Over the past quarter century, countless hammers have been swung to build homes for northern Colorado’s families in need. This year, Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity is celebrating their 25th anniversary.
If only walls could talk, the many homes that Habitat has built would tell exceptional stories. Founded on the notion that every individual should have access to safe and affordable housing, thousands of volunteers, donors, businesses and individuals have joined forces to bring this vision to reality.
Earlier this year, Habitat celebrated their 25th anniversary by sharing cherished stories from those who have been positively impacted by their work. Some favorites include:
DENISE, an aspiring kindergarten teacher, was working hard to make ends meet while raising her two young children. It was not until Habitat lent her a helping hand that she was able to move away from her income-based rental unit in a location unfit for children.
“I remember being in my apartment right before Thanksgiving. The kids were in bed and it was dark outside, when through the silence I heard a knock at the door. Ordinarily, in my neighborhood, I never would have answered it, but through the peephole I saw one face that I recognized, but the rest were strangers with big smiles on their faces and, I don’t know, I just knew I had to open it.”
Denise was greeted with the news that she had been selected as a Habitat home recipient and was handed three bright yellow hard hats—one of her and each of her two children. Their new home eventually provided the affordable stability needed for Denise to chase her dreams and provide for her children.
ROYCE, now 80 years old, began volunteering at Habitat for Humanity ReStrore shortly after he retired. Royce has been volunteering for over a decade, and in that time the ReStore has helped him just as much as he has helped them. After his second home was destroyed in 2012 in the Rist Canyon wildfire, he knew he could turn to the ReStore to help him outfit a new build with most of the home necessities at a low price.
“Habitat was a worthy cause in my eyes, and I needed something to keep me active,” Royce said. “This was the perfect fit because I love meeting new people, and on the truck, I get to see new faces every day, no two days are alike.”
THE BLENKERS FAMILY, renting a small two-bedroom condo that they shared with their three children, dreamed of having a home they could turn into a light show during the holiday season. Eventually, after being selected as a Habitat home recipient, their dreams came true. Now, 12 years later, their holiday décor has become an annual spectacle that has grown to become a fundraiser called Lights for Habitat. So far it has raised nearly $15,000 for Habitat.
“Habitat was an amazing opportunity for our big family, and we’re happy to support their mission. We’ll do this display until we physically can’t anymore, and then I bet our kids will happily follow in our footsteps,” Hans said.
Without the help of so many members in our community, none of these stories would have surfaced.
Turning their eye towards the next 25 years ahead, Habitat intends to keep creating more stories of success. Community members are encouraged to help by donating this holiday season. With Colorado Gives Day, Giving Tuesday and year-end giving on the horizon, there will be plenty of opportunities to make an impact with your donation. Every dollar given will be amplified through their matching funds challenge of up to $250,000 matched by the year-end. Give today!