AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leaders 2016-2017 Service Year

We are excited to introduce our AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leaders for the 2016-2017 service year! Mary (top) and Moya (bottom) will join our construction team on August 23rd to help us build houses 124 and 125 in Siler City, finish house 123 in Pittsboro, and start house 127 later this fall. 

Mary O’Brien is a social worker, phlebotomist, and EMT who has dedicated her life to helping others. She has extensive experience working with high risk youth, foster children, new parents, the aged, inmates, people in recovery, and people with special needs. Mary has supported Habitat for Humanity since her college years, volunteering in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Kentucky, and the Dominican Republic. Although her two rescues, Bell the dog and Jazz the cat, keep her busy, Mary also enjoys horseback riding, camping, kayaking, traveling, learning about other cultures, studying naturopathic medicine, and is a martial artist of 15 years. Mary says, “I’m honored, thankful and feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with AmeriCorps and hope to continue my life of service through Habitat after my AmeriCorps service year.”

Moya Hallstein describes herself as a cross-pollinator. Her life is rich with a broad diversity of experiences, skills and passions. She has worked as a carpenter for a custom builder, turns wrenches to keep her ’93 Toyota pick-up truck running, and has a thorough background in sustainable, organic farming. She plays the bassoon with the Chapel Hill Philharmonia and is bilingual in Spanish after living in Latin America for years. Moya is also a beekeeper and President of the Chatham County Beekeepers Association and she farms part-time, raising chickens to sell eggs and growing garlic, shallots, and leeks. When she has time to play, Moya can be found rock climbing and sailing with her father in New England. Moya says, “I find working with Chatham County Habitat deeply rewarding – connecting with volunteers and families, empowering people through new skills, and coming together in community to build affordable homes. I am super excited to take this work to another level and join the AmeriCorps team.”

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Mary and Moya will be working with us through June of 2017. Please help welcome our new AmeriCorps members to Chatham Habitat!

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Cars for Castles Update

Our Cars for Castles Cruise In is not too far away, folks. Don’t forget to buy your $1 apiece raffle tickets! The purchase of raffle tickets can help you to win some fabulous prizes including a 40″ Sanyo HDTV and a Char Broil 3-Burner grill. Even if you cannot attend the event you are still eligible to win. For the lucky ones who can attend the Cruise In car show you will also have the chance to receive door prizes and more! As a reminder the event is held on September 10th. For more information, attached below is the flyer elaborating on the details of the event. We cannot wait to see you there!

An example of the grill that could be yours at our Cruise In Raffle!

An example of the grill that could be yours at our Cruise In Raffle!

The Sanyo TV that could decorate your living room by entering the Cruise In Raffle!

The Sanyo TV that could decorate your living room by entering the Cruise In Raffle!

Cars for Castles Flyer 2016


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Foundations in Siler City

We have begun work on our Siler City homes for the Sanchez and Barillas Families! Pictures below show the steady progress on the foundations of the homes. Our construction in Siler City will continue through out the summer! As always, volunteers are more than welcome. Follow our progress on these two homes by keeping up with our Facebook posts and blog updates on the Chatham Habitat website.IMG_3583 IMG_3584 IMG_3585

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Construction Update!

On this week’s construction update, we are happy to announce that we passed the rough-in inspection of House #123 last Friday. Thank you to all of our staff and volunteers who made that possible! Over the next couple of weeks our subcontractors will be blowing in insulation and hanging drywall. During that time, we will be focusing our efforts on our next two houses in Siler City which are located at 1208 and 1210 N. Chatham Ave. Come by and check out the progress, or even better come lend a hand and a hammer! We would greatly appreciate your help if you’re able to do so. This week’s agenda includes installing mud-sills, installing foundation insulation and vapor barriers, as well as other miscellaneous site preparation. Please remember when you come out to volunteer that on-site safety is our top priority. Our biggest safety reminder…mind the heat! On these hot summer days remember to wear a hat and sunscreen, and drink plenty of water before, during, and after the work day. It’s important to take as many breaks as you need, and do not feel ashamed to head out early if you feel that’s best for your health. We can’t wait to see you on site!5 Bedroom Home

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A Big Thank You to All Our Volunteers!

