Habitat Choptank Welcomes New Board Members

Habitat for Choptank has welcomed three highly respected civic leaders onto its volunteer-based Board of Directors.  Reverend Daniel K. Dunlap, Vaughn Evans, and Kevin Moran have been ushered in and will serve together with eleven other board members in an effort to further the Habitat mission by offering their hard-working dedication and time-honored talents in the service of both the Talbot and Dorchester County housing communities.

Local Reverend Dan Dunlap, PhD serves two parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Easton (Old Trinity Church and St. John’s Chapel). He has also served parishes in Philadelphia and Exeter, England. Reverend Dunlap has a strong background in both the administration and pursuance of education. He earned his doctorate at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford in 2001 and served for 10 years as Professor of Historical Theology & Worship at the Houston Graduate School of Theology, where he also took on the role of Dean of the Faculty for five years. Currently, Rev. Dunlap teaches Science & Religion and History at the Institute of Adult learning at Chesapeake College.

Like Rev. Dunlap, Vaughn Evans also has a firm foundation in education. He is in the process of completing coursework towards his Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership, and has been a public educator for the past 34 years.  Evans has served as the principal at Warwick Elementary, Maces Lane Middle, North Dorchester High, and North Dorchester Middle, and has proven his ability to turn challenging situations into positive outcomes by building relationships and providing both discipline and instructional leadership.

From left to right, Kevin Moran, Vaughn Evans, and Rev. Daniel Dunlap.

Local 1880 Bank Executive Kevin Moran comes to Habitat Choptank with a solid background in both the financial sector and theservice arena.  Moran serves as the Executive VP of 1880 Bank and is responsible for credit policy administration and oversight of the credit underwriting and approval process. He also works as the Coordinator for St. Luke’s UMC group’s service with the Interfaith Shelter, as Treasurer for the Bay 100 Youth Task Force, and on the Board of the Londonderry Retirement Community.

As Habitat Choptank moves towards the final stages of its current strategic five year plan, the insights and aptitudes of Rev. Dunlap, Evans, and Moran will become all the more critical in the furtherance and development of the Habitat mission, though the objectives of the current plan remain central. These goals and objectives include the expansion of the board, staff and volunteers, the advancement of Habitat Choptank’s traditional self-help home ownership program, and the addition of other housing services in relevant housing communities.

To actualize the current five-year plan, Habitat Choptank will continue to work concurrently in four communities within its two county service area – Easton, St. Michaels, Cambridge and Hurlock; operate at a level to complete at least eight home sales per year; build stronger neighborhoods through quality, sustainable new construction homes and rehabs; and through Neighborhood Revitalization efforts to enhance the quality of life in local neighborhoods; and develop well-prepared home owners using right-sized financing combined with education, support and relationships pre- and post-settlement.

For information, to volunteer, or to make a donation, call 410-476-3204 or visit www.habitatchoptank.org.

Habitat Choptank Sells Home 77 and 78

September was an exciting month for two local families who partnered with Habitat for Humanity Choptank to buy homes in Dorchester and Talbot Counties.  Friends, family, public officials, Habitat home buyers, and volunteers gathered for the home dedications of home buyers Nishika Palmore and Tykeshia Jenkins.  Both homes on Oakley Street in Cambridge and Port Street in Easton were new construction houses built using durable, energy efficient materials by dedicated volunteers who poured their love into these homes so that two new families can have a place to call their very own.

Palmore and Jenkins made a commitment to partner with Habitat Choptank to own a home which involved dedicating hundreds of “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals.

Homeowner, Tykeshia Jenkins was joined for her home dedication, Habitat Choptank’s 78th, by supporters of the organization’s mission of building homes, community, and hope. (Photo by Tim Poly).

In keeping with Habitat tradition, after each home buyer purchases a Habitat home, a home dedication celebration is hosted at each home.  After being presented with the keys to their new homes both families expressed appreciation to Habitat Choptank volunteers, staff and donors for their support.  Palmore and Jenkins now assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including repaying a mortgage over the next 30-33 years, maintaining the home, and paying home owner’s insurance and property taxes.   However, coming with these responsibilities is also the joy and sense of accomplishment that comes from owning a home.

