Celebrating Those That Matter - September 2019
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Celebrating Those That Matter! 

More than 500 Habitat friends, volunteers, and partners attended Habitat’s annual “Building Homes, Building Communities, Building Hope” breakfast on September 5th
The morning was filled with excitement and a review of the past year’s accomplishments and future goals. It was also a time to honor those that have gone beyond the call of duty to serve the mission of Habitat, and that’s where the “Agents of Change Award” recipients were announced. This year two awards were given, one to an individual and the other to a business.
The individual Agent of Change award was presented to Victoria Bernal, who has been a Habitat Hospitality Volunteer serving fellow volunteers for the past three years. 
Victoria was described as an “unsung hero” who is quiet, does whatever has to be done with no questions or complaints, and who is always there. She makes sure volunteers are following the 50/50 rule of 50% work and 50% fun. Victoria is the one responsible for setting up the welcome table and makes sure all things “hospitality” are ready at the site when volunteers arrive. This means she has to be there really early to make sure everything is just right.
As Ashley Hedemann, Habitat’s Operations Manager, was describing the undisclosed person, Victoria really had no idea Ashley was talking about her. So, you can imagine her surprise when her name was called to go to the stage to receive the award. “I was so caught off guard, I didn’t really know the gravity of what just happened until I sat back down and saw my name real big on the screens around the room,” she said.
Victoria has received other work-related awards, but this one means the most. “I tried really hard to win those; with this one, I didn’t even know it existed,” she said. “Helping Habitat families feels so good; it’s like no other volunteer experience,” she shares. “It gives me a ‘fix’ that lasts all the way to the next volunteer day!"
Left to right: Karen Musson, Matthew Grundy, Victoria Bernal, Glenda Hill,  Ashley Hedemann, and Lo Nestman. 
The second Agent of Change award was presented to Noble Credit Union. Noble was recognized for stepping up at a crucial time last year when Habitat needed a partnership with a bank to facilitate its down payment assistance program through Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.  Matthew Grundy, Habitat CEO, said, “If Noble hadn’t stepped up, Habitat wouldn’t have been able to keep giving families $15,000 to use for a down payment in exchange for their sweat equity and four families wouldn’t have been able to have a home of their own—and nor would countless others as time went on.” 
But Noble Credit Union didn’t stop there. They are now working with Habitat to offer partner families banking options such as savings accounts; to provide long-term below-market financing to keep Habitat homes affordable.
When asked why Noble is doing so much, President/CEO Susan Noble replied, “Noble Credit Union and Habitat for Humanity share a similar mission: To provide important and life-changing assistance to members of our community.  We honor the impact that Matthew Grundy and his team at Habitat have had for our local area and are pleased to partner with them to continue this essential work.” 
Victoria Bernal and the Noble Credit Union are definitely “Agents of Change” and we congratulate them on receiving this well-deserved honor and recognition.  Without individuals and companies like you, and everyONE, Habitat could never do what it does! 
Left to right: Matthew Grundy, Ashley Hedemann, Karen Musson, Glenda Hill, Noble Credit Union team, Jo Nestman.
T-Mobile Goes the Extra Mile to Support Habitat!
Marcelo Moreno, T-Mobile Regional Manager for the Fresno area, said he and 14 of his fellow employees so enjoyed their first volunteer experience at the construction site in August, they want to come back to help on more projects in the very near future. T-Mobile installed ALL of the siding at the Sardenetas family home in Central Fresno.
“What we liked the most is how our employees quickly felt like they were a part of the Habitat team,” Moreno remembers. “Habitat was so organized and helpful, we had no learning curve and were fully on board from the beginning,” he said.
T-Mobile has a national foundation and encourages regional managers like Moreno to submit ideas for possible charity projects he and his employees would like to be a part of in their local communities.  In addition to cash grants like the $2,000 T-Mobile generously donated for the Build Day, the Foundation donates another $1 for every hour employees volunteer. 
He and his fellow team members want to help again and, as Moreno exclaimed, “We’ll continue our volunteer work with Habitat as long and as much as they’ll have us!”

Habitat welcomes any business, service club or organization who might be interested in a team build day.  To learn more about this program, go here, or call Cary Catalano at (559)355-0751 or email him here.
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Copyright © 2019  Habitat for Humanity Fresno County
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Habitat for Humanity Fresno County
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Fresno, CA. 93727

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