2020 Year In Review
Happy New Year! All of us here hope this finds you and yours well.
Consider this your “State of the Affiliate” address 😊 I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the 2020 accomplishments of your Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas---accomplishments that would not have been possible without YOU.
Despite the challenges of 2020, you have continued to pray for us, advocate for us, and support us financially. You have liked and shared our social media posts, and you shopped the ReStores and donated goods to be sold there. THANK YOU.
Some highlights of the year include:
We put 10 new families in Habitat homes! This included nine homes in North Little Rock and an accessible home in Keo. This is a record, but more importantly, it is 10 new families on a journey of self-reliance, security, and stability.
Porter Cove, our pocket community in North Little Rock, became a reality in 2020. This nine-home cul de sac, adjacent to the North Heights Community Center, is a model project for us. You should drive by and see it! It even has a “Free Little Library” full of children’s books. The last two homeowners will move in early this year.
We were the fortunate recipients of a buildable lot in North Little Rock and…drum roll… 36 undeveloped acres in southwest Little Rock! Such generosity. There are terrific possibilities ahead for this real estate.
Our ReStores have consolidated under one roof at our South University location, and we had record-setting months in November and December. For the time being, we hope this “Super Store” concept provides a better experience for shoppers with more inventory under one roof.
We tested the “virtual event” waters, and had fun doing it. Hammer ‘N’ Ales was fun, informative AND we made our $ goal. These are much less expensive events than in-person, so the good news is most all of your gifts go to the mission. You can still view it at https://youtu.be/M3Pr-leocqA .
Now to what’s ahead for 2021:
We are creating a 5-year strategic plan for the affiliate (my temporary “strategic plan in 2 words” has been “ Improve Everything!). We are looking at – no, dreaming about – what we want to accomplish in the coming years. This will include reimagining our ReStores, neighborhood revitalization and new home builds. It will include putting in place marketing and advocacy plans. It will include building new partnerships with organizations, churches, and businesses. If you would like to be part of the planning process (ie, take a survey, participate in a focus group), please email me and I will be sure you are included. We will share the final result with you by June 30.
We will begin a 10-year master plan for the highest and best use of the southwest Little Rock land gift. That will be FUN!
We will complete a minimum of 4 new homes this year. We will be catching our breath after 2020 and perhaps tweaking our house plans.
As soon as Habitat International gives the green light for larger volunteer events, we will reengage with a broad volunteer base. In the meantime, we are grateful to our small “Over the Hill Gang” who have continued to work alongside us on home builds, socially distanced, of course.
We will continue to refine our ReStore operations, improving our efficiency and service, which in turn, will create a larger revenue stream for our mission. YES, your donations and your purchases contribute directly to our ability to build affordable homes with deserving families!
Whew! If you’ve read this far, you are a true Habitat friend. I’ll spare you, for now, my monologue on the social, economic, and health benefits of a safe, decent home.
I’ve only been on the job nine months, and am still learning myself, but I want you to always feel free to call or email me with your questions or concerns; if I don’t know the answer, I need to and will get it for both of us. One of my overarching goals, regardless of how the strategic plan unfolds, is to be a good steward of your trust, your time, and your gifts. And if I’m going to be a good steward of your time, I need to stop now!
Here’s to a great 2021 for you and for your Central Arkansas Habitat affiliate. See you at the ReStore!
501-376-4434 ex. 1060