With the sale of these homes, Habitat Choptank has built and sold a total of 78 homes to local, hardworking families in Talbot and Dorchester Counties since its inception in 1992.  That effort continues as nine more Habitat homes are in progress in Easton, Cambridge, and Hurlock, and four more are scheduled to begin in St. Michaels in the coming weeks.  Currently, 16 home buyers are working through the homeownership program.  For more information, to donate, volunteer or apply contact 410-476-3204 or visit habitatchoptank.org.

Habitat for Humanity Choptank Breaks Ground in St. Michaels

On Saturday, September 8, Habitat for Humanity Choptank celebrated breaking ground on a seven-home neighborhood on Brooks Lane in St. Michaels.  The groundbreaking recognized the benefactors and partnerships that have helped to make this much-needed neighborhood a reality, and dedicated the ground on which seven affordable homes will be built and purchased by hardworking homebuyers.  Beyond this, the ceremony gave those with a vested interest in bringing affordable homeownership opportunities to St. Michaels a chance to come together in an effort to build new beginnings and brighter futures for seven local families.

Charlie Bohn, President of the Board of Directors of Habitat Choptank, addressed those in attendance with words of welcome and gratitude, and expressed that the Brooks Lane neighborhood would not have been possible without the generous donation of property by the Dodson Family; the additional support provided by the estate of Robert and Beverly Wolffe; and the collaboration between Habitat Choptank and Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development, Talbot County, and the Town of St. Michaels.

Guest speakers and Habitat home buyers were invited to grab a shovel to officially break ground on the soon to be Brooks Lane neighborhood. (Photo contributed by Tim Poly)

Rev. Steve Mosher— Rector of Christ Church of St. Michaels asked God for blessings for those who gathered for the groundbreaking, our sisters and brothers who will benefit from shelter, and asked that the spirit move every human heart and instill in us to be stewards in his creation.The blessing was followed by a rendition of “God Bless America” by the Trinity Singers of Trinity Cathedral in Easton.

Guest speaker, Mary Jane Dodson, then shared her remarks on leaving a legacy, emphatically stating that,“roots matter.”  She explained how the property on which the seven homes will be built had sustained her family for many years, and now new families will have land of their very own to plant their own roots and sustain their families.

Barb Pollard, the daughter of Robert and Beverly Wolffe, followed by invoking remembrance of her parents, saying that they would be “bursting with pride and joy” over the impact these homes will have on the community, homeowners, and those who will roll up their sleeves to help, as their civic-minded philosophies aligned well with those of her parents and Habitat’s guiding principles.

Guest speaker, Bridgette Lundfelt, Director of Community Outreach for the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, spoke on behalf of Governor Hogan to congratulate all parties involved and recognize the community effort it takes to change Maryland for the better.  Followed by the endorsement of William E. Boos, the President of the Commissioners of St. Michaels, who expressed that the work of Habitat is so much more than just building homes— it transforms communities and lives.

Amy Morgan from Trinity Cathedral in Easton sings Psalm 84. (Photo contributed by Tim Poly)

Finally, the event culminated with closing remarks from JoAnn Hansen, the Executive Director of Habitat Choptank, who read from Psalm 84 by stating her gratefulness for the dwelling place that St. Michaels will serve for new homebuyers but also for the dwelling place that exists within the hearts of those who have supported this project.In a closing prayer, she asked for God’s protection, provision and blessing on the project.

Construction of the Brooks Lane neighborhood is projected to begin in the fall of 2018 and will continue for two to three years, relying mostly on volunteer labor as well as the “sweat equity” of the prospective homeowner.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, seven families will purchase their homes and assume the full responsibilities of homeownership, including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying an affordable mortgage.

About Habitat for Humanity Choptank

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made homeownership possible for 78 local Dorchester and Talbot county families.  Income qualifying home buyers are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of homeownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage. Habitat Choptank’s toolkit of services also includes Neighborhood Revitalization which helps existing homeowners with critical repairs. Currently 15 home buyers are working through the home ownership program. Eleven homes are under construction at this time with plans to start at least nine more over the coming year. For more information, to donate, volunteer or apply contact 410-476-3204 or visit habitatchoptank.org.

Habitat Choptank and the City of Cambridge Celebrate Neighborhood Revitalization Partnership

Once blank chalkboards are now filled with resident’s hopes, dreams and aspirations for themselves and for the future of the Historic Pine Street Neighborhood in Cambridge.

