A Letter from our CEO: Why Habitat Matters Now More Than Ever


Dear Habitat Family,
When I first stepped on a Habitat for Humanity job site 26 years ago, I knew I was home. I may not have had the most glamorous job (picking up trash), but I was with people who welcomed me no matter my construction skill level (none), faith tradition, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or age. The community at Habitat only seemed to care that I arrived intending to make a positive impact. That was enough for them.
Over the past several months, I have found myself often harkening back to those beginnings as I see our country divided beyond what I’ve ever experienced before. Polite political disagreements have given way to hateful name calling. My social media feed has been filled with calls to action, angry protests, and comments of disbelief. We wonder, “How will we ever come together again as a country?” We at Habitat know a simple way of doing just that– a small step in the scheme of things, but one which has never been more important.
For four decades across the globe Habitat has relied on the Theology of the Hammer, first coined by our founder Millard Fuller. The concept is simple–that personal disagreements don’t matter. If you give people a cause to work on side by side, they can set aside their differences for the good of the whole. This is the work we commit ourselves to daily at Habitat– a world where bank presidents and tellers have equal ground for a day, where Democrats and Republicans work together on the home of a member of their community, where women in hijabs work alongside rabbis and priests. Our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live has a place for everyone. We need everyone to arrive ready to embrace this audacious goal, and we are thankful we’ve been blessed with a community here in Bloomington that does just that.
As you know, at the end of the summer I will bid Bloomington farewell for a while. My family is moving to Germany for a year where we are excited to immerse ourselves in a new culture, create new friendships, and continue to build community in new ways. As I prepare to leave my role as CEO of this tremendous affiliate, I want to assure you that Habitat remains in my heart. I will of course continue to do anything possible to ensure its success.
I am grateful to each of you for placing your faith in my leadership, your trust in our organization, and above all for showing me exactly what it looks like to build a community of loving acceptance. As Habitat continues to grow and flourish in Monroe County, I know you will offer your next leader those same gifts which will ensure that our community continues to thrive and grow. Each of you is Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County. That doesn’t change when I depart. You will simply welcome someone new onto the team.
We first came together to support hard-working families in dire need of a decent place to call home. That work is ongoing. What keeps us from tiring is our beautiful community of diverse acceptance. May we each carry that love out into the world in our own ways as an illustration that hope continues to grow. Our work is at least as much about humanity as it is about human habitat.
Take good care, and please do keep up your awesome work on behalf of Habitat!
KT signature
Kerry Thomson
Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County

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Women Build 2017

Women Build’s 16th year in Monroe County!

April 28 – May 13, 2017

Visit the official site of our 2017 Women Build page HERE to sign up to build or support one of our Women Builders!

Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program promotes the involvement of women in the construction of Habitat houses. Women Build works with affiliates to nurture, recruit and train women to build and maintain simple, decent, healthy and affordable homes.

2017 marks 16 years of building new lives for Monroe County families.

All-women volunteer teams come together to swing hammers and raise roofs, and actively work to eliminate poverty housing in Monroe County, Indiana. It takes 325 volunteer builders, about 1600 volunteer hours, and $70,000 for land and materials to complete each home. Women Build is a safe haven for women to practice and excel, no matter what their skill levels. Each builder raises funds to secure a volunteer spot for one day of the build. No experience necessary – REALLY! – and you may sign up to participate on any day you choose. Meet new people and make new friends!

Beginning in 2001, the women of Bloomington and Monroe County joined together to build homes partnership with families in need. The Women Build homes are built in just over a week, and all volunteers are women. Teams of friends, colleagues, and those who just want to make a difference assemble to sponsor each day of the build. Each builder commits to giving or raising a minimum of $250 to assist in sponsoring the home (purchasing land and building materials). When Habitat for Humanity builds a home, the owners pay a mortgage that funds another home until eventually they build a community.

CommUNITY Interfaith BUILD

2017 CommUNITY Interfaith BUILD:  Join us for an experience designed to bring the commUNITY together!

Make a secure on-line donation HERE to support the CommUNITY Interfaith BUILD!

On March 31, April 1 and April 2 volunteers and donors as part of “commUNITY” groups will frame-up a home for a hard-working Monroe County family.  The site for UNITY BUILD will be:  520 W. Duncan Drive Bloomington, IN 47403.

When Habitat for Humanity builds a home, the owners pay a mortgage that funds another home until eventually they build a commUNITY. There is a limit to how many people can build a Habitat house, but there is no limit to how many people can contribute to the building.

The Bahá’í Faith of Bloomington, Congregation Beth Shalom, First Christian Church, First Presbyterian Church, First United Church, the IU Interfaith Coalition (Muslim Student Association, Christian Student Fellowship, UKirk, Hillel, Project IMPACT, and Indian Student Association), St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, and Unitarian Universalist Church have all been instrumental in pulling together our UNITY Build.

Check out this link to find answers to some Frequently Asked Questions.

