Habitat Homeowner Mohammad

October 17, 2014
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Mouhammadou (Mohammad) K. is the husband of Esperance and the father of three children Abdul, Denise and Maymuna.

Mohammad is a native of Senegal, he has been in the United States for seven (7) years. He is employed as a Van Operator for Metro (Bi-State) and is currently attending Forest Park Community College to receive an Associate Degree in Nursing.

Mohammad and Esperance always talked and dreamed about owning their own home, but never thought it would be possible until they learned about Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis.

Now, the talk and dreams of Mohammad providing a home for his family has turned into action and reality, and the family is so thankful for the existence of the partnership with Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis.

Mohammad recently closed on his house and was SO excited to start this next chapter of his life. His family moved in the same day they closed!

4th Annual Chili Cook Off

October 1, 2014
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Saturday, October 11
4th Annual Chili Cook Off – Sponsored by Whisnant Family Farms and FEAST Magazine
1 - 4 pm, Free, Reservations not required.

Cast your vote for the best chili recipe prepared by Whole Foods Market Town & Country's very own team members! All 10 of the store’s teams will compete to win $500 to be donated to their favorite charity (including Habitat STL!). Your votes, along with the votes of celebrity judges will determine the fate of the winners (there will be two winners – one determined by customer votes and one chosen by the celebrity judges for another $500 winner). And, to sweeten the pot, anyone who submits a completed voting ticket will be entered to win a $100 Whole Foods Market gift card. Whole Foods Market Town and Country are very excited to have the support of the following judges who will also determine which chili has the best flavor, best texture and utilizes the most unique recipe. Join celebrity judges, Catherine Neville, Editor of Feast Magazine, Patti and Mark Whisnant, local grass fed beef producers and owners of the Whisnant Family Farm (who have donated all of the beef for the chili recipes) and Chef Maziar (Maz) Nooran owner and chef of Flaco’s Cocina and Momo’s Taverna.

The West County Fire Department will have a fire truck here for the kiddos (in all of us) from 1 – 2:30, provided they are not called away for any emergencies. There will be some kid’s activities and live music by the Root Diggers with everything taking place outside on the sidewalk and parking lot. We’re hoping Mother Nature will cooperate, but bring an umbrella just in case!

www.wholefoodsmarket.com/townandcountry.

Category: Events

New Homebuyer in University City!

September 19, 2014
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Kathryn is retired, she was employed as a buyer and decorator for Harris-Stowe University for 33 years. She is a mother of two adult daughters and a proud grandmother of three grandchildren (two girls and one boy).

She enjoys gardening and is dedicated to watching programs on HGTV, which gives her ideas on creating and decorating. Kathryn believes she can make anything out of something. When she needs quiet time, she retreats to her backyard with a “tall glass of something good”. She enjoys playing cards, skating and going to the movies. 

Most of all she enjoys watching her grandchildren grow, which is a humbling experience. She looks forward to their smiles, laughter, and all the hugs and kisses they can give her, which is a lot. Kathryn describes Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis as a wonderful program that offers an opportunity for families and individuals to accomplish homeownership, and she is excited and blessed to have the opportunity to partner with the organization.

Seven Weeks with HFHSL

August 26, 2014
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My name is Paula Roetscher and I am a third year Sustainability Studies major at the University of Florida. I am originally from Germany but moved to the US a little less than 2 years ago to start college and experience the American culture and lifestyle. I interned with Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis (HFHSL) this summer. The following blog post highlights my experiences with HFHSL and the city I have called home the past seven weeks.

In my first year in Florida I volunteered on a build site with Alachua Habitat for Humanity. That was the first time I heard of Habitat for Humanity and even though I did not know much about the organization itself, I enjoyed the atmosphere at the build site and the fact that I got to develop new construction skills As my sophomore year was coming to an end, I decided that I wanted to spend my summer exploring more of the United States and dedicating my time to a worthy cause. An opportunity to go to St. Louis opened up and I stumbled upon the Events and Fundraising Internship advertised by Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis. Remembering my first, very positive encounter with Habitat for Humanity, this seemed like a perfect fit and I was overjoyed when I got offered the position!

Everyone at the Habitat office was very welcoming and I was given the chance to work on several different projects over the past weeks. I have mainly supported HFHSL’s fundraising efforts and helped to plan upcoming events. I have researched fundraising projects for the Habitat Women Build group and the campus chapters at Washington University, Saint Louis University and Ladue High School, and helped out with other miscellaneous tasks. My co-workers also showed me around different places in St. Louis and recommended fun weekend activities such as going up the Arch, spending a day at the City Museum and eating at Ted Drewes! I have come to love St. Louis and even took the time to understand the rules of baseball after seeing the Cardinals beat the Yankees.

Looking back at the past weeks, three experiences with HFHSL stand out the most. In my first week I was taken on a tour of all past and current HFHSL build sites in St. Louis City and County and got to see HFHSL’s lasting contribution to a better future. Only days later I attended the wall raising ceremony at the current build site in the Spanish Lake neighborhood with other staff members, volunteers, sponsors and homeowners. It was then that I realized HFHSL’ achievements truly are the result of a group effort. Lastly, I volunteered on the Spanish Lake build site myself and felt more productive and optimistic than I have in a long time. I learned to use different power tools, helped to put on part of the roof and met great new people. That day I accomplished things I did not think were possible and ultimately, a day of volunteer work taught me a lot about myself, too.