The chalkboard project was central to the purpose of the Community Resource Fair that took place on the lawn of Waugh Chapel on Wednesday, August 22nd.  The event celebrated the kick off of the Neighborhood Revitalization partnership between the City of Cambridge and Habitat Choptank and involved other community partners and resources.  It was a unique opportunity for residents to come together to share their vision for the community with Habitat, the City and each other.

Community chalkboards filled with resident’s hopes, dreams and aspirations for themselves and for their neighborhood.

Reverend James Whitaker of Waugh Chapel thanked those in attendance for coming together to take advantage of this opportunity, and asked God to bless the community and the work that Habitat is doing there.  Mayor Victoria Jackson Stanley encouraged residents, “to all do something to support the neighborhood by working together to build a better Cambridge — a better community.”  George Fox, President Elect of the Board of Directors of Habitat Choptank shared his enthusiasm for Habitat Choptank’s expanded toolkit of housing services which includes the Neighborhood Revitalization program that offers owner occupied repairs, in addition to rehabs and new construction.

“What is unique about the Neighborhood Revitalization program is that the work will be shaped by the people who live within the community.  The community chalkboards drew a lot of attention, and we received positive feedback from many residents, including children who stopped by to share their visions,” says Habitat Choptank Neighborhood Revitalization Manager Rhodana Fields.

Painted on one chalkboard on High Street was, “When I dream about Cambridge, I see,” and in colorful chalk read messages like “I see progress” and “I see community.”  Another chalkboard on the corner of Muir and High Street read “If this lot could be anything it could be a place to,” and was filled with statements from the profound to the practical, like “be a family” to “read.”

Mayor Victoria Jackson Stanley welcomes the community to the event. Cambridge, a better community.”

Cambridge resident, Lynette Wongus shared her personal aspirations finishing the sentence “If I owned an affordable home” with “I could leave a legacy for my family.”  She added, “Without Habitat the dream of home ownership would be almost impossible for a lot of hardworking people.  I believe it is important for people to own their own property, and to be able to leave a little security behind for their families.”

Fields adds, “The next step is to share the information we heard about housing needs, desires for the use of vacant lot space, and what makes the Historic Pine Street neighborhood a great place to live with the community.”

Yvette Robinson, City of Cambridge Housing Specialist will spearhead ongoing community revitalization efforts, seeking input from the community and partnering with local leaders, non-profits, and businesses who share the same vision to develop a collaborative plan to support the community’s aspirations and to create a better quality of life not only for the Pine Street Neighborhood, but Cambridge as a whole. She can be reached at Yrobinson@choosecambridge.com.

To secure funding for the Neighborhood Revitalization program in Cambridge, Habitat partnered with the City to apply for Community Development Block Grant funds through Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development.

About Habitat for Humanity Choptank

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made homeownership possible for 76 local Dorchester and Talbot county families.  Income qualifying home buyers are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of homeownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage. Habitat Choptank’s toolkit of services also includes Neighborhood Revitalization which helps existing homeowners with critical repairs. Currently 15 homes buyers are working through the home ownership program. Eleven homes are under construction at this time with plans to start at least nine more over the coming year. For more information, to donate, volunteer or apply contact 410-476-3204 or visit habitatchoptank.org.

Habitat for Humanity Choptank Hosts Resource Fair and Block Party

Habitat for Humanity Choptank will host a Community Resource Fair and Block Party on Wednesday, August 22. This free event will take place from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Waugh Chapel located at 425 High Street in Cambridge. Attendees will have the chance to visit with numerous community resources, enjoy a free lunch, and meet with program representatives about critical home repairs. From tax prep assistance to an exploration of the history of the neighborhood as well as craft and home repair demonstrations, the event will be a fun, informative opportunity for the whole family.

There will be games for kids, and crafts and Rita’s Italian Ice.  Central to the day’s events, is a Community Chalkboard Project.  The project will place five Chalkboard Signs in the Pine Street neighborhood for people to fill in the blanks with their hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future— both for themselves and for the community.  Participants can text a picture of their entry to 443-291-9925, to be entered in a drawing for a $250 Lowes gift card. The contest kicks off on Wednesday, August 22 and ends Saturday, August 25.

“The City of Cambridge and DHCD [the Sate of Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development] share Habitat’s vision that having a safe, stable home helps bring strength, security and pride to families and ultimately communities” said Habitat Choptank’s Neighborhood Revitalization Manager, Rhodana Fields. “This event will be a fun way for neighbors to share their vision for the community with the City, with Habitat, and with each other. Working together, the vision can become a real plan –a road map– for the future.”

