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The President & CEO's Blog

From Jeff Dee, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Maryland, Inc.

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Non-profit, affordable housing organization in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties

John’s Farewell Message

As you may have heard, I am stepping down as President & CEO of Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland as of December 31, after 16 years of service – initially as a member of the Board of Directors and then over 15 years as CEO.

I started out as a volunteer and helped the then Board of Directors with their first Strategic Plan.  Little did I know that our small group of committed staff and volunteers would grow the organization from 19 projects in 2006 to over 700 projects completed as of this writing.  Our work includes homes completed and a robust repair and weatherization program.

We are passionate about our work to provide healthy and affordable housing for all.  There are occasions when someone’s life has been changed dramatically and express their appreciation for our acts of kindness and compassion, such as this note:

“Dear Habitat.  I love you all.  Thank you for every sacrifice you have made.  Habitat is more than a house for me and my family.  It really was a hand up!  We come from so little and you helped me believe that there was something more and taught me that hard work can pay off.  Your work has changed my life forever and I eternally grateful.”  Signed Melissa.

Our ReStore business started in 2006 and has grown to a multi-million dollar enterprise with the dual purpose of environmental stewardship and the generation of net proceeds dedicated to affordable housing. 

I am also proud of our international work through Habitat for Humanity International’s Global Village Program.  We built 167 homes internationally through our tithing program, and I am particularly proud of our work to build homes in rural El Salvador in partnership with Montgomery County’s Sister Cities Initiative.

Years of advocacy work in Montgomery and Prince George’s County has provided visibility and recognition for the important work we do to advocate for racial equity and social justice in housing.  I am grateful to members of the Montgomery Housing Alliance for their leadership in advocating for affordable housing in Montgomery County. 

But mostly, I want to thank all of you for your support and friendship over the years.  The best part of my career with Habitat has been the interaction with so many individuals, elected officials, business and faith leaders in our community.  I will always cherish the many friendships I’ve made over the years.

I plan to stay active and open to new opportunities.  After January 1, you can reach me at jjpbird@gmail.com  mobile: 240-252-9181.

Please welcome Jeff Dee, Interim CEO as of January 1st.  Jeff served as Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity Loudoun County prior to serving as our Chief Development Officer for the past 8 years.  You can see Jeff’s bio here.  Jeff’s contact information: jeff.dee@habitatmm.org Mobile: 202-997-5425.

I wish you, your families and your organizations the best of health, happiness and joy in the holiday season.

John Paukstis

Habitat’s Demonstration Project in Takoma Park

The City of Takoma Park reached out to Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland about partnering on an opportunity to subdivide a single family home into a duplex of two separate homeownership units.  The City used its Right of First Refusal to match the sales price and assign the purchase of the home to Habitat for Humanity.  The City also provided a $200,000 loan for the project.

Habitat sees this project as a demonstration of Missing Middle Typologies, Right of First Refusal for the public good, and preservation of affordable housing near future Purple Line transit stops.  The goal is to build a replicable model that preserves affordable housing by converting units into ownership opportunities that are made affordable to low-income borrowers by increasing density.

See the link here for more information.

Rajan Rocks on our Construction Site!

Rajan is a rising Senior at The Potomac School in McLean, Virginia.  He has worked with Habitat for Humanity many times over the last few years.  During his time with Habitat, he has provided research about the viability of converting shipping containers to homes for affordable housing, worked with Habitat on their social media outreach and messaging, organized a furniture drive at his high school for the local Habitat ReStore, and volunteered at the Habitat ReStore.  He has always wanted to be able to work on the construction site to help build houses, and after finally turning 18 years old on August 19, he was able to come and work on the house at Hawthorne St., Landover, starting on his birthday.  He worked with the crew onsite to install appliances and trim, put up door frames, and in this photo, he is beginning the installation of a pantry.  He hopes to be able to return again soon to continue working on the house!

Rajan – thank you for your volunteer service and commitment to healthy and affordable housing!

ReStore Posts Record Revenue!

Our ReStore revenue continued to grow beyond expectations during the fiscal year ending June, 2021.  We posted over $2.1 million in revenue in our stores located in Rockville and Silver Spring during the past 12 months.  Our ReStore staff is celebrating because net proceeds from the ReStores directly benefit the building of affordable housing. 

We started out the fiscal year in July, 2020 after a 10 week closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.  We were wondering…..Will our customers be back?  Will they know we are open?  Will they even want to shop?  The answers to all these questions was a resounding “YES.”

So why did ReStore have such an amazing year during the middle of a pandemic?  It all goes back to “YOU”, our customers and our donors.  Our level of donations was triple the normal level for the first three months after we reopened.  People were simply cleaning out their homes and donating items to ReStore.  It’s a better choice than sending items to the landfill.   

Shopping at a Habitat ReStore isn’t like the shopping experience anywhere else.  Part improvement store, part home goods store, part resale store, our ReStores have a wide selection that changes often.

You benefit because you get fantastic new and gently used home improvement items below retail prices.

Our customers were looking for items for their homes as they were now working from home more than ever.  Their home is a place of comfort and our ReStores have a lot of high-quality donations to pick from.  Customers know that ReStores are a local business that supports environmental stewardship, affordable housing in our community and around the world.

Link to HFHMM ReStore website: Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland : ReStore : ReStore (habitatmm.org)

About Restore: Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a nonprofit retail outlet specializing in the resale of quality new and gently used furniture, antiques, appliances and building supplies. By taking in household goods and furniture donations, ReStore diverts tons of reusable materials from our local landfills. ReStore acts as a discount home improvement center as all items are sold to the public at deep discounts and all proceeds are used to fund the building of affordable housing in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. To shop with a purpose and support a good cause come visit our nonprofit retail outlet in Rockville and Silver Spring today!

Locations:

ReStore Store Rockville:
1029 East Gude Drive, Rockville, MD 20850

ReStore Store Silver Spring:
12006 Plum Orchard Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20904

Drops Off Hours:

You can drop off your household goods, building supplies and furniture donations to the ReStore during these hours:
Monday – Sunday: 12pm – 3pm

Contact Info:

ReStore Phone: 301-947-3304
Email: ReStore@HabitatMM.org

Call to scheduling a pick-up: 301-926-4104   
Schedule a pick-up online for your furniture donation and household goods today!

Video:

Boland Trane’s Women Build Team

We are very thankful to the Boland Trane Women Build Team for volunteering on our construction site last week.  We are in the final stages of building a new Universal Design home, and the Boland team worked on installing a new fence around the back yard of the property.  It looks great!

“Hi, my name is Karen (2nd from right in team photo) and I coordinate volunteer opportunities for Boland employees.  Giving back to the community where we live and work has always been a central part of the Boland culture.  Helping others is deeply rooted in our DNA.  Through the Boland Cares program, associates can donate their time and money to enhance our local communities.  In addition, Boland also has a Charitable Matching Program where we match a donation our associates make so they can support the organization they care about most – times two.”

To learn more about Boland Trane click here www.boland.com

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