My experience interning with Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis has been absolutely wonderful and opened my eyes not only to the severe lack of decent, affordable housing in the area and its adverse effects on so many people, but also to the power of the individual and the fact that there are a million ways in which each and every one of us can support Habitat’s mission. I am beyond grateful for my fantastic seven weeks with Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis!

Words Used to Describe HFHSL

August 7, 2014
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Volunteers were asked to describe the work of Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis. These are the words they used; the bigger the word the more often volunteers used that word. What other words would you use when talking about HFHSL?

Wordle: HFHSL

CEO Bartends for HFHSL!

July 31, 2014
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Join Kimberly McKinney, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis (HFHSL), as she guest bartends at Wild Flower Restaurant & Catering on September 10, 2014 from 6-9pm. Wild Flower, located at 4590 Laclede in the Central West End, will donate a portion of the bar proceeds (including bar and food ordered at the bar) to HFHSL. Plus Kimberly will serve up your favorite cocktails!

Wild Flower serves also serves up a delicious dinner menu and uses local ingredients whenever they are available.

Waffles for HFHSL!

July 28, 2014
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Join us for some of the most scrumptious waffles you have ever tasted! On Thursday, September 18, MELT is donating 15% of its sales from 5-11pm to Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis. If you haven't tasted their savory or sweet waffles, you are missing out! Ingredients are baked into the waffles or layered on top and they are DELICIOUS. Check out their Facebook page for photos of their dishes and directions to their location.

Meet LaKisha!

July 25, 2014
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LaKisha C. is a Catering Supervisor at the Saint Louis Art Museum, and a mother of a seven (7) year old daughter. Although her daughter is currently in elementary school, she already has her focus on attending college. LaKisha is excited to be in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis!

She is grateful for having a place for her and her daughter to live, but she has always wanted more and the partnership with Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis, LaKisha believes, she will accomplish just that. The thought of having a home in a neighborhood with other residents who appreciate and take pride in their neighborhood is what drives LaKisha to make the best of this opportunity.

LaKisha describes how she feels about this opportunity in three words “I’m very happy!”

Where Are They Now?

July 16, 2014
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The house is painted beautifully white, the lawn perfectly manicured. A gold and black “Class of 2018” Vianney sign glistens in the colorful flower bed. I saunter up the stairs of Tesha Stevenson’s home. Tesha, mother of four, purchased her Habitat home in 2007 in the Mark Twain neighborhood. Her bright smile and warm demeanor are infectious. She introduces herself and hugs me, welcoming me into her home like a long lost friend.

Tesha boasts about her children, and rightly so. Maurice, the oldest, went to St. Louis University High School and graduated in May 2013. During school, he worked a part-time job, did homework for two hours every night, and studied Russian. He was on the track team and taught a break dance class. Now, he just finished his first year at Missouri Science and Technology at Rolla, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Tesha remembers that when they first bought their home, Maurice wanted to mow the lawn every day to make sure it was the best looking house in the street!

Aurelia is a sophomore at Incarnate Word Academy and will spend her summer attending camps at Saint Louis University (SLU) and Washington University, the latter of which she hopes to attend for college. She hopes to become a forensic scientist one day. Her favorite subject is literature and she is looking forward to taking Algebra 2 when classes resume for her junior year.

Anderson was in the Robotics Club and played lacrosse and basketball in middle school. He also won second place in the spelling bee! Anderson recently graduated from Loyola Academy and will be attending Vianney in the fall; they already love the school. He hopes to attend Harvard or Princeton some day.

Lastly, Andrea is perhaps the busiest of the four. She attends Marian Middle School, and all girls’ Catholic school in South City. She attended a University of Missouri Saint Louis (UMSL)’s program for women engineers (she wants to attend Rolla like Maurice) and was recently the lead programmer for her team at a robotics competition. Her favorite subject is math and wants to become an attorney when she grows up.

Tesha, Maurice, Aurelia, Anderson and Andrea are a picture perfect family. Not only were they graceful enough to pose for me on their front steps, but their accomplishments are truly inspiring.

Written by Jackie Randazzo, AmeriCorps VISTA

Post and Photo by Jackie Randazzo, AmeriCorps VISTA

Meet Homebuyer Stephanie!

July 7, 2014
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Stephanie C., the mother of two daughters (ages 18 and 13), describes her oldest daughter as quiet, humble, shy, but opinionated. She is currently attending North County Technical High School where she is preparing to further her education and pursue a career as a culinary chef. The youngest daughter is described as flamboyant and having an “old spirit”, one that has existed before. As a family, they enjoy going to the movies together and taking vacations together.

Stephanie describes herself as being a considerate, kind, and loving individual. Stephanie realizes the sacrifices and challenges that are required to reach home ownership, and she is sure she will be successful in this journey with the staff and volunteers of Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis accompanying her through the process.

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