Pictured L-R: Rhodana Fields, Habitat Choptank; Adrian Holmes, Alpha Genesis Community Development Corporation; Habitat Choptank volunteer, Terri Spence; and Jermaine Anderson, Alpha Genesis Community Development Corporation.

Habitat Choptank partnered with the City to apply for a grant from DHCD to secure funding for Neighborhood Revitalization in Cambridge including new construction and renovation, as well as homeowner occupied repairs. DHCD supported this collaborative approach with additional funding, hoping the program will demonstrate a positive impact for the community, and serve as a successful model to expand to other neighborhoods in Cambridge. The total investment from the City of Cambridge, Habitat Choptank and the CDBG grant will be over $1 Million.

Under this grant, three homes will be purchased for renovation and future homeownership opportunities.  At least three owner occupied homes will be repaired, including major repairs like stabilizing floors, and replacing roofs. Three energy efficient new homes will be constructed, designed to complement the historic community, and built with durable materials to last for the next hundred years.  New construction or rehabbed homes will be offered to income qualifying home buyers who may not be able to access affordable mortgage financing in the market. All of the funds generated from the affordable mortgage payments are reinvested in the community as more homes are built.  “I get a lot of satisfaction paying my mortgage each month, knowing that those dollars are creating opportunity for the next person to become a homeowner”, says Habitat homeowner and neighborhood resident Nora Skiver.

In addition, the grant funds a City of Cambridge Housing Specialist who will coordinate ongoing community revitalization efforts, seeking input from the community and partnering with local leaders, non-profits, and businesses to support the community’s vision.  Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley spoke about the City’s support for the project:  “We are truly excited about our partnership with Habitat Choptank, Maryland DHCD and the Community.  This partnership provides vital resources that allow us to effectively implement our commitment to neighborhood revitalization by providing essential services to those most in need.  The preservation of the history, community and pride represented in the Pine Street community is important, not only for Pine Street, but for Cambridge as a whole. We are looking forward to the Community Resource Day and invite all to come out and be about of our revitalization kick-off.”

Through Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization approach, Habitat affiliates offer an expanded array of housing services and partner with local residents, housing leaders, community groups and businesses to transform neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life in communities.

For more information about the August 22nd event, contact Rhodana Fields, Habitat Choptank’s Neighborhood Revitalization Manager at 410-476-3204 or rfields@habitatchoptank.org.

About Habitat for Humanity Choptank

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has partnered with 190 local households to improve a place they call home. One hundred and eighteen of those families have been served through weatherization services since Habitat Choptank initiated its neighborhood revitalization program in 2015. Seventy-six families have purchased new or rehabbed homes from the nonprofit and currently fifteen local home buyers are working through the home ownership program.  Eleven homes are under construction at this time with plans to start at least nine more over the coming year. Income qualifying home buyers are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit’s project inventory of durable and energy efficient homes.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years. Habitat accepts applications for its housing programs throughout the year. To donate, volunteer or apply, visit habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.

Golfers Invited to Tee Off for Habitat for Humanity Choptank’s Event

(L to R) Golf Committee members Dr. Paul Brant, Abby Messick, Fred Haller (Co-Chair) & Brett Whitehead (Co-Chair)

Habitat for Humanity Choptank invites area golfers to swing their clubs and help build affordable, energy efficient homes in partnership with local working families. The nonprofit’s annual Golf Outing is slated for Friday, June 8, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, MD.

Funds raised from the event, including sponsorships and registration fees, support the home building program through which qualifying low-income individuals and families can purchase homes with affordable mortgages. Habitat Choptank currently has seven homes in progress between Cambridge, Hurlock and Easton and there are plans to begin six more homes in the coming year if the organization can raise the funds needed.  Over its 26 year history, Habitat Choptank has completed and sold 76 homes and the need for affordable housing continues to grow.

Habitat Choptank welcomes golfers and sponsors to be part of the organization’s mission of putting God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope.  On the ground, that involves creating opportunities for hardworking local people to build a better future for themselves through the power of home ownership.

