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A publication of San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity

October 2009

photo by Lisa Carmichael


On a recent Saturday, several children of the Glendale First United Methodist Church gathered in the church kitchen to prepare lunch for and then serve the workers at the SGV Habitat for Humanity home building site on Kenwood Street. The children spent several days discussing menus and planning their lunch. Despite the summer heat, they wanted to serve a hot lunch. They received a wonderful reception from the workers, who so appreciated their friendship, fruit salad, special lettuce salad, lasagna, garlic and cheese bread, and ice cream sandwiches. The workers found it a tasty and thoughtful switch from the usual chips and sandwiches. The children had a chance to meet the workers and to see firsthand what Habitat does. Pictures of the families who will soon purchase these homes were also available for the children to view. They were pleased to learn that two of the apartments are fitted with an elevator to

accommodate the special needs of the children who will live there. One of the highlights was meeting a soon-to-be bridegroom, David Chang, who had asked his entire bachelor party to come to the site to help build the homes. He and his fiancé, Elizabeth Chang, decided to have a “women, children and family” theme and have been finding ways to help others as part of their pre-marital journey. For women, Liz is donating her wedding dress to an organization which raises money for breast cancer research and services. For children, they led a team for the March of Dimes Walk for Babies to raise money and awareness of birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For family, David’s Bachelor Party was a Habitat for Humanity build to help build affordable homes for families. He was especially happy that his party was so well fed and that it was the children who had prepared and served the food. It all seemed too

good to be true! As a small side-note…in addition to serving lunch, the children decided they wanted to raise enough money to buy a window and a toilet…a goal of $300. They decided they could do this by auctioning off some “chore” time, having a bake sale, and “gleaning” the congregation for the “excess change” in their pockets one Sunday. To date, even before they complete all their fundraising, they have exceeded their goal and are excited about the prospect of more than doubling their donation to the program. Seeing the children so excited about helping others, hearing them figure out what they can do and how they can do it, and watching them serve with joy and love makes every day a blessing to those who work with them. Thank you Habitat for Humanity for helping our children learn the joy of giving!


You are invited to go on a “Habitour” It is important to know where your donor dollars are going. And it’s easy to find out by seeing first-hand what your money is accomplishing right in your own backyard. Habitours are a way we can say thank-you to our donors and share our excitement as new opportunities develop to touch more lives through affordable homeownership. A group of 12 people gathered last month on a Saturday morning at the home of Elaine Wilkerson to share a continental breakfast and “Habitour” orientation. Those attending met other SGV Habitat for Humanity supporters

and interested newcomers. Soon three cars of excited guests headed for our active build site on Kenwood Street in Glendale where they were welcomed and had the opportunity to walk through homes that are nearing completion. They even had the chance to meet families who have just completed their Sweat Equity hours and will soon move into their new homes. Next the caravan stopped in front of two vacant lots, the site of the new Geneva build, which is expected to begin next year. The tour continued with a view of the Palmer homes, which were completed in 2007, and then moved on for a personal visit with the Hayrikyan family in their well-established home which was dedicated in 2005. Habitour guests were treated to a personal tour led by the talented children in this household

who create amazing art work. The visitors were touched as they listened to the story of this family’s triumph in achieving homeownership. A similar Habitour opportunity is available for you and your friends and family. The tour is constantly updated to ensure that guests get an insider’s view of Habitat for Humanity at work in the San Gabriel Valley. To see for yourself the amazing progress that is being made thanks to your faithful support, please call Linda Hammes at 626-387-6899 x18 to schedule your Habitour. I can promise that you’ll be glad you did! Blessings and warm regards,

Sonja Yates

Welcome Sandy Yu

In August, Sandy Yu joined SGV Habitat for Humanity as the new Americorps VISTA Fund Development Grant Writer. For the coming year, she will be researching and proposing grant sources and preparing grants to help complete the Sherman Homes and reach the required fundraising level of $400,000 for breaking ground for five new “green” homes on Geneva Street in Glendale. Prior to serving as a VISTA volunteer, Sandy was a family advocate/case manager at Asian Pacific Women’s Center, a social service agency that provides culturally sensitive services and transitional shelter for survivors of domestic violence. She also spent the summer of 2008 2

in Cambodia as a research fellow, conducting preliminary research on Cambodians with physical disabilities. Witnessing the inadequate and overcrowded living conditions of those people motivated her to get involved with Habitat for Humanity. After her VISTA service year, she plans to participate in an international Habitat for Humanity Global Village Build in Cambodia. Sandy is a graduate of Smith College, a liberal arts college in Massachusetts, with a B.A. in psychology and architecture. She is also a proud alumna of Citrus College, a community college located in Glendora. Sandy lives in Arcadia and enjoys hiking the Mt. Wilson trail, trying new food, traveling, volunteering and supporting community-based organizations. She was born in Taiwan and raised in the San Gabriel Valley. Sandy is excited to start her VISTA service with SGV Habitat for Humanity where her grant writing skills will help build stronger communities throughout our affiliate’s San Gabriel Valley service area.

