To look at Deb Townsend’s home from the outside, few people would guess anything was wrong. It was a secret she kept from her neighbors, her friends and even her family. “I just didn’t talk about it,” Deb remembers. For more than two years, Deb had been living without a working furnace in her home.
Habitat Omaha Stories
From volunteering and donating to purchasing homes, shopping at Omaha’s Habitat ReStore and so much more, people partner with Habitat for Humanity of Omaha in a variety of ways. It’s these people who shape Habitat Omaha and help us as we strive to achieve our vision, “a world where everyone has a decent place to live”. Learn more about Habitat Omaha and find out how you can get involved by reading their stories.
Sheldon Armstrong has a variety of interests and is eager to discuss anything from sports to current events and, if he can’t make himself understood, often resorts to writing notes to get his point across. “Sheldon is a wonderful young man and he can talk for hours about what he’s seen on History Channel,” says Teacher Leader Amber Tjaden with a smile. He’s one of a group of volunteers at Omaha’s Habitat for Humanity ReStore from the Omaha Public Schools Transition Program.
You never know where a simple question might lead. One day, Habitat ReStore staff member Mark was helping a customer, Rebecca, load a cart full of light fixtures into her car. Curious, he asked about her plan for the lights. She explained that it was a hobby of hers to repurpose old chandeliers and other fixtures into solar lights for her garden. Later, she told us more about how it all started.
Before kicking off a recent Builders Blitz, Habitat Omaha invited Kountze Park neighbors living near the site to join the builders and volunteers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Kaia, then a high school student, knew she wanted to get involved. She liked the idea of breaking bread with members of her community and thought there was something more she could do as Habitat Omaha was helping improve her neighborhood.
WoodmenLife celebrates patriotism in many ways, including presenting United States and religious flags to non-profit and community organizations. The 2016 Builder’s Blitz marked the fifth year WoodmenLife partnered with Habitat Omaha to provide flags for Blitz homeowners.
In June of 2016, ACI teams from across the globe divided and conquered. Hundreds of ACI employees volunteered with Habitat for Humanity affiliates around the world. The employees of ACI Omaha took part in this effort with more 90 team members volunteering over two days at Habitat Omaha’s Builders Blitz site.
Participating in the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project had been on Lucy Shepard’s ‘Bucket List’ ever since she first heard about it over 25 years ago. “I always wanted to do a Carter Build and I was so glad when Mona [McGregor] got picked and the other three decided to go. I was just thrilled,” she said.
Paul Jelinek has represented First Presbyterian Church as a member of two faith coalitions, recruiting volunteers, building homes, and helping to provide lunch for the work crews with the help of his wife, Nancy. When he heard Habitat Omaha was planning a Global Village mission trip to Nepal he was excited about the opportunity to combine his passion for travel with his commitment to Habitat.
Linda, born in Washington and raised in Seattle by her grandmother, moved to Omaha to be near her father after he was diagnosed with cancer. After graduating high school, it took her several years to find a direction. She changed jobs and moved several times before taking a CNA course and landing a good job with opportunities for advancement.
“We want to be the first homeowners in our family tree. We want a home where all of our family can come visit,” David and LaShae agree. Born and raised in Omaha, both David and LaShae have strong support systems and lots of family members close by. Family game night, Sunday night dinner and a big family Thanksgiving are just a few of their traditions.