The past year was full of challenges, successes, and FUN. Today, I'm writing my second "State of the Affiliate," to share some of the good news with you, because YOU made it all possible.
Happy New Year!
I hope this finds you and yours well. Welcome to your 2022 "State of the Affiliate" address.
First and foremost, THANK YOU for supporting us this past calendar year. I was raised Methodist, and when one joins the Methodist church, he/she pledges to "uphold it with your prayers, your presence, your gifts and your service." That is certainly what you have done for us this year. We need and appreciate it all!
2021 has been a year of growth, challenges, successes and FUN. Today I write my second "State of the Affiliate," to share some of the good news with you, because YOU made it all possible.
Some highlights of the year include:
We completed four homes in 2021: two final homes in our North Little Rock 9-home pocket community called Porter Cove, and two in Little Rock.
You may recall that one year ago we were gifted 36 undeveloped acres in southwest Little Rock. We have spent this year researching possibilities (thank you studioMain and other friends and professionals). Our due diligence continues with a team of Clinton School of Public Service students working on our behalf in the area. They will learn more about what the community wants and needs and share their findings with us (and their professors) in April. Their study question is "What is the best way to use Habitat's 36-acre property so that it provides housing, builds community and promotes sustainable and transformational development?"
Generous donors offered us other property as a donation or at a deep discount. We are in the process now of closing on ten North Little Rock properties and one in Little Rock.
Our ReStore has had a record-breaking year! This "Super Store" concept (we closed our North Little Rock store in late 2020) seems to be working; we did more business with one store this year than we did with two stores in prior years. I especially like that I get to see all my store associates most every day. Their hard work and dedication to our mission keep me inspired. And YES, your store donations and purchases contribute directly to our ability to build affordable homes with deserving families!
We hosted two new, very successful fundraisers this year. Baggo, Brats & Blues was SO fun in June! We crowned the CornStars from ProSource Wholesale as our Baggo champ and, best of all, one of our homeowners got to "burn" their mortgage note, having paid it off in just over seven years. A Gratitude Gathering, held in November, remembered Ellen Gray, a former Habitat board president and long-time supporter. Sadly, Ellen passed away just weeks before, but she had been very involved in the planning. I believe she knows – and is tickled – that we surpassed our goal. These fundraisers also directly impact our ability to build more homes. Thank you for your support!
What's ahead for 2022:
We will build a minimum of six homes this year, with a focus in the Baring Cross neighborhood of North Little Rock. We have learned there is greater impact when we concentrate our builds. We have tweaked our home plans (thank you Williams & Dean Architects!) We think the neighborhood – and homebuyers – will like what they see.
Baggo, Brats & Blues returns to The Railyard on Sunday, May 1! Get your Baggo team together! Get tickets HERE.
A Gratitude Gathering will return on November 15. Join us to start the season of Thanksgiving off with heart.
Our Habitat Young Professionals (HYP) is planning to reboot with an event this spring; volunteers are coming back to building sites now; a handful of us are attending a Habitat International conference in Atlanta (the first one in three years and my first); and so much more....
Obviously, I could keep talking – I love our work and those we work with – but I will close with this, borrowed from the Methodists:
THANK YOU once more for supporting us with "your prayers, your presence, your gifts and your service."
Together, we are building more than houses… we are building hope.
Here's to a great 2022 for you and for your Central Arkansas Habitat affiliate!
501-376-4434 ex. 1060