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Gracias, Margaritas y Amigos!

There was plenty of madness and plenty of fun last Thursday at Margaritas on Elm Street for the Full Moon Madness event.  We would like to thank Margaritas for their amazing support, and we would like to thank all of you for turning out for the event!  The proceeds for the event will go toward our mission, including our current project at 50 Hosley Street in Manchester.  The night was full of fun and games and of course, great food and drink!

If you missed us last Thursday, well, we have great news!  We’ll be back at Margaritas on Elm Street on March 27th for a Noche Mexicana to raise money for our mission.  Bring your friends for a night out for a good cause!  We’ll see you there!

Dick Heller Vice President Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity
Dick Heller (middle), Vice-President, Board of Directors, brought a slew of co-workers. Thank you Merrill Lynch!

Chris Amesquita, Volunteer Coordinator Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity
Christiana Amesquita, Volunteer Coordinator

Fun and games at Margaritas Manchester NH
Fun and games!

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A Night Out for Habitat – Feb. 21st at Margaritas!

Full Moon Margarita Madness
This time of year always reminds me of the same things.  The tracks of salt through my kitchen that we track in every time we let the dog out.  The squeeze of sub zero temperatures when you first step out in the morning.  How much heavier the snow at the end of the driveway is because the snow plow put it there.  And how nice it would be to sit on a beach in Puerto Vallarta.

Well, if you can’t have the beach in Mexico, you can at least have a night out at Margarita’s on Elm Street in Manchester for a really awesome cause.  Join Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity for a night of Full Moon Madness, and 5% of food and drink sales in the bar and lounge will be donated to Habitat.
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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

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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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What Is Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity?


“I like to destroy things.”

That was the consensus when I visited Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity’s build site at 50 Hosley Street in Manchester.  That would seem like an odd thing to say when you ponder on Habitat for Humanity’s mission in general.  Aren’t they supposed to be building houses?

The Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity will celebrate 20 years of serving the greater Manchester community this fall.  That is two decades of helping your neighbor build a better future.  But what is Habitat for Humanity?  What do they do and whom do they serve?

When I first mentioned that I was helping out at Habitat to my family, I got some varied responses.  The best was this:

“Habitat for Humanity?  I thought that was something you had to go on vacation to do in New Orleans.  We have Habitat up here?”

So I feel like getting a megaphone and standing on top of the Brady Sullivan tower to let everyone know what incredible things are happening in their own neighborhood.  And why?

Because you are missing out on all the fun.

The Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity was declared an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International in 1992 and has been moving strong ever since.  So who are they?  They are you, and they are me.  They are everyone.  They are not specialized contractors with thirty years of experience on the job site.  They are a couple of high school girls who have been volunteering for years, and when they heard about working at the Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity build site, they decided to check that out, too.  They are a twenty something year old, newly arrived in Manchester, and checking out the build because he used to help out at the affiliate of the previous town he had lived in.  They are a couple of old buds trying to figure out the best way to rip up some old floorboards.

The Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity has built six houses and supported twelve other projects in the past twenty years.  And they don’t just serve Manchester.  The Greater Manchester affiliate of Habitat for Humanity provides support to the fellow communities of Auburn, Bedford, Candia, Derry, Hooksett, Litchfield, and Londonderry.  Habitat for Humanity offers a hand up, not a hand out.  The families that move into Habitat houses put in their own hours of sweat and endurance to build themselves a better future.  And in the end, they have a home that they can call their own because they helped build it.

But it’s not all about the houses.  In Habitat’s quaint office in one of the old brick buildings of the millyard, a team of dedicated people push the paper, make the phone calls and send the emails to make home building happen.  So if you can’t swing a hammer, you can think about constructing an email to bring in volunteers or create a mailing to send to potential builders of a home.

But what I learned at 50 Hosley Street was not that a home was being built.  But that things had to change, so a better future could come from the ashes.  I learned that sometimes destroying something was the first step to building someone a home, improving a neighborhood and simply having a good time.

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