AmeriCorps Spotlight: Build-A-Thon 2016!

Posted on by HabitatAdmin

jennwilson3Comparing Build-A-Thon New Orleans and Build-A-Thon Wake County is like trying to put a square peg in a round hole, it just doesn’t happen.  Each experience is uniquely different, and more importantly, uniquely moving.

In New Orleans, we were building for the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina; the devastation in New Orleans is still vast, and over 10 days, 400 Habitat AmeriCorps members built 10 houses.

Wake County is a completely different story.  First of all, about 10% of the entire population of Wake County is living in poverty, which equates to over 100,000 people. 100,000 people is the population of some small counties in Virginia.  Raleigh, which is in Wake County, is one of the wealthiest localities in North Carolina; Raleigh is also in Wake County.

 The Partner Family whose home I was a part of building’s name was Andrea Thorton.   She is a mother of two with a baby due in September.  She is an amazing woman.  She was out working on site with us, while pregnant, getting her hours in.  Now, she was not doing anything labor intensive.  I had the privilege of teaching her how to cut Hardie Plank siding.

jennwilson1My biggest challenge for the week was that I broke my finger within hours of being on site on the first day.  (I know, BIG shocker there right).  But I did not let that stop me.  I went, got my X-Rays, got my splint, and went right back to work.  In the end, it wasn’t about me and my silly broken finger, it was about Andrea, and her two daughters, and her baby boy growing inside of her, who were counting on the Green Team to get that house done, so she would have a decent place to live. Needless to say, I did a lot of cutting.

I was so fortunate to work with an AMAZING team of AmeriCorps members, crew leaders, weekday crew members, and local volunteers.  Our team had the smallest amount of people on the house, but we got it done! By the end of the first day, we had raised the walls, set the trusses, and sheathed almost the entire roof.  By the second day, the roof was sheathed, the house was insulated, dead wood was put all around the top of the house, and we started the baffles. By the end of the third day, the house was shingled, blue board was up, doors and windows were installed, and the sheetrock had been installed and mudded.  The fourth and fifth day were siding, painting, and finishing the deck.  It was the most intense blitz build schedule, but it was so enjoyable.

jennwilson5The team worked so cohesively together, there were no fights about “well my affiliate does it this way so you are wrong” – which can happen when you have many leaders in one place, it was just mutually sharing ideas on the best way to accomplish our task, and get it done. We were one unified team with the same mind-set—that makes the work so much easier!

At the end of the week, in 4.5 days, we completed something I did not know that we could.  We built a house starting with just a foundation and a sub-floor. And June 30th, Andrea and her daughters will close on that house and get to move into their forever home.  Bunk-beds and all.

Building Hope for 30 Years: Anita Murphy’s Story

Posted on by HabitatAdmin

FullSizeRender (15)Anita Murphy’s life has been all about protecting her daughter.  12 years ago, Anita fell on hard times and was forced to live in a small home with 10 other people in North Church Hill.  At that time, the area she lived in was a very high crime area and Anita’s low point was when she had to teach her daughter to drop to the floor when she heard gunshots.  Anita knew her daughter deserved more; a safe, secure and stable environment to live.


While looking through the newspaper one day, Anita came across an article about the local Habitat for Humanity.  She knew this could be her opportunity.  She took a chance, applied and was accepted into the program.


11 years later, Anita and her daughter are thriving in their beautiful home in Chestnut Hills.  Anita is adamant about the importance of maintaining her home, inside and outside.  She knows that the better care she takes care of her home now, the more it will be worth when she passes it down to future generations.  Anita is such an inspiration when it comes to home maintenance, Richmond Habitat had her teach a class to future homeowners about the importance of curb appeal.


Anita is counting down the days until she makes her last mortgage payment – only 9 years to go!


How can you support families like Anita’s?

  • Make a monetary donation in honor of our 30th Anniversary.  Donate here!
  • Volunteer on our construction sites or at our ReStore.
  • Donate furniture, building materials and more to our ReStore.
  • Share our story with your friends and family!

Happy Birthday to Us!

Posted on by HabitatAdmin

cabfc77755aa49f44d30cecb724edcae2016 marks our 30th year of building homes, communities and hope in the Greater Richmond area, and we are ready to celebrate!
Be on the look out for special events, stories and more highlighting the incredible work our volunteers, donors, homeowners and supporters have accomplished over the past 30 years.
Most importantly, thanks to all of you for helping us serve the over 331 families we’ve empowered to become homeowners since 1986!
Be Social!                          Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View on Instagram
Feel free to share your Habitat memories this year by tagging @HabitatRVA on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter and using #BuildingHopefor30
For more information about Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity, visit