An Ode to Habitat for Humanity

On Valentine’s Day, we take time to recognize and celebrate the loved ones in our lives. That love is not just limited to one’s significant others; we can also take this time to show some love to the organizations and charitable causes that are near and dear to our hearts. Here at Habitat Michigan, our staff is celebrating Valentine’s Day by sharing what we love about Habitat for Humanity. (Photo image courtesy of, "Pangolin Love") 

“I love that Habitat for Humanity doesn’t just talk, we DO. Habitat for Humanity is God’s love in action. When we are laboring side by side, we are Sandy, Dan, Antria, and Bob. There are no titles and classes. We join people of all beliefs, professions, and walks of life together to give a hand up to people who have expressed a need and ability and desire to be in labor with us. It’s a beautiful thing resulting in a more wonderful life for all involved.” – Sandy Pearson, President & CEO

“What I love about Habitat for Humanity is the idea that we are doing something important to help other people.  During the course of my job the best part is interacting with homebuyers, answering their questions and trying to bring calm and order to a somewhat complicated and often frustrating process.  There is a specific moment of joy when I can tell a homebuyer that their down payment assistance application has been approved!” – Jamie Wegryn-Jones, Grant Intake Specialist

“Habitat for Humanity has been a great way for me to live out my Christian faith with others and I’ve always appreciated how the organization is founded on Christian principles and they encourage you to not shy away from this.  I love seeing families’ dreams come true with housing.  I love that Habitat for Humanity is worldwide and that helps us all stay connected as people of God.” – Amber Feldpausch, Meeting & Event Coordinator

“I love Habitat because in it I have found what I want and love to do. Like Maya Angelou said, “Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it you have to love it”. I’m not sure which was first –loving our mission, vision, and values, or knowing this is what I love to do; the two are interchangeable for me.” – Sue Ortiz, Family & Homeowner Support Director

“What I love about Habitat is how we unify people from all over the world, working together to achieve greatness for others. We are partners and we each play our part, big or small, in giving our knowledge, time, compassion, expertise, love, funding and much more to achieve the same goal. Our common purpose is to help people in need make a better life.

My position at HFHM allows me be a contributor to this mission by completing transactions that allow products, grants and fundraising dollars to be collected and distributed, which helps affiliates and the families build and or remodel safe decent affordable housing for people in need.” Mary Peterson, Accounting Administrator

“I can still see the memory as if it had just happened yesterday, not 10 years ago.  I had just arrived to New Orleans with my college’s construction group to volunteer for a week on several construction sites.  Upon arrival, we were immediately welcomed with open arms and invited to a wall raising ceremony – the very event that changed my path towards the direction of stewardship.  The future homeowner’s words had such an effect on my heart, that years later, those words and her emotions were the very thing that brought me back to Habitat for Humanity. I am blessed by the many people – fellow co-workers, volunteers, and homeowners – that have impacted my life for the better.” Jessica Rick, Special Programs Coordinator

“Habitat for Humanity offers so much opportunity to so many people. Whether it is the opportunity of a better future for our homeowners and their families, or opportunities to learn new skills for our volunteers, there is a place for anyone looking to be involved. Donating leftover building supplies to the ReStore, volunteering in the affiliate office, putting your design skills to work, giving a financial donation, hanging drywall...people from every skill level and every income level can make a huge difference in their community.” Maureen Savage, Communication & Marketing Coordinator

“The thing I love about Habitat is the people I get to work with.” Amy Smitter, Chief Operating Officer

"HFH is true to my heart. On a personal level, without the opportunity granted to me for homeownership, I’m not sure if I would even be a homeowner; as homeownership is a great responsibility.  However, through the homeowner partnership with HFH, the responsibility is a bit easier and definitely worthwhile. The support from the beginning to the end guaranteed me to be a successful homeowner.  I love the people of Habitat and the sincerity that is genuinely expressed from everyone I come in contact with. 

Professionally, I have been a part of the HFHM office for just under 6 months now and I must say, what an experience to be able to see and be involved in what goes on behind the scenes. There is a lot of work and effort that goes forth and assuring that the mission of HFH is carried out and carried on.  In addition to the everyday people I work with, I have had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with funders that support HFH and the thousands of families that benefit from their generosity.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a 9 year old little girl who donated over $100 to HFH.  Instead of receiving birthday gifts from her party guests, she requested money be given so that she can help people who need housing.  This was one of the most heartfelt moments of my life and it truly showed me that no matter what is going on in the world, there are still people who care.  I applaud her parents for raising such a caring and loving little girl; there is still hope for this country.

The HFH name is a brand name that is recognized all over the world and I have been blessed to be a face of that name; impacted both personally and professionally.” Antria Daugherty, Executive Assistant

“I love that my job with HFHM gives me the opportunity to both grow myself and help people grow in their professions while serving their communities. It’s all the things I love about working in the nonprofit field in one!” Bridget Ferrigan, AmeriCorps Program Manager

“Although I have not been with HFHM a year yet, there are many things I love about HFHM. I love the awesome people I work with every day. I admire the good work they do to ensure our affiliates have what they need when assisting the wonderful families we serve. I appreciate our affiliates and their passion to fulfill our mission; helping to create dreams of homeownership to families. All of this brings me great joy. Happy Valentine’s Day! XOXO” Angie Hamlett, Homeowner and Family Support Manager

“Habitat for Humanity builds and rehabilitates homes, but it’s also so much more than that. We know safe, decent, and affordable housing allows people to flourish in so many other aspects of life – that’s what I love the most about our work. I get to play a small part in the overall process by helping Habitat affiliates and their partner families secure funding to ensure the purchase of the Habitat home is affordable. One of the best parts of my job is being able to call up the affiliate or family and let them know that their application for down payment assistance was approved. At that point we know the family is only a few weeks away from closing on their home!” Michelle Scott, Family Support Manager

“Habitat is the perfect catalyst to materially demonstrate love in action.” Thom Phillips, Sustainable Building Specialist


What do you love the most about Habitat for Humanity? Visit our Facebook or Twitter and let us know!