About one-third of their power will be generated from the new solar system that was donated by Columbia, Maryland – based Direct Energy Solar.

The family of 5 partnered with HFHMM and the local community to contribute over 300 hours of work on their own home in less than 4 months.  After attending financial literacy and homeownership workshops, the family purchased their new home with a 30 year, interest free mortgage provided by HFHMM.  They are now happily moved into their new healthy and affordable home and are looking forward to their reduced energy bills.

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Singing with Bruce in Baltimore!

Last week, I joined my son Greg and my grandson Brett for the Bruce Springsteen concert in Baltimore.  Anyone who has been to a Springsteen concert knows what a powerful experience it is.  Bruce is an amazing musician, singer, song writer, social justice activist, and humanitarian.  He has a deep connection with his fans as they sing along in harmony.  Bruce gives time and treasure to many non-profit organizations including Habitat for Humanity, joining President Carter for an appeal to rebuild the Jersey Shore after Superstorm Sandy.

Whenever I visit Baltimore, I think about all the great work being done by Habitat’s Chesapeake affiliate in and around Baltimore  I was privileged to know Allan Tibbels, founder of Sandtown Habitat for Humanity.  The Sandtown-Winchester community is located in West Baltimore where over 300 houses have been rehabilitated by Habitat and sold to lower-income homebuyers in need of decent and affordable housing.  The Sandtown and Chesapeake affiliates merged in 2014.  Allan passed away in 2010, but his legacy lives on.  Allan often used this quote by Howard Zinn: “We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change.  Small acts when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”


-Allan Mark Tibbels, 1955-2010

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