Habitat Newburgh joined affiliates from across New York to speak to our state lawmakers about legislation that impacts our ability to help families achieve strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable homeownership. Here is a rundown of the current issues that New York Habitat for Humanity is advocating about. As a volunteer, a supporter, a resident, and a voter, put your weight behind this legislative agenda and help Habitat build by using your voice!

Cathy Collins, Habitat Newburgh Executive Director, says, “We are so excited to be marking the milestone of our 90th completed house today. It is fitting that the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is being recycled and given new life as a part of this house, as this house is one of five gut rehabs that Habitat Newburgh is giving new life on this block. Thank you to our long-time partners at M&T Bank, and thank you to the many hearts and hands that went into building this house.”

Dear Santa,

We have been very good this year (and done a lot of good work)! We hope we might find these gifts under our tree to help us do our work at Overlook and South Miller Street in 2018:

The Fenwicks point to the homebuyer families as their #1 reason for continuing to volunteer. Their #2 reason? Kathy and Rich rave about the great people they get to work with, many of whom volunteer their time several times a week.

We're excited to receive a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, which means we're accountable, transparent, and financially healthy! Thank you for trusting us with your donations, your volunteer time, and your goodwill—we couldn't have received this top rating without YOU!

Each family, staff member, volunteer, and donor brings her/his own light to fulfilling our mission. Together we help families thrive, neighborhoods regain strength and health, and the community find its vibrancy. Our work cannot be done alone. It relies upon the beauty and brilliance of your individual light.

Unsurprisingly, Jane considers the biggest benefit to be working with families and fellow volunteers throughout the home buying process. Jane's skill set comes shining through when working with the families and colleagues, as she utilizes her positivity and attention to the Habitat for Humanity mission. As Jane puts it, volunteering with Habitat Newburgh "opens your eyes to the gifts every individual brings to the table in terms of building community."

Recent Earthquakes—Disaster Response:
After the earthquake of September 7th, which created an unprecedented devastation in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas and forced thousands of families to abandon their homes and communities, a new earthquake struck our country on September 19th now causing the loss of thousands of homes in Puebla, Morelos and Mexico City.

Habitat for Humanity Mexico is currently working on a rebuilding strategy of 500 homes in communities of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Morelos, Puebla and Xochimilco.

Let us be in prayer for all those affected by the shooting in Las Vegas.
Loving God, we come before you with questions that have no answers, with sadness that hangs heavy before us, and with hearts that are numb with disbelief. Even in such pain, however, we feel your presence. We know that your heart is also breaking.

Every year Habitat for Humanity joins our partners around the world to rededicate ourselves to recognizing the basic right of everyone to adequate shelter. Habitat for Humanity asks everyone to join together as one global network in communicating the message that every one of us deserves the opportunity for a better future, and that a decent place to live can remove barriers to opportunity, health and success that might have been part of a family’s life for years, and in many cases for generations.

Maureen has been a regular volunteer with Habitat Newburgh, where she has acted as a construction volunteer, paint captain, house captain, building and site selection committee member, and ReStore donations assistant. These days, you can find Maureen at the ReStore register. At the ReStore register, Maureen puts to use the skills she acquired at her first ever job as the toy department cashier at Bloomingdale's in Manhattan.

Deke says that his commitment to Habitat is rooted in his love of the diversity of people and hope that he sees in Newburgh. He says, "We are meeting a critical need. Ours is a very concrete, focused mission. At Habitat we have to negotiate a lot of things, but we never have to negotiate our mission. I look at the capacity that has been built in 15 years, and I think it's extraordinary."

He shares that his favorite Habitat moment ...he was sweeping the basement floor with a young man who turned out to be the son of the future homeowner. Tom remembers the innocence, happiness, and appreciation that the young man expressed when speaking about his family’s future home. This conversation has stayed with Tom, and continues to inspire him in his work with Habitat.