Golfers may enter as a twosome or foursome. The Golf Outing package includes a morning of golf, refreshments, and lunch with awards presentation. Golfers will also enjoy a putting contest challenge with a host of fabulous prizes. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.  To learn more about Habitat, to register for the golf outing, or inquire about sponsorship, contact JoAnn Hansen at director@habitatchoptank.org or by calling 410-476-3204.

Habitat Choptank and Lowe’s to Host National Women Build Week

Next week, Habitat Choptank and Lowe’s will host the annual National Women Build Week from May 5-13 where women volunteers and Habitat homeowners will unite nationwide to build up their communities and gain skills in home construction.

National Women Build Week encourages women nationwide to devote at least one day to help build decent and affordable housing in our local communities. Women have the strength and determination necessary to build Habitat houses, addressing the problem of affordable housing in a concrete way so that families can achieve stability and independence through safe, decent and affordable homes.

Habitat Choptank will be offering the following build days for volunteers to get involved for a full day or a half day.  The build days will be hosted at one of the following locations in Talbot and Dorchester County: Tuesday, May 8th or Wednesday, May 9th in Cambridge; Friday, May 11th or Saturday May 12th in Easton; or Friday, May 11th or Saturday, May 12th in Hurlock.

“Since 2012, Habitat for Humanity Choptank has been uniting strong women volunteers of all experience levels in our Talbot and Dorchester Counties to build or repair homes alongside our hardworking, empowered Habitat homeowners,” said Habitat Choptank Executive Director JoAnn Hansen. “We would like to thank our local Lowe’s for partnering with us to educate, inspire and empower women to build up their communities.”

In fact, according to a 2018 national study by Lowe’s and Habitat for Humanity, more than nine-in-10 American women believe providing and advocating for access to affordable housing for women can benefit society. The survey also found:

• Nearly all women (98 percent) agree access to affordable housing helps women heads of household thrive.
• Having a safe, stable home is a source of pride (96 percent) that makes women feel more confident (98 percent) and independent (97 percent).
• Three-in-five (62 percent) women say they cannot afford to purchase a home that meets their family’s needs in the neighborhood where they want to live.

“Lowe’s is proud to sponsor National Women Build Week to educate, inspire and empower women to volunteer alongside other women in their community to address the critical issue of affordable housing. We know women working together are an unstoppable force for creating meaningful change in our communities,” said Colleen B. Penhall, Lowe’s vice president of corporate social responsibility. “At Lowe’s, we believe that a safe, stable home is an important source of strength, pride and security for families. Together with Habitat, our Lowe’s Heroes volunteers and women nationwide, National Women Build Week will provide valuable support to advance accessible housing in the communities where we all live and work.”

Lowe’s and Habitat Choptank share the vision that every woman, man and child have a decent place to lay their heads at night. Far too often, low-income families are faced with choosing between paying their housing costs and buying basic necessities like food and medical care to provide for their family. National Women Build Week recruits, educates and inspires women to build, and advocate for decent and affordable houses in their communities alongside their future neighbors—making a difference in their community, one nail at a time.

Lowe’s helped launch National Women Build Week in 2008 and has brought together more than 117,000 all-women construction volunteers to build or repair homes with nearly 5,000 families over the past 10 years. This year, Lowe’s donated $2 million to Habitat for Humanity to support the 2018 National Women Build Week, and provides how-to clinics at stores to help equip women volunteers for the builds. Since 2003, Lowe’s has committed over $30 million to Habitat for Humanity International and helped more than 6,500 Habitat families improve their living conditions.

Both women and men of all experience levels can participate by signing up to volunteer or by joining the conversation online. As part of National Women Build Week, Lowe’s and Habitat are activating a social movement to generate conversation about building one another up and sharing the message of women empowerment, positivity and action by using #BuildHer and #WomenBuild. To volunteer or to find out specific job site locations, please call Nora Skiver, Volunteer Coordinator at Habitat Choptank, at 410-476-3204.

About Habitat for Humanity Choptank

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made home ownership possible for 76 families and currently partners with 15 local home buyers. Income qualifying individuals and families are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit’s inventory of durable and energy efficient houses.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years. Habitat accepts applications for its home ownership program throughout the year.  For more information, to make a donation or volunteer, call 410-476-3204 or visit www.HabitatChoptank.org.

About Habitat for Humanity International

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in nearly 1,400 communities throughout the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.

