The Executive Director's Blog

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

Our team has landed in Nepal!


Donna and Sarah in the Kathmandu valley

Habitat for Humanity started working in Nepal in 1997.  Habitat Nepal celebrated its 10,000th family served and by mid-2014, and since inception, more than 54,000 families have been helped with housing related solutions.

Our Habitat Global Village team arrived in Nepal on October 16 and will be building a home in an established community.

“We’re working in a community of 93 families, only 6 of the 93 homes survived the earthquakes. Habitat is rebuilding the remaining 87 homes! Forty-one are completed and we are working on two more. They will finish all 87 by May of next year and move onto the next community that needs help rebuilding. Each home is made of 8,000 bricks. I think we will touch each one of those bricks.” – Sarah Reddinger, HFHMM Director of Program Services


HFHMM & Mayor Jeffrey Slavin host Pride Build Kickoff Event

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The Pride Build Program was re-launched to engage the LGBTQA community to partner with HFHMM and qualified low-income homebuyers with volunteer and financial support.  Habitat homebuyers help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.  With the help of the LGBTQA community Habitat homeowners build strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable homeownership.

Last week, the kickoff event for Pride Build 2016 was held at the home of Mayor Jeffrey Slavin of Somerset.  All participants, sponsors, and elected officials gathered to learn more about Habitat’s work in Montgomery and Prince George’s County while enjoying appetizers and a networking happy hour. Several teams, each comprised of 10-15 individuals have signed up to fundraise and volunteer on construction projects from October 15th through October 29th.

If interested in participating in this year’s Pride Build, please contact Kerry Johnson, Marketing & Development Associate at:



ReStore makes a splash at the Takoma Park Street Festival


Heather and Shurica at the ReStore booth on Sunday

Habitat for Humanity ReStore participated in the 35th Annual Takoma Park Street Festival on Sunday.  Hundreds of people visited our booth to hear about the ReStore and Habitat for Humanity’s work to help homeowners build strength, stability and self- reliance through shelter in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.

ReStore sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, cabinets, home goods, lighting fixtures, tools, hardware and antiques.  All at deep discount prices!

Our ReStore in Silver Spring is celebrating its two year anniversary!

When: Saturday, November 5, 2016

Where: 12006 B Plum Orchard Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20904

Time: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Join us for FOOD, MUSIC, and SALES!


Visit our other ReStore:

1029 East Gude Dr.

Rockville, MD 20850

Both ReStores Open: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

We Pick Up!

Call 301-947-3304 x31 to schedule a pick-up.


Ericc Powell is awarded the Harry & Lutie Semmes Award for outstanding service by a Habitat board member.


Jeff Hollingsworth, Board Chair, presents award to Ericc Powell (right)

The Harry & Lutie Semmes award is presented annually to a board member for outstanding service to HFHMM.

Harry was one of the most positive and kind-hearted individuals I ever met.  He called weekly to offer help and arrange meetings with leaders in the community.  He was delightful in every way and loved Habitat.

Harry played an invaluable role in the growth of Habitat in Montgomery County.  For years, he served and the Board of Directors and as Chair of the Site Selection Committee and was key in securing the Linganore Woods site where 24 town homes were completed in 2008.  Harry led several major fundraising efforts and was always keen to introduce Habitat to people who could make a difference for the organization.

“I don’t think he ever did a thing with the thought of taking credit for himself.  I think he did things because he generally felt in his heart it was the right thing to do.”  Flo Hunt, former HFHMM board member.

The HFHMM Board of Directors established the Harry & Lutie Semmes Award in 2006, and since then, the award is presented to and outstanding board member at Habitat’s annual volunteer recognition event.

Ericc Powell exemplifies leadership and commitment to Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland.

“Without a doubt, Ericc is the happiest and most positive person I’ve ever met. His dedication to everything he does, including volunteering with Habitat, is impressive and inspiring. Ericc volunteers on the Faith and Construction Committees, at events – including at the Golf Tournament each year, – on the construction sites, in the office, in both ReStores and participates in Habitat global village trips. He’s been on multiple trips to El Salvador and is joining the trip to Nepal in October. He is also a certified global village trip leader and has led his own trips. He’s been involved in almost every aspect of our business. To the staff he is a resource, a mentor, a co-worker, and a friend.” – Sarah Reddinger, HFHMM Director of Program Services

Lowe’s Neighborhood Beautification Community Celebration



On Saturday, September 10th 2016, more than 50 residents from the Riverdale community gathered at the Riverdale Heights Volunteer Fire Department to celebrate the conclusion of the Lowe’s Neighborhood Beautification Challenge, a community partnership project between Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland, Lowe’s, and the RRC Community Association.

A neighborhood revitalization grant provided by Lowe’s allowed 40 families to receive $500 Lowe’s gift cards that each family then used to improve the exterior of their homes.  Some of the projects that were completed included house painting, installing porch railings and storm doors, landscaping, concrete walkway clean-up, and building new garage doors.

Marty Newman, the RRC Community Association’s President stated, “Our community was greatly impacted on many levels by receiving the Lowe’s grant.  First, the residents who participated in the Beautification Challenge made improvements to their homes and property; many couldn’t have done it without the money from the grant and/or the assistance from Habitat volunteers.  Second, the improvements made by these residents inspired neighbors to repair and clean their property.  Third, and most importantly, neighbors helped each other by working together, sharing tools, and providing emotional support which increased our sense of community.  We are a brighter, cleaner, and more cohesive community as a result of this grant and partnership.”

HFHMM would like to thank Lowe’s and all of the volunteers, residents, and staff who helped make this project possible.





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