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5183 Harlem Road Loves Park, IL 61111 815-636-4573 Address service requested



Every hammer every family every house tells a story Please contact us at 815-636-4573 or to receive this newsletter by e-mail or remove your name from our list

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Thank you to these generous supporters who make our work possible!

Board of Directors:


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Transform your old stuff into new building materials by donating them to the

Kelly Day, President John Hargrove, Vice President John Bradley, CPA, Treasurer Susan Drennan, Secretary Pete Rundquist, Ex-Officio George Hampilos Tom Kress Ed Leach Dave Knight Cathy Martin Stu Meyerson Kayleigh Thomas Katey Szczech Staff: Keri Nelson, Executive Director Caitlyn Baylor, Business Manager Jack Turner, Construction Manager Steve Westlund, ReStore Manager Sharon Montana, ReStore Assistant Manager Michael Verace, ReStore Truck Driver Jim Stralow, ReStore Truck Driver

...and the many other generous individuals, churches, and companies like you and yours!

he Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a donation and shopping center that raises money for our homeownership program. By reselling gently used furniture, appliances, and building materials, the ReStore keeps usable items out of our landfills and converts them into revenue for affordable housing. The ReStore accepts donations from individuals, builders, contractors, and remodelers— and your donation is tax deductible, whoever you are! This year, an entire home will be funded by revenue raised at

Donate. Shop. Volunteer.

Shari Siracusa


the ReStore. Donations can be dropped off at 986 W. Riverside during store hours, or you can call the store to schedule a pick-up: (815) 713-3184.

986 W. Riverside Blvd.




Growing through struggle: A journey from homelessness to homeownership The Walker family is one of our incredible Partner Families in 2016. Nikki is currently working on rehabbing a Habitat home that was originally built in 2007. She will purchase and move into the home later this summer.

My son never knew we lived in a shelter,”

Nikki Walker firmly states, recalling the months that she and her little boy lived at the Women’s Crisis Center. “I never let him feel that way. I never talked about what was negative in our lives, only what was positive, what was joyful.” In 2011, Nikki and her son, Jay, found themselves living in the Rescue Mission’s crisis center after moving back to Rockford from a short time away. After plans to live with a relative rapidly dissolved, they had nowhere else to go. But Nikki refused to give up— she sat down and wrote a vision of where she would be in five years, and that vision included having a home for herself and for Jay. Nikki worked hard to get into Shelter Care Ministry’s six-month emergency housing program and from there into their transitional housing program. It was while Nikki was living in transitional housing that she saw a flyer on a light post for Habitat for Humanity and decided to go out on a limb and apply. “When I got the call that I had been accepted into the program, I just burst into tears,” Nikki recalls. “It was a truly amazing feeling.” For Nikki, this house is all about looking forward to a life where she can have family over, where she can cook meals, where Jay can ride his bike through his neighborhood, where they can plant vegetables in their yard. It’s about a little boy having a childhood. It’s about the simple things. In five years, Nikki went from being completely homeless to buying a home. In her darkest hour, she got out a pen and paper and foretold that this day would come— and through hard work and a refusal to stop moving forward, it has. “I went through a lot to get here, but this house is the beginning of change for us,” Nikki says. “I believe that things don’t always happen the way you think they should; but they happen the way they are meant to. I always say the things you go through, you grow through. I have learned from everything I have experienced, and that’s what has gotten me to this point. If you really want something in life, you will never stop fighting for it.”

Summer 2016

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300+ 5 17& 3 9 2100 Volunteers

We kicked off our 2016 build season on Saturday, May 7 and we could not be more thrilled to be completing five new homes and three recycle homes this summer! If you would like to get involved with construction,moving into safe homes please visit our website at or call 815-636-4573!


New homes This summer of 2016, we will complete our 117th home in the Rockford area! Nine adults and seventeen kids will move into safe, affordable homes to call their own.

Recycle homes


Sweat equity hours




Going Places: The Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity maintains a scholarship fund through the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois that is available to Habitat for Humanity homeowners and their dependents to continue their education. 11 Scholarships have been awarded to date.


atricia Mubirigi is going places, but where she wants to end up is right where she started. Her desire to achieve great “I see a great need things is driven not by a wish to leave Rockford but a wish to return and make things better. Patricia is one of three recipients of here, and I want to the Habitat for Humanity Scholarship for continued education in the 2016-2017 academic year. A Clinical Counseling Psychology give more families major at University of Illinois in Springfield, Patricia intends to become an Academic Advisor. Patricia is the first person in her family like mine hope.” to attend college in the United States, and as a first generation college student, Patricia experienced first-hand the challenges of navigating the college application process. Her academic advisors played a critical role in helping her figure out that process, she says, and she now wants to help other students like her find their path into higher education. “My main goal is to come back to Rockford and help,” Patricia says. “I see a great need here, and I want to give more families like mine hope.”

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the power of love, education, and home

Today, when she thinks about the future, Patricia sees great hope through helping others. The young woman who never imagined being able to go to college now says that education has become a way of life. “For me, education is everything. It will allow me to help my family and help myself. It will give me stability like we didn’t have for so many years. I want my kids to have that. I want to transform my community into something great, something that is moving in the right direction.” Patricia is most certainly moving in that right direction, and we’re so glad that, for her, it points back home. If you would like to make a gift to the Habitat for Humanity Scholarship Fund, please visit & designate your donation to Habitat for Humanity’s scholarship or mail a check payable to the CFNIL with “Habitat Scholarship” in the memo to 946 North 2nd St, Rockford, IL 61107.

At age 21, Patricia already boasts an impressive resume— she graduated from Rock Valley College in December of 2015, where she spent her time working in the Academic Advising office, leading the Black Student Union, and participating in the Multicultural Club. Now at University of Illinois in Springfield, Patricia continues working to empower more students of color to take upper level university classes. Already a strong advocate and leader, Patricia is an exceptionally vibrant and successful young woman. But as a child, Patricia never imagined that this is the shape her life would take in the coming years. When she was just seven years old, Patricia’s family fled from conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and moved to the United States. Patricia says she remembers her mom— the mother of three daughters at that “I was so happy to time—wanting to become a homeowner once they moved to Rockford, but that dream did not come to immediate fruition. Instead see my mom of hope for the future, Patricia remembers that she was consumed with worry as a child. When she imagined where she would be achieve her in five or ten years, she could only imagine trying to survive. But Patricia was a sophomore in high school, her family finally dream of owning when purchased a home through Habitat for Humanity. “I was so happy to see my mom achieve her dream of owning a home in America,” a home” Patricia remembers. “And I was happy for myself too— I got my own room for the first time.”


Patricia, right, with her mom, Marthes, who bought their home in 2010

“I want to transform my community into something great, something that is moving in the right direction.”

RAHFH Newsletter Spring 2016  
RAHFH Newsletter Spring 2016