If You Had the Opportunity to Help a Neighbor, Would You?

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By Marianne Lynch, Executive Director of Montgomery and Delaware Counties

If you had an opportunity to help a neighbor, would you?

This is the question Habitat Montco grappled with, beginning more than a year and a half ago regarding one of our nearby Habitat affiliates. We’d never been stronger. We had been building new homes, repairing more homes than ever before, launching financial empowerment classes and working to strengthen neighborhoods. After years of planning, our organization was providing the significant impact we’d been working so hard to achieve.  

We had been advising Habitat for Humanity of Delaware County about best practices when an idea began to form: what if we joined forces and became one even stronger entity to better fulfill Habitat’s mission together? It was not an idea to be taken lightly.

Our Board spent the last 15 months taking a thoughtful and metered approach to answering the question. They weighed many issues. What would the benefits be to each county? What efficiencies might we achieve? How might this expand our opportunities for visibility, for fundraising, for volunteers, for partnerships? Most important, how could this increase our impact for so many more families and communities in need?  And always, they asked if we had the capacity, the resources and the leadership to expand and continue and grow our important work in Montgomery County.

We asked stakeholders what they thought of this idea as well, listening to many views and questions about our operations, and whether we should consolidate. If so, how might we go about it?

 

In the end, Habitat Montco looked to our ministry and mission for the answer. The vision of Habitat for Humanity is simple, yet bold - a world where everyone has a decent place to live. If we are to truly embrace this vision, we must recognize that many more people live in communities of great need and can be better served together.

Based on our solid and successful foundation, we decided to answer the call to serve more people. As of August 1, 2017 Habitat Montco and Habitat Delco are one … Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery and Delaware Counties. We’ve altered our name but not our guiding principles. Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery and Delaware Counties will continue to support families through home buying opportunities, repairs for low-income homeowners, financial education and neighborhood revitalization. In fact, this year, we expect to serve 20 more families in Montco than we were able to last year.

As I have said in past communications to you, this work cannot be done alone or in a vacuum. Now, more than ever, I hope you will answer a similar call to help “the least among us” with your time, resources and talent. To blend our organizations and reach the most people possible, it will take everyone working toward a future where everyone has a decent place to live.

Please join us on this journey to become a stronger Habitat aiding more families than we ever thought possible. From volunteering in the ReStore, to organizing an upcoming event on one of Habitat’s many committees, to canvassing new communities in order to learn more about what neighborhoods need to thrive, there are many ways to help. Go online to learn more about our plans to expand our area of service at www.habitatmontco.org.  

Finally, thank you for your past and for your future support, because when Habitat thrives, families thrive -- and when families thrive, our community becomes stronger.