Archive for October, 2012

Are Those Christmas Decorations?

This past weekend, the husband and I were out and about getting our pumpkins and gourds and general Halloween fanfare when we walked into a certain store here in Manchester and saw a great display of Halloween items.  But right behind it were endless aisles of Christmas decorations.  Thus, prompting the question, “Are those Christmas decorations?”

Yes, you may just be putting the finishing touches on your mummy costume, but the world at large has already moved on.  Halloween was so five minutes ago.  It’s time to start planning the holiday season!

And we here at Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity are moving full steam ahead into our holiday plans, and we would like you to come share in the fun.

One of the best thing’s about Thanksgiving when I was a kid was watching the Thanksgiving Day parades.  I always wanted to be a New York City Rockette when I grew up, and I waited all year to see them on TV in the parade.  I kept saying to everyone, “I’m going to be a Rockette,” and my mom would assure me I would be.  But she never took me to a dance lesson, so I’m not so sure she was telling me the truth then.

But now is your chance to fulfill your childhood dreams of being in a holiday parade  with the folks here at Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity.  Work began this past Saturday on our house on a truck float that we will be driving in the Derry holiday parade on November 24th at 1pm and in the Manchester holiday parade at 4pm on December 1.  And we want you to come walk with us!

Can’t commit to the time on a Saturday during the busy holiday season?  We are also looking for painters of all kinds.  If you can get paint on a brush and can wield it almost in the right direction, you are the person for us.  Come help us make our float the brightest one in the parade.

Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity has been helping local communities for 20 years.  Help us make the next 20 years even better by helping us spread the word in the holiday parades this Christmas!

For more information, send us an email to volunteer@habitatmanchester.org.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Graham Nadig

Graham Nadig, Habitat for Humanity volunteerWhen Graham moved to the Manchester area in 2010, he searched for a way to engage in the community. And that search led him to Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity. He enjoyed building, especially furniture, and Habitat provided an outlet for his skills while giving back to the community. And he’s been stuck with them ever since.

On October 18th, Graham will be one of several nominees awarded a Volunteer Service Award as part of the Spirit of New Hampshire Awards. The Spirit of New Hampshire Awards is organized by Volunteer NH and celebrates volunteerism in the state of New Hampshire. According to their website, Volunteer NH’s mission is to “promote the tradition of service in New Hampshire.” Graham has exceedingly exemplified this spirit and continues to do so every day at Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity in all of the hats that he wears.

Graham is the vice-chair of the Construction Committee, ReStore Committee Chairman and member of the Board of Directors. With few exceptions, you will see Graham at the current build site at 50 Hosley Street every Saturday, often acting as site supervisor or crew leader. But while you see him bustling around at Habitat a lot, you won’t hear him talking about the award he is about to receive.

“Graham did not know anything about this until I told him when I read it in Sunday’s paper,” fellow volunteer Janine Woodworth wrote in an email to Habitat. And even when I contacted him for a few bits of information for this article he said, “Why me? I don’t like attention.”

And he really doesn’t. For two years, Graham has done what he loves at Habitat. He builds things. When asked what he hopes to accomplish in the future at Habitat, Graham replied, “Complete the Hosley Street project,” referring to the current build. Graham’s focus remains absolute and sincere, to support Habitat’s mission of providing affordable housing for all. He enjoys the hands on construction experience, and even more, he enjoys being with the friends he has made at Habitat.

And what would he like to see happen in the Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity affiliate?

“I’d like to see the organization grow and develop, especially on the non-construction side of the organization,” Graham replied. One of his pet projects is to see GMHFH open its own ReStore, a place where donated recycled or new building materials is sold to the public at a big savings to the pocketbook.

So while he may have come to Habitat to build things, Graham stayed because of a vision. His ardent drive to complete the Hosley Street project moves our affiliate along, and his hope to see the affiliate grow beyond just building, to become a true part of our community, supports his fellow and future volunteers.

And so to Graham, we say thank you. Thank you for your passion. Thank you for your drive. And thank you for wanting to build things with us.

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Be a Part of Our Team

My husband and I recently purchased our first home, and I never thought I would make so many trips to Home Depot in my life.  The people at the customer service returns desk don’t even ask me anymore if I want it back on my card.  They just hand me store credit, and I am off once again to search the aisles for things I didn’t know existed and now suddenly need so desperately, I am willing to go out in public in sweat pants and ratty sneakers because it’s 8:30 at night, and I wasn’t expecting this critical element to break on me.

But that being said, I have also learned some pretty spectacular things.  I replaced the sprayer in our kitchen sink.  I discovered you cannot put latex paint over oil paint.  (My husband has deemed the look of the china cabinets in our dining room “floating paint” for which people will someday pay hundreds of dollars to acquire themselves.)  A lawnmower can now propel itself.  Dishwashers are a necessity, and neighbors really like to tell you what the other neighbors are doing.  Even if you really didn’t want to know.

But as I seriously lack in the home improvement skill department, I know some of you out there are amazing at it.  And you are the people we need!

Our current project at 50 Hosley Street is a three-family unit damaged by fire.  Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity is striving to complete the renovations on the structure, so three families can call the building home.  But we need help.  We need your help.

Site supervisors and crew leaders are critical to monitoring progress, teaching new volunteers, and directing the flow of renovations.  We are currently seeking skilled tradesmen to come on over to our build site and show us what you’ve got.  We need someone who is dedicated and can commit to helping our volunteers become better at what their hearts lead them to do.  If you have the time, the heart, the skill and the dedication, we want to see you.

Please sign up on our website to volunteer at the build site on a Saturday, so you can see what we’re doing and you can show us what you can do.  If you are a perfect match for us, we’d love to make you a crew leader or a site supervisor.  (You can even earn a swanky t-shirt!)

We are not just building homes.  We are building communities.  And if you love your community, come prove it.  Be a part of our mission to provide affordable housing to our neighbors.

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