About Lowe’s in the Community

Lowe’s, a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company, has a 60-year legacy of supporting the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. In the past decade, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation together have contributed nearly $300 million to these efforts, and for more than two decades Lowe’s Heroes volunteers have donated their time to make our communities better places to live. For the latest news, visit Newsroom.Lowes.com or follow @LowesMedia on Twitter.

Qlarant Management Team Support Habitat Choptank Efforts in Cambridge

Qlarant employees from across the nation were among more than 90 volunteers to join Habitat Choptank on Tuesday, April 24 in an effort to help revitalize a Cambridge neighborhood.  Mayor Victoria Stanley helped to kick off the afternoon addressing Habitat and Qlarant volunteers and staff present with words of welcome and gratitude and an overview of the City of Cambridge’s partnership with the State and Habitat to revitalize a specific neighborhood in Cambridge.  She was joined by Senator Addie Eckardt, Delegate Johnny Mautz, and Commissioner Cannon.

In addition to Habitat’s traditional home ownership program, Habitat Choptank offers low-income homeowners, in and around the neighborhoods where it builds, an array of housing services that include new builds, weatherization services, and critical home repairs through its Neighborhood Revitalization program.  Neighborhood Revitalization involves partnering with local residents, public officials, housing leaders, community groups and businesses to transform neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life in communities.  “On a community level, the Neighborhood Revitalization program addresses real needs and strengthens connections within the community,” says Rhodana Fields, Neighborhood Revitalization Manager of Habitat Choptank.

Mayor Victoria Stanley (front left)

With support from and in partnership with ShoreRivers, teams of volunteers worked together to clear invasive species and trash from vacant lots on High Street following a presentation by ShoreRivers on the importance of water quality and how all of these efforts make a difference in the positive improvement seen in the Choptank River.  Groups of volunteers, with Supervision from Habitat volunteers and staff, also helped build Habitat sheds for homes that are being built, insulate the foundation of a new home, rebuild garden beds and community composts at the Community Garden at Waugh Chapel, and assist with repairs to a resident’s fire damaged property.  Volunteers were also invited to tour a neighboring Habitat-built house to see the level of quality and efficiency in the homes built by Habitat Choptank.

Qlarant Chief Executive Officer, Ron Forsythe presented Habitat for Humanity Choptank with a $2,500 check to support Habitat in serving even more families.

“We are so grateful to have Qlarant here today supporting our mission,” says JoAnn Hansen, Executive Director of Habitat Choptank. “Our mission is much more than just building houses, it is about bringing people together to build communities and hope.”

About Habitat Choptank

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made home ownership possible for 76 families and currently partners with 15 local home buyers. Income qualifying individuals and families are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit’s inventory of durable and energy efficient houses.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years. Habitat accepts applications for its home ownership program throughout the year.  For more information, to make a donation or volunteer, call 410-476-3204 or visit www.HabitatChoptank.org.  For more information about Habitat Choptank, to make a donation or volunteer, call 410-476-3204 or visit www.HabitatChoptank.org.

Habitat Choptank and Lowe’s National Women Build Week

For the 11th year, Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s are engaging women nationwide to work together to build Habitat homes during this year’s National Women Build Week from May 5-13.

National Women Build Week, a nationwide initiative created by Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s in 2008, has brought together more than 117,000 all-women construction volunteers to build or repair homes with nearly 5,000 families over the past 10 years. This year, Lowe’s donated nearly $2 million to Habitat for Humanity to support the 2018 National Women Build Week, which is set to take place in 300 communities nationwide.

Habitat and Lowe’s encourage all women to volunteer—no construction skills or experience in Habitat builds is necessary.  Since Lowe’s national partnership with Habitat for Humanity began in 2003, the home improvement company has committed more than $63 million to Habitat and helped nearly 6,500 families improve their living conditions.

“We’re excited to partner with Lowe’s to educate, inspire and empower women to advocate and help Habitat homeowners love where they live through building or improving an affordable place they can call home,” said JoAnn Hansen, Executive Director, of Habitat Choptank.  “We want to engage women of all skill levels to join their friends, families and neighbors to build up their communities and volunteer where women will gain invaluable skills to bring back and use in their everyday life.”

Carol Hill Miter practices using a hand saw with the support and oversight of an Easton Lowe’s representative.

“Lowe’s is in the business of helping people improve and maintain their homes,” said James Frison, Lowe’s Director of Community Relations. “Lowe’s Heroes have helped build hundreds of Habitat homes across the country and National Women Build Week is another chance for Lowe’s to reinforce our long-standing commitment to Habitat, Women Build and communities where our employees and customers live and work.”