On Sunday, June 5th we hosted a lunch at our office to honor and celebrate our wonderful Habitat volunteers. We thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication! We are so grateful that you all could join us in acknowledging the contributions of our valued volunteers.

Featured below are our award winners, they are (from left to right):


Ed Davis, who was awarded the Construction Most Valuable Volunteer; Dixie Cline, ReStore  Too Rookie of the Year Volunteer; Jim Rupkalvis, ReStore Too Most Valuable Volunteer; Megan Lynch, ReStore Rookie of the Year; Daisy Womble, Family Services Rookie of the Year; Ieva Spons, Development Rookie of the Year; Randel Sink, Golden Hammer Award winner; and David Piet, Construction Rookie of the Year.

Last, but certainly not least: Toni Conrad, Family Services Most Valuable Volunteer and Sheryl Forbis, Development Most Valuable Volunteer, who are not pictured.

Once again, thank you too all of our volunteers!

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Triangle Community Foundation, Chatham County and United Way of Chatham County Announce Collaborative Grant Winner

It is with great excitement that we announce the partnering of Triangle Community Foundation, Chatham County, and United Way of Chatham County in declaring the winner of the new pilot grant focused on a collaborative approach to affordable housing challenges in Chatham County. In support of the grant, each organization provided $10,000 to the $30,000 grant.

A panel of volunteers from all three agencies selected a project called “Land Becoming Home” as the 2016-17 grant recipient. Land Becoming Home involves a collaboration of Rebuilding Together of the Triangle, Chatham Habitat for Humanity, and Chatham County Council on Aging.

“At Chatham Habitat, we get calls every day from people who own land in Chatham County but who cannot afford to repair their existing homes,” said Anna Spears with Habitat for Humanity. “In some cases, this may mean no running water, extremely high utility bills and massive structural damage. The repair costs could be enormous or the home is simply not repairable.” For these families, staying on their land is of the utmost importance,” Spears said. “Family members may be close by, or the land may be their only asset. People in these situations may have no alternatives.”

Land Becoming Home focuses on this reality and tests a unique solution with two key elements:

*         It will identify a low-income household on family-owned land where the home structure is beyond repair. Land ownership will help leverage a zero-interest loan to replace the failing home with an energy-efficient, low-cost tiny home (less than 800 square feet) that is less costly to operate and maintain. The tiny home will be sold to the owner through a zero-interest loan.  Utility cost savings will help the owner cover the small mortgage involved.

*         A second component involves a tour and other strategies to educate public officials and the community about substandard housing conditions in Chatham. Follow up discussions will focus on how people end up in such poor housing situations and the barriers that prevent them from leaving.


Habitat for Humanity will handle the loan financing, Rebuilding Together of the Triangle will manage the building project and the Council on Aging will provide follow-up wrap-around services and help identify potential homeowners in need. Many of the homeowners in these situations are age 60 and older and often come to Council on Aging for help.

The three agencies involved in Land Becoming Home could not have supported the project alone, according to Daniel Sargent, director of Rebuilding Together of the Triangle. “We are so fortunate that our partners across Chatham County were willing to look at challenges in new ways and then roll up their sleeves and work together to give neighbors a safe, healthy home to live in.”

Similarly, this is the first time that the three funding agencies have come together around a collaborative grant in Chatham County. “This joint grant indicates a special level of commitment to collaborative solutions with a broader impact,” said Dina Reynolds, executive director of United Way of Chatham County.

According to Lori O’Keefe, president and CEO of Triangle Community Foundation, the selected grant project is a unique approach to addressing affordable housing in rural areas, which has many root causes that are intertwined. “If successful, the concept developed in this program has tremendous potential for broader replication.”

County Manager Renee Paschal agreed. “Addressing affordable housing needs is a top priority of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners. The selected grant project has opted to focus on a need that is often overlooked. We salute the grantees for spotlighting and addressing situations like this.” One of the grant partners, the Chatham County Council on Aging, consistently works hard to help older adults live in their homes as long as possible. Executive Director Dennis Streets said, “We offer meals-on-wheels, in-home personal care, minor home repair, donations of assistive equipment and other such assistance. But, if the house is structurally unsafe, these services are not enough to maintain a senior’s independence and well-being. That is why the idea of the ‘tiny home’ is so vital and exciting.”

