See the life-changing impact of homeownership from the perspectives of two different boys, each of whose families recently became Habitat Charlotte homeowners. Both videos were produced by our friends at Habitat for Humanity International who met these delightful guys and their families in the summer of 2015 when they were shooting Habitat's public service announcements.
If you've been to either Charlotte ReStore lately, you may have noticed several attractive, gently-used kitchens assembled on the floor. Cabinets, islands, granite and marble countertops—everything, even the kitchen sink. And they seem to be multiplying. That's all thanks to the hard work of Colin Hayes and the Charlotte ReStores' skilled Deconstruction staff.
Hayes came to Habitat Charlotte in 2011 to head up Decon operations and has raised the bar every year since. Sales from Deconstruction donations in the past fiscal year were a whopping 96% higher than the same period of the prior year, and were enough to fund the construction of three new houses.
"I think the main reason it's grown over the last few years is because more people know about the service now," Hayes said. "We've gone from myself as the only full-time employee to now having two others – Kevin and Daniel. Knowledge of the program, though, remains one of the biggest barriers to growth; not a lot of people know that this is something we offer."
Deconstruction is a free service with a simple proposition. If homeowners decide to do a kitchen remodel, they or their contractor can contact Hayes to evaluate the scope of work and the items to be removed. If everything's in sellable condition and the homeowner is willing to offer them as a tax-deductible donation to the ReStore, Hayes and the Decon team will remove them at no charge, determine a fair market value and bring them in for resale. As a matter of perspective, most for-profit kitchen removal services charge anywhere from $500 to $1,000, depending on the size of the project. Considering the cost savings of this free service, many homeowners choose to make an additional financial gift, furthering the impact Deconstruction has on the community.
Currently, Hayes and team can average two projects per day, depending on the size and scope of the work. Typically a kitchen removal will also include removal and donation of appliances. But Decon projects are not limited just to kitchens. Bathroom vanities and fixtures, built-in bookshelves, light fixtures, doors and more are all acceptable.
Hayes is well aware of the impact Deconstruction has had on Habitat Charlotte and the families the affiliate serves. And though the financial outcomes are impressive, he tries to stay focused on serving people, not counting dollars.
"I just remind myself of this – and it's the same thing I'd tell potential homeowners we're working with – every screw we take out is a nail going into a family's new home. And that's why we do what we do."
"Every child deserves a place to call home..."
The dark, cavernous room, illuminated only by two soft pools of light, used to be a roller-skating rink. A few identity changes later it became a Vietnamese market, then it took on new life as a church and ministry center serving East Charlotte's refugee community. On this boiling hot day in mid-July, it is a makeshift film studio where an unlikely cast of children are queued for their turn in front of the camera.
They're all Habitat Charlotte homeowners' kids, and most of them will soon be seen on TV in a series of public service announcements (PSAs) promoting Habitat for Humanity. Cable and network TV affiliates across America—including the six TV stations in Charlotte—will begin airing them this fall. Because PSAs generally run in unsold commercial time, one cannot know in advance when they will be scheduled.
The PSA project is the brainchild of Habitat for Humanity International's talented creative team in Atlanta, headed by senior director of storytelling Shala Carlson and video director Steve Childress. When Childress first saw photos of Habitat Charlotte children recommended for consideration in the PSAs, he accused the affiliate of "pushing the adorability meter until it breaks." Of course, we stand guilty as charged.
The 60-second version of the completed PSA is above, and one of the 30-second versions is below. Keep your eyes peeled this fall and winter for these PSAs to run on several local stations!
A day of grassroots action to advocate for universal decent, affordable housing.
World Habitat Day is the one day set aside annually to recognize the basic right of all people to adequate shelter, and to encourage grassroots action toward ending poverty housing. The United Nations General Assembly declared in 1985 that the first Monday of October each year would be World Habitat Day. Habitat Charlotte has addressed the local need for affordable housing since its founding in 1983. To date, Habitat Charlotte has served nearly 1,500 low-income families with decent, affordable housing. Learn more about the UN's World Habitat Day here.
Join Habitat Charlotte on World Habitat Day
On Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, as in years past, Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte joined with Habitat for Humanity International and partners around the world to rededicate themselves to a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Show your support by attending a local World Habitat Day event or organizing one in your own community. Here are resources to help you share this important message on World Habitat Day:
- Key facts
- Color a pledge pin-up
- Create a prayer event
- Social media posts
- Social media images & graphics
Be on the lookout across Charlotte for World Habitat Day banners placed in front of several partner churches. There you'll see some very impactful statistics on poverty housing and homelessness, both worldwide and right here in Charlotte.
Habitat Charlotte & International Housing
Since 1987, Habitat Charlotte has tithed more than $3 million to sister affiliates overseas, enabling construction of over 1,200 homes for low-income families in need. El Salvador, one of Central America's poorest countries, has been the recipient of our tithe and building support since 1993. Each year, Habitat Charlotte leads multiple trips to El Salvador to continue building homes, communities and hope internationally. The photo above--Salvadoran children living in a dirt-floor shack--is representative of living conditions for tens of thousands of families in that poverty-stricken country.
You can read more about Habitat Charlotte's efforts in El Salvador, as well as learn more about upcoming trips, here.
The following was written by Habitat Charlotte President & CEO Laura Belcher upon receiving the news about the passing of John Crosland, Jr., a man paramount to the founding and continued success of Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte.
To the entire Habitat Charlotte family:
Many of you have heard the news that our community lost John Crosland, Jr. yesterday. We are saddened by the loss knowing that he was very much the foundation of Habitat Charlotte. John was instrumental in initiating our affiliate in 1983 and chaired the board from inception through 1989. With a successful real estate career, John was ever conscious of the need for affordable housing in this community and actively worked to raise both awareness of the need and the inventory of affordable homes. Today, we operate the affiliate out of the John Crosland, Jr. Center for Housing, named in his honor when the offices were opened in 2006.
We are thankful for his life and his dedication to this community. Please remember his family, especially his wife, Judy, in the days ahead.
Below are links to several articles written about John Crosland, Jr.'s legacy, as well as his obituary as published in The Charlotte Observer. We will continue to update with new articles as we receive them.
- Prominent developer John Crosland, Jr. believed in trying hard (The Charlotte Observer)
- Crosland's legacy continues in other Charlotte real estate firms (The Charlotte Observer)
- Real estate legend John Crosland Jr. dies at 86 (Charlotte Business Journal)
- Mr. John Crosland Jr. (1928-2015) (Charlotte Observer Obituaries)
- Editorial: Crosland helped shape Charlotte's growth (The Charlotte Observer)