Read our story on Unitarian Universalist Church member and long-time Habitat supporter Barb Berggoetz here.

For information on our February 24 Harmony Music Fest click here.

Learn more about our April 2 Banquet sponsored by IU’s Muslim Student Association!  RSVP on Facebook here and buy your tickets here!

For other ways to get involved (as a food donor, site host, prayer circle contributor, etc.) contact our office at 812-331-4069 or habitat@monroecountyhabitat.org

Our future homeowners thank you for your generosity!



ReStore’s Largest Donation in History

Habitat ReStore is incredibly grateful to the IMU Biddle Hotel for the largest donation in our history!

ReStore shoppers do all sorts of incredible things with their purchases. The Habitat ReStore is another way Habitat serves families by providing an affordable home improvement option.

Read about the donation in Inside IU Bloomington’s January 11 article here.

Learn more from Michael Reschke’s front page article in the Herald Times on January 25.

From the recent press release out of the IMU’s marketing department:

This winter the IMU Biddle Hotel began an extensive renovation. Not only will all 189 rooms be renovated with new electric, plumbing, wallpaper and new furniture but a new roof to the hotel will also be installed.  This is the biggest renovation for the hotel since 1994.

The quaint furniture, so long at home in the hotel, must be removed first. Mike Campbell, associate director of the IMU, said the furniture was “a little dated for the hotel, but still in good condition.” Realizing that trying to sell the furniture would result in more work than it was worth, the IMU decided to work with local non-profits and donate the used furniture.

The used hotel furniture became a donation to Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The donation is so large that the moving process has been broken down into five different sessions, each about two weeks apart. Allison Hess, marketing director of the regional Habitat office, said, “This is the largest donation our ReStore has ever seen.”

An earlier attempt to renovate the hotel and donate the furniture in 2015 fell through, because the process of moving the furniture out of the IMU would have been too costly. Habitat for Humanity, working with Soft Touch Moving & Storage Co., agreed to move the furniture at no cost to the IMU. “It’s a trade off,” Campbell said, “And it’s a great way to work with the community.”

The first two floors of the hotel have already been cleared of furniture, and are now being sold to people at the Habitat ReStore. Marc Papier, manager of the Monroe County Habitat ReStore, said, “The first rounds of furniture received has been really selling. People have been waiting for these donations to arrive.”

The proceeds of the furniture donated to Habitat will go towards building new houses for local families in need of shelter.

The hotel amenities donated include, but are not limited to: 178 desks with the same number of padded desk chairs, 180 framed mirrors, 116 nightstands, 96 armoires and 256 headboards.

Buy Tickets for BHSN’s Evening for Habitat HERE!


Tickets for Bloomington High School North’s Evening for Habitat are available for purchase HERE!


The Bloomington High School North student chapter of Habitat has sponsored 16 homes for deserving families in Monroe County over the past 16 years. Currently, the intrepid students at BHSN are working hard building alongside future homeowners the Rodriguez family, whose home is set to be dedicated this spring.

Our BHSN chapter organizes a number of fundraisers throughout the year. The largest of these is the annual Evening for Habitat dinner and auction which will once again be held on Thursday, February 16th from 6:00-9:00pm at the Bloomington Convention Center. Funds raised will go directly to help build North’s 17th home in 17 years, supporting Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

About our Bloomington High School North Chapter:

The Bloomington High School North chapter was founded in 1998 by students and received official independent campus chapter status in 2000. The chapter works in partnership with our Habitat affiliate. Monroe County has some of the most expensive housing units in the state, lending additional urgency to the mission. All the money raised by the chapter goes toward building houses. The advisors of the BHSN chapter are Geoff Aiken, Don Adams, Ella Madison and Cassie Soller.



More Than Houses Breakfast November 10!

Our annual More Than Houses Breakfast is coming up on Thursday, November 10!

The event will be held at the Monroe Convention Center (302 S. College Avenue) from 7:30-8:30am.

The More Than Houses Breakfast is the single most important event that Habitat holds to introduce prospective volunteers and donors to our mission, remind current supporters of our efforts, and raise the bulk of our annual operating budget.

We would love for you to be involved!  Email Jennifer at:  habitat@monroecountyhabitat.org or call our office at:  (812) 331-4069 to reserve your seat today.  If you’ve attended the event in the past consider bringing a few friends and serving as a Table Captain!

Thank you for supporting Monroe County Habitat!



Habitat Restore Kicks Off Summer Drive for Donations

RS-SD16-ad_300x250BLOOMINGTON, IN. (7/3/16) — Monroe County residents can support the store that helps build homes by donating to Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County ReStore’s Summer Drive for Donations.

With free and convenient pick-up service, residents can easily donate new and gently used household items, appliances, building materials, furniture, lighting fixtures and cabinets. Donated items will then be available for purchase at a fraction of the retail price at the Habitat ReStore, which is open to the general public at 850 S. Auto Mall Rd in Bloomington. Revenue generated from sales at the Habitat ReStore are used to help build Habitat for Humanity homes in partnership with low-income families.