Want to do something for yourself? Try doing something for others!
When you volunteer...
1.) Your health benefits.
People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains and less disease.
Volunteering reduces stress, which is beneficial to your health and well-being.
Giving time to help others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease.

Evelyn says, "Many times when somebody mentions Newburgh it always seems to be negative. One of my hopes for my neighborhood is to stop focusing on the gang and gun violence, and start focusing on the artists who are trying to speak about these issues through their work. Another dream of mine for my community is to have more opportunities for young minority students. I myself am a Hispanic-American...by winning this photography collection I hope to pave the way for future Hispanic photographers in my community."

When asked what keeps him coming back and why he enjoys volunteering, George said, "Habitat is like a family, including the rapport we've developed with the customers."

The work may be tough, but the compassion and support of the surrounding community helps to make the hard days more enjoyable. Each Wednesday and Saturday at 10 a.m., each staff member, volunteer, or Corps member puts down their tool or task to go to Community Coffee Break, where Newburghers of all ages gather around sweets and coffee to discuss Habitat projects, city happenings, or just to catch up with friends. There's an overwhelming sense of comradery in these cramped church basement gatherings; it's a pocket of sweetness in a struggling city, an ever evolving group of people who have dedicated themselves to returning Newburgh to a state of safety and dignity one home at a time.

Use your voice to stand up for Habitat! The President's budget outline would eliminate every federal program that helps Habitat for Humanity build here in our community and across the country.

“This award recognizes the collective commitment to excellence in carrying out our mission by everyone—volunteers, board, staff, supporters, homeowners—who is a part of the Habitat Newburgh family,” reflects Habitat Newburgh Executive Director Cathy Collins. “We are so grateful for this honor that recognizes our truly extraordinary community that is passionate about partnering with families to create strength, stability, and self-reliance through homeownership and building hope in this community.”

There is no minimum construction knowledge necessary to volunteer with our organization. In fact, some individuals who originally came to us with zero building experience have gained enough skills through their volunteering that they've gone on to renovate their own homes. Allen Galloway is not such a volunteer.

As a Neighborhood Revitalization affiliate, an important part of our work is community development—assessing assets and collaborating with local organizations and agencies to work together towards creating positive change.

When I was seven years old, I read a book about Martin Luther King Jr. and was immediately captivated. In 1972, that was unusual, particularly in a small town in Arkansas. I also did my high school senior thesis on him. To say he has had a profound influence on my life would be an understatement.

Because of you there are families that will now have a place to call home, a place where they can feel safe and secure, a place where their family will grow.

"Being involved in Habitat Newburgh has been so positive. My faith in people and my faith in God have been strengthened. It is amazing what you can accomplish."

On Saturday, December 10, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh celebrated with future homeowner families and dedicated two homes containing lumber from the 2015 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The iconic tree will live on as a part of these two beautifully rehabbed homes that are a part of 4-house gut-rehab project on this block in partnership with the Newburgh Community Land Bank.

Looking back at 2016, this has been a busy, joyful year at Habitat Newburgh. We have continued many traditions, hosted many events, raised many dollars, explored exciting new innovations, strengthened community partnerships, built many houses, and celebrated with many homeowner families!

"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal,
and then leap in the dark to our success."
Henry David Thoreau

On September 14, 2016, Habitat Newburgh broke ground on four new Habitat homes at 150, 152, 154, & 156 Ann Street. These four homes will make up Faith Builds II, and are being sponsored by long-time faith coalitions that partner with Habitat Newburgh—PresbyBuild, EpiscoBuild, Methodists & Friends Build—and a very special Unity House project which is supported by many different faith groups.

At Habitat Newburgh, we are always looking out for Habitat Skilled individuals. Habitat Skilled volunteers don't need experience in construction, fundraising, social services, or retail. Instead, we focus on attributes such as kindness, dedication, and reliability. This month’s Volunteer Spotlight is on Mary Randall, an individual who exemplifies all of these attributes.