Home Framed, Painted and Park Enhanced  - October 2019
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Never Seen A Wall Raising - Watch This Video and Witness It In Action!
Cargill Cares by Investing in Dreams

Thanks to the generosity and time of so many in the community, Habitat is able to help another family become a homeowner! On October 16, walls sprung up and tears poured down for Mailee Yang, a single mom of seven.  A milestone was passed when she experienced the framing and wall raising (watch video of wall raising) of her new home at our Amador and B development in southwest Fresno. Mary Ayala, Habitat’s family service coordinator, witnessed an emotional response from Mailee when she shared her past escape from domestic violence.

“Seeing the walls come up on our house was like a dream come true,” Mailee expressed.

Before the family was selected to participate in Habitat's affordable Homeownership Program, they traveled from one shelter to another until they moved into the home of Mailee’s brother. This temporary transition made for a cramped household of 17 people. A lack of housing stability due to overcrowding, substandard conditions, and safety are components of a story frequently told by Habitat homebuyer applicants. This is why the work of Habitat is so important to our community—we are no strangers to helping families meet housing needs.

Mary continued by saying, “Mailee kept thanking Habitat and the volunteers for being there, and that this life-changing experience never would have happened without everyone.”

Cargill, which has been a long-standing partner of Habitat for ten years, sponsored this monumental day. By donating nearly $225,000 since 2010, they are no stranger to helping us meet financial needs. Team Cargill has worked on 27 homes in addition to providing funding. In fact, you might remember the famous Almy Street Playground, which is part of the neighborhood Cargill helped build! Their advocacy for Habitat’s work won nearly $3 million from Fresno City and Fresno County to install sidewalks, streetlights, and flood control measures. These important pieces were crucial to improving the quality of life for the residents we all mean to serve.

“It was so fun and amazing,” said Jahnessa Anderson-Lopez, Cargill’s operations associate and community outreach officer, “getting to know Mailee and see her face light up as she was watching her dreams come true.” When asked why Cargill partners with Habitat, she added, “Habitat does great things for the community and is in alliance with our core values and beliefs. We love to donate and help organizations that are like us and believe in the same things that we believe in.”

To see more of Mailee’s story, click here.
Team Habitat, and the Fresno Grizzlies partner with the Boys and Girls Club
NR Hits a Home Run with the Fresno Grizzlies!

When you volunteer with Habitat, you can expect to positively live out our motto of “50% work and 50% fun!” The Fresno Grizzlies experienced this in full force when they spent a day sprucing up Fink White Park in southwest Fresno.

According to Madeline Hamada, Fresno Grizzlies’ community engagement manager, “When we arrived, we were greeted by Marina Harutyunyan, Habitat’s neighborhood revitalization director, and Sarah Pedelty, their volunteer coordinator. They walked us to the Amador and B housing development across the street from the park that will soon be home to five new families.”  

The Grizzlies, along with Habitat’s revitalization staff, painted the teen club room, recreation area and kitchen, and cleaned baseboards to give the facility a new look. They trimmed hedges and removed leaves around the pool, playground, and tennis court for cleanliness. This is Habitat’s second time partnering on a similar project with the Boys and Girls Club of Fresno County.

Madeline continued, “To know Habitat is building homes right there for families and how we are helping our neighbors by cleaning up the park for the kids of Fink White Boys and Girls Club makes a huge impact not only for them, but for us and how we feel about our service to the community.” 

“It was amazing to give the club a fresh coat of paint as well as revitalize the center in such a key location, where children get after school support to succeed and prosper in the neighborhood,” said Marina Harutyunyan. “Tying people into their community is an important part of our mission. We are glad to hear that Fresno Grizzlies will stay connected to Fink White Park and Habitat.”

To learn more about our Neighborhood Revitalization efforts, click here.
Nana's House Gets a Makeover!

Rosemary Burgos, affectionately known as “Nana”, captured the hearts of many. The story of her home made headlines with its failing roof, excessive water damage, and cracked exterior paint. “When we saw the video of Rosemary’s home, and the conditions she was living in, we felt compelled to help Rosemary and her family,” said East Fresno Rotary President Nathan Metheny.

Not only did Rotary donate $2,500 to offset the cost of this nearly $40,000 project, but the service club also added 132 hours of volunteer assistance to paint the exterior of Rosemary’s home. Her house was completely transformed from a dull off-white to a cool gray.

“Our East Fresno Rotarians’ hearts were filled with joy to see the work that we accomplished and the smile we put on the family’s faces. We were happy to be part of something so wonderful!” said Metheny.

Repairs for Rosemary’s home are nearly complete, and we can’t wait to show you the results!

Still, there is more work to be done, since countless families struggle daily to make ends meet. Other residents need basic or critical repairs to their home. If you are able to support our Home Preservation program, please donate here, or use the “give online” icon below. For questions, please contact Cary Catalano at (559) 355-0751, or by email here.   
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