“Every item donated to Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County ReStore helps to improve the lives of families in need of better shelter,” said Marc Papier, ReStore Manager. “This year alone, proceeds from our Habitat ReStore will cover 100% of the costs of two new homes in Monroe County.” 
Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County ReStore relies heavily on the generosity of donors, and all donations made through the Summer Drive for Donations event are tax deductible. For information about how to schedule a donation pick-up, visit btownrestore.org. Donations can also be dropped off at the store during business hours: Tuesday-Friday 10:30am-5:30pm and Saturday 9:30am-4:30pm.

About Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used building materials, appliances, furniture and home accessories at a fraction of the retail price. Last year alone, Habitat ReStores raised more than $100 million for homebuilding while diverting more than 128,000 tons of reusable materials from landfills. With more than 920 stores in five countries, proceeds generated by Habitat ReStores are used to help build homes and communities locally and around the world. To shop, donate or volunteer, visit btownrestore.org

7th Builders Blitz in Monroe County

Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County is excited to host the 7th Builders Blitz in our community. Builders Blitz is a 12-day build where local professional home builders partner together to construct homes for future homeowners. All materials and labor are donated by these local professional home builders and their subcontractors and suppliers to support Habitat’s vision of “a world where everyone has a decent place to live”.

This year, our eight signature builders will construct three homes in our newest neighborhood, Trail View, located on the B-line Trail. Our three signature builder teams are:
Bailey & Weiler Design/Build, Loren Wood Builders, and Newhouse Construction are teaming up to build a home for family Oscar Soto and Irma Hernandez, and their son, Andres.
Rubicon Custom Homes and G&S Homes are partnering to construct a home for Mario Nexapa-Zaragoza, Lorena Sanchez-Sandoval, and their son, Juan Angel.
• John Ingram Builders, Inc., Craft Construction, and Blue Line Building & Design Inc are building for Isaiah and Tyrenia Newsome, and their two sons, Lawrence and Tyrell.

Starting on June 6th, these three families will build alongside our professional home builders for the 10 days with a dedication of the homes on June 17th. If you are interested in donating materials, call 812-331-4069.

Calling All Ladies – We Need You!

,W_DtFA034I8qJHf2QBrH7vpAxhR6lRGr4n-sG_8ikLk,GoO-KBzhbTg3gTIe0XVuxL01j47xXyvZWF5LExqYlZkWomen Build is right around the corner and we need you more than ever. Amy Fender and Freddy Perez along with their families, are ready to put on their hard hats and work alongside you to turn their dreams into a reality. They’ve worked hard on their sweat equity and passed Habitat homeowner and money management education courses. Their efforts culminate in one of Habitat’s most exciting annual build events. With your help, we can build both homes in 11 days.

There are 400 volunteer opportunities associated with Women Build, and we rely on the fabulous women in our community to participate. Register today to secure your volunteer slot and to set up your personal fundraising page. Invite your friends to join you at the build as we all work together to raise the money and volunteers needed to build these homes.

Each volunteer is asked to raise at least $250 to help pay for the construction materials needed to complete the homes. Once you reach $250, you’ll receive a limited edition Women Build shirt to wear while you build. Raise over $250 to earn even more incentives.

You can set up your own fundraising page here.  Customize your page, get personal and share why the Women Build is important to you and why we should all work together to help these families in need. You can even make your own gift in honor or memory of a special woman for this Mother’s Day. Then, send the link to your friends and family inviting them to join you. It is easy, and we’ll provide you with lots of tips to help you get the word out about this amazing project.

Questions? Need help getting started? Contact us at habitat@monroecountyhabitat.org.

Volunteering opportunities are available April 30 – May 14.

Participation in Women Build does not require any prior construction experience. However, if you are interested, Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County and longtime national partner Lowe’s are hosting “how-to” clinics for our women volunteers. Local clinics will be held at the Bloomington Lowe’s location and the Habitat Warehouse. Consult our event calendar for details.


Second Time Affiliate of Distinction Award Recipient

aodHabitat for Humanity of Monroe County is proud to be selected as an “Affiliate of Distinction” by Habitat for Humanity International.

In recognition of our programmatic strengths and achievements, we are one of only 14 affiliates to receive Habitat for Humanity International’s “Affiliates of Distinction” designation for 2015-2017. This is our second “Affiliate of Distinction” award. The first award covered 2013-2015, the inaugural term of the recognition program.

Habitat affiliates considered for the honor were reviewed by seven criteria: sustainable and green building; overall organizational leadership; community development; financial sustainability; alignment with Habitat for Humanity’s strategic plan; effective use of technology to better communication with the public; and support for Habitat’s global mission.

“We are incredibly thankful for the extraordinary efforts and service of these 14 Affiliates of Distinction,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO, Habitat for Humanity International. “Their innovative thinking and commitment to decent, affordable housing helps many families control their long-term housing costs and contributes to the development of strong, sustainable communities.”