In preparation for the build week, Habitat Choptank and Lowe’s are hosting “how to” clinics to equip volunteers with knowledge and skills in construction and home interior, basic safety techniques and what to expect when building a Habitat home.Lowe’s will host clinics at its Easton location on the following dates:

Saturday, April 28th at 9am: Household Garden Tools
Saturday May 5th at 9am: Paint and Trim

Habitat Choptank will be offering the following build days for volunteers to get involved for a full day or a half day.  The build days will be hosted at one of the following locations in Talbot and Dorchester County.

Tuesday, May 8th or Wednesday, May 9th in Cambridge
Friday, May 11th or Saturday May 12th in Easton
Saturday, May 12th in Hurlock

To sign up to attend a Lowe’s clinic or volunteer on a job site, please call Nora Skiver, Volunteer Coordinator at Habitat Choptank, at 410-476-3204.

About Habitat Choptank

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made home ownership possible for 76 families and currently partners with 15 local home buyers. Income qualifying individuals and families are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit’s inventory of durable and energy efficient houses.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years. Habitat accepts applications for its home ownership program throughout the year.For more information, to make a donation or volunteer, call 410-476-3204 or visit www.HabitatChoptank.org.

About Lowe’s in the Community

Lowe’s, a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company, has a 60-year legacy of supporting the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. In the past decade, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Gives Foundation together have contributed more than $300 million to these efforts, and for more than two decades Lowe’s Heroes volunteers have donated their time to make our communities better places to live. For the latest news, visit Newsroom.Lowes.com or follow @LowesMedia on Twitter.

Habitat Choptank Board of Directors Creates Nancy Andrew Team Development Fund

From Left to Right: Nancy Andrew, Lolita Corsey, and Habitat Choptank Board President Charlie Bohn.

Volunteers, staff, homebuyers and community members met at Habitat Choptank homes for sale in Dorchester and Talbot counties to celebrate Nancy Andrew’s eight years of dedication and service to Habitat for Humanity Choptank and to wish her well in her future plans.

Charlie Bohn, President of the Board of Directors of Habitat Choptank, also announced the creation of an Endowment fund in her honor.  Bohn shared the purpose of The Nancy Andrew Team Development Fund is “to honor the legacy that Nancy leaves behind which is characterized by her profound appreciation for and encouragement of volunteers and staff.  Such an investment in those who do so much for our organization can only translate to a more effective and efficient delivery of Habitat’s programs and services, as well as lead to an increased satisfaction and enthusiasm on the part of staff and volunteers.”

Nancy Andrew was deeply moved by the tribute and shared her heartfelt thanks to those in attendance.  “At its core, Habitat is about a community of people coming together in common action: volunteers, home buyers, staff, donors and community partners. The relationships that we create in this effort are one of Habitat Choptank’s greatest resources.  While the Habitat mission is a simple notion of empowering people in need to build strength, stability and self- reliance through affordable home ownership, there are many moving parts that go into delivering on this. As we continue to expand our services, it’s critical that we invest in our people to make growth possible. It’s humbling that Habitat Choptank would put my name to a fund that will serve to support and nurture the people who make the mission so impactful.”

For those interested in contributing to the Nancy Andrew Team Development Fund, Endow Maryland tax credits are available and worth 25% of the contributed amount.  These tax credits are made possible through the Mid-Shore Community Foundation where Habitat Choptank will invest the funds.  Checks can still be made payable to Habitat Choptank, with Andrew Team Development Fund in the memo line, and mailed to PO Box 2366, Easton MD or dropped off at the organization’s main office which is located at 29350 Maple Avenue in Trappe.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has empowered 75 households from Talbot and Dorchester counties to build the stability, security and self-reliance that comes from buying a home with monthly mortgage that they can afford. Each home buyer contributed 300-400 hours of “sweat equity” in the building of those houses.  While selling its homes to mostly first time and even first generation home buyers, Habitat Choptank continues to maintain a less than 2% foreclosure rate with only one home foreclosed over the 25 year history. Currently, 12 buyers are working through Habitat’s multi-step program toward purchasing homes under construction in Cambridge, Hurlock and Easton.  For information about home ownership, to volunteer with Habitat Choptank or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.