Land Becoming Home is a one-year-pilot that gets underway July 1, 2016. The three partner agencies have a specific timeline to accomplish their key steps. At the project’s close, they will produce a final project report detailing the outcomes of their new and exciting mission to benefit the Chatham community.

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Thanks, Christ UMC!

Christ United Methodist Church, one of our longtime Apostle Build sponsors, brought in their 2016 donation recently, and we’re so grateful to this church’s congregation and especially Ed Harland, pictured here!


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Thanks to all our Construction staff, crew leaders, sponsors, and of course, the women who can to work and make this day fun!

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First Annual Spelling Bee was a Huge Hit!

To see more photos of the Spelling Bee (including a photo of each team) click here!

Our First Spelling Bee, held at Northwood High School on April 28th, was a huge success! Big thanks to Zach Ward of DSI Comedy for hosting, to Sam Cooper, Dawn Walker, and Henry Foust for judging, and to June Atkinson (North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction) and Dr. Derrick Jordan (Chatham County School Superintendent) and to all the teams and sponsors listed below:


Spelling Cinsation YMCA – Located in Pittsboro
Willow Oak Wordsmiths- Parent and others from Willow Oak Montessori School
Bee Bombers – Nurses from UNC and friends
Chapel in the Pines Carpenter Bees Church – Local, supportive church for Habitat
Legal Bee-Gals – Chatham County Clerk of Courts Office
Department of Stupendous Spellers – Department of Social Services
Chatham Wabbits – George Greger Holt – Chatham Drug Free
Word Nerds – Chatham County Tax Office
The Transposed’s- Chatham Habitat for Humanity’s Board President Linda Zaremba and friends in Governors Club
Bee-Wildered & Bee-Fuddled- Ieva Spons, Habitat Board member and friends
Chatum’s Fynest Sherrif Webster’s Diktionaries – Chatham County Sheriff’s Office
The Sewing Bee – Ladies that support Habitat by sewing monthly with items for our ReStore
The Bee Team Emily Boynton, Pittsboro Elementary School Parents
BuzzKill Bees- Pittsboro Police Department
The Church Ladies – Pittsboro Presbyterian Church
The TeacherBees – Former Chatham County School Board Member and retired teachers
Central Carolina Spelling Hornets – Mark Hall, Provst of Central Carolina Community College and teachers
The A Team – Durham Tech Professor Don Sommerfeldt and students
UNC Healthcare – Staff from UNC Healthcare
Belles of the Board – Chatham County School Board and County Commissioners
The Phonetix – Chatham County Commissioners Chair Jim Crawford and friends
The Diggers – Chatham Habitat Board Member Anna DeConti and friends from Governors Club
Champions for Change – Western Chatham NAACP Chapter
Kelli and the Spelliticians – NC Legislative Team, Rep. Robert Reives, State Sen. Valerie Foushee, Pete Glidewell, 6th Congressional Dist. & Kelli, Chatham Co. Schools
Team Bold (Construction) – Jason Dell, Chatham Habitat for Humanity Board Member and friends
Four Mayors and a Truck – Current Mayors from Pittsboro, Siler City and Goldston and former Mayor of Pittsboro
Chatham Literacy – Literacy Council of Chatham County


UNC Health Care (Hive sponsor – highest level)
Keisler Land Co., LLC
Lowe’s Home Improvement
Apex Cabinet
MHA Works
Carolina Farm Credit
The Chatham Unit of the League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham & Chatham Counties
San Lee Security
Pittsboro First Bank
Chatham Economic Development
Lindley Designs
Realty World
Moore’s Hauling & Grading
L.D. Swain & Son Heating & Cooling, Inc.


The winner of the event was the Chatham County Department of Stupendous Spellers, the team from Chatham County DSS office. They’ll keep the trophy in their office all year and then bring it back next year so that they can defend their title!


Also, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office won the title for Best Team Name – Chatum’s Fynest Sherrif Webster’s Diktionaries.

We raised more than $7,000 for Chatham Habitat at the event, and we’re already excited for next year!

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It’s Not Too Late!

Reserve your spot at the Caterpillar Rodeo today! Call Anna Spears at 919-542-0794 today!

CAT Rodeo Flyer

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