Welcome Chris Olson

Chris Olson joined the SGV affiliate of HFH in August 2009. As Director of Construction and Procurement one of Chris’ priorities is to secure the necessary GIK and Pro Bono services to assure that construction budgets are met and the homes builds remain affordable. Prior to joining Habitat, Chris has enjoyed a long career in the residential development and construction industry and headed

the development and construction departments for several firms. Chris’ interest in affordable housing dates back to the late seventies when he began experimenting with energy efficient design and OVE (optimum value engineering) as a spec home builder in the Seattle area. Throughout his career in the residential development and construction industry, Chris has continued his efforts to bring energy efficient, affordable housing to the marketplace. In the mid eighties he teamed with Arizona State University and the City of Glendale, Arizona to bring about the WEST Home Expo. WEST Home Expo was a demonstration project designed to increase the public’s awareness of water and energy saving technologies.

SGVH Delegation Joins 2009 JRCWP From November 15–21, 2009, the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project will unite volunteers and families in need of decent, affordable housing in the Mekong region. During the week- long build, 15 volunteers from our affiliate will build with families and volunteers in Chiang Mai, Thailand. An estimated 175 families in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and China’s Sichuan Province will benefit from this year’s JRCWP. The project was kicked off on February 20, 2009 with a ground-breaking ceremony held in Moo Baan Nong Kan Kru in Chiang Mai, the northern capital of Thailand. “As with every other Carter Work Project, the event in November will bring more attention to the problem of poverty housing in this community, in this country and in this region; it will influence more individuals and donors who want to take action; and it will serve as a catalyst for more homes to be built and more lives changed,” states Richard Hathaway, Asia-Pacific vice president for Habitat for Humanity International. SGV Habitat received the invitation to

In view of Chris’ long held interest in “green” homes, he is excited about the five new Geneva Homes currently being planned by SGVHFH. The focus for these homes is on energy efficient design and construction as well as affordability. Chris recently became a “Certified Green Building Professional” having received specialized training. “Green Building” design and construction practices can result in significant benefits to homeowners including financial savings, increased comfort and healthier living. Chris believes that by looking beyond the initial acquisition cost and also looking at operating and maintenance costs, SGVHFH will add a new dimension to help its home buyers achieve affordability.

San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity 400 South Irwindale, Azusa CA 91702 Tel: 626-387-6899 Fax: 626-387-6890 Board of Directors Claus Agger-Nielsen, Jay Harvill, Judd Reas, Jan C. Berensten, Cynthia Heydt, Janelle Williams, Michael T. Davitt, Daric Lee Howard Woo, Tom Doud, Deborah A. Loveland, Geroge Garfield, John Mac Lean, Donald W. Goodman, Paul McAnnally-Linz

Staff Executive Director: Sonja L. Yates Director of Construction & Procurement: Chris Olson Director of Corporate & Community Sponsorships: Damien Allen

In front of a crowd of local people, many of whom are expected to apply to become Habitat home owners, the first earth was turned over at the 17-rai (2.72 hectares) site.

Accountant: Sayaka Ota Volunteer Coordinator: Brittany Klaassen Office Manager: Catalina Velez Special Projects Coordinator: Linda Hammes Ecumenical Outreach VISTA: Amy Borton Fund Development VISTA: Sandy Yu

ReStore Staff Manager: Bill Anderson Assistant Manager: Michael Krecker ReStore Associates: Megan Marotta, Eric Bridges & Ryan Greer Drivers: Ricky Brownlee & Jose Gonzalez Sales: Craig Chew & David Hill Newsletter Editor: Michael Schutz

Children from Maung Len sub-district, where JRCWP 2009 will take place in Chiang Mai, perform at the groundbreaking.

participate because our tithe is designated for building homes in Asia. With our help, eighty-two simple, decent homes will be built in partnership with lowincome families in northern Thailand. Watch for a report of this work in the December Habitat Builder.

Reporter: Linda Magarian

Follow SGV Habitat Online: Our Website: Facebook: Myspace: Flicker: Twitter: Blogspot: 3

3rd Annual


Pancake breakfast fundraiser to benefit



Saturday, November 14, 2009 8:00am ~ 11:00am “Rain or Shine”

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church 1020 North Brand Blvd. Glendale, CA 91202 Corner of North Brand & Dryden

Donation: $6.00 For Ticket Information Call: St. Mark’s: 818-240-3860 or SGV Habitat: 626-387-6899 Breakfast Service by Burbank Kiawnis for Fun

Please e-mail us so we can update your e-mail for our mailing list: 4

Pancake Breakfast


Jimmy Carter Work Project


Welcome Chris Olson


VISTA Grant Writer




Young Volunteers Serve

Inside: San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity 400 South Irwindale Avenue Azusa, CA 91702


Habitat Builder Newsletter - October 2009