Blog

World Habitat Day 2020
20 May
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Support the Right to Adequate Shelter, Mon, Oct 5, 2020

Everyone deserves a decent place to live.

On World Habitat Day, the first Monday of October, Habitat for Humanity joins the United Nations and organizations around the world in raising awareness, educating, and mobilizing individuals and communities to take action on the current global housing crisis.

A decent place to live can remove barriers to opportunity, health and success that might have been part of a family’s life for years, if not generations. Through shelter, we empower.

Lack of access to land is often at the heart of inadequate housing.

To build a shelter and make it a home, a family needs to know they have rights and won’t be evicted. Ensuring access to land — meaning the laws about who owns and has rights to land — is one of the top priorities for Habitat for Humanity. Removing current barriers to access would benefit millions of people around the world. Improvements would include greater gender equality, increased disaster resilience and decreased slum conditions. Improving access to land can increase economic growth, address inequalities and reduce poverty.

We invite you to support our efforts in these ways.

With your help, we can improve lives and communities — at home and around the globe.

  • Pray for shelter.
  • Learn how you can take action in the United States through our Cost of Home advocacy campaign.
  • Advocate for improved access to land for shelter through the Solid Ground global advocacy campaign.
  • Take action for housing advocacy by following the tips on our Advocacy page.
  • Make a donation to the work of Morris Habitat for Humanity.
  • Organize a team build day for a group of volunteers.
  • Visit the Morris Habitat ReStore to shop, donate or volunteer. Your support helps Morris Habitat accomplish its mission in your community.
  • Spread the word about the need for shelter on your social media network using the hashtag #WorldHabitatDay, and invite your followers and friends to find out more about Habitat and World Habitat Day.

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Macedonia
19 May
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Online Virtual Global Village Trip to Macedonia

Our trip to Macedonia! (virtually, of course!!)

In May 2020, Morris Habitat hosted a Habitat Global Village Trip luncheon to Veles, Macedonia, over Zoom. Thirty trailblazers connected virtually to explore Macedonian culture, food, drink and people, while learning about families in need of safe housing in Macedonia.

Participants prepared with recipes to make for the meal, including a Veles’ specialty, pita pastrmajlija; an Academy Award-winning movie; and music to enjoy during the virtual trip. Gift bags provided a bottle of 2012 Barrique Cabernet Sauvignon, a quality dry red wine from the Veles wine region, and a jar of Ajvar, the national sauce, made of sweet red peppers.

Throughout the luncheon, as the virtual travelers enjoyed an authentic Macedonian spread and local wine, the moderators guided everyone through the visit. The vibrant discussion and taste of Macedonia left all full of knowledge and full of authentic Macedonian flavors.

Rilind Jegeni, Volunteer Coordinator of Habitat for Humanity Macedonia, shared the country’s history and described the need for safe, decent, and affordable housing. He also illustrated ‘a day in the life’ of a Macedonian family.

Other guides were Atanas and Hristina Nakev (members of Morris Habitat’s Leadership Council), Rehana Flessner (Morris Habitat’s Global Village leader), and Blair Schleicher Wilson (Morris Habitat’s CEO).

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Give Healthy Thanks a Ton
06 May
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Virtual Food Drive Goal Exceeded

Morris Habitat partnered with the Interfaith Food Pantry to hold a virtual food drive in April 2020 for families in need of assistance and raised 2,534 pounds of food—exceeding our goal of 2,000 pounds.

With business closings, layoffs and furloughs, family food insecurity is increasing every day. Morris Habitat for Humanity has been helping families with affordable homeownership for 35 years, and we have turned our immediate attention to helping those who need food now. Currently, the need is unprecedented.

The Interfaith Food Pantry is a non-denominational, non-profit organization helping families make ends meet by supplementing their monthly groceries.

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Don and Teeny Kuhn
04 May
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Remembering Donald H. Kuhn

Morris Habitat Mourns Passing of Friend Donald H. Kuhn

Morris Habitat lost a dear friend in late March with the passing of Donald H. Kuhn.

“Don was our own Renaissance man, a mentor, supporter and friend,” said Morris Habitat CEO Blair Schleicher Wilson. “He was someone we could always count on for advice and guidance.”

Don’s commitment to Morris Habitat for Humanity started in 1999 when he worked on a home under construction. Bitten by the Habitat “bug,” he built for several years, joined the Board of Directors in 2002 and served as president of the Board of Directors in 2006.

Morris Habitat is blessed to have many thousands of volunteers help us each year. And we certainly could not exist without their time and talent.  However, every now and then a person comes through our doors just when we need him or her. Sometimes we call them an angel, but with Don Kuhn, we called him our Renaissance Man.

Don Kuhn came to Morris Habitat at a critical juncture in our history—a time when we were asking ourselves how we could exponentially grow our homebuilding program to serve the urgent demand for safe, decent and affordable homes in a county with high land values, lots of zoning regulations and strict environmental laws.

It was a challenge not for the faint of heart, and it was Don, The Renaissance Man, a multi-talented, multi-faceted person who helped to position our affiliate to be able to make that leap from building one house a year to the 10 to 15 homes a year we are currently building.

Don led the board transition to a governance body; hired the current CEO in 2004; spearheaded the founding of our ReStore in 2007; raised thousands of dollars for our affiliate by painting artist-quality works; with his wife, Teeny, baked “Cake Boss” type wedding cakes; and, to keep fit, swam regularly at the YMCA.  All the while being a great dad and a wonderful husband to his cherished wife, Teeny.  And that is just the short list of his activities we know about.

Why did we call him Renaissance Man? Certainly because his multi-talents helped us to reach our homebuilding goals; however, it’s also because we were inspired by his profound concern for the community, his vigor envious to those half his age, his willingness to help where ever and whenever, and his delightfully optimistic attitude about life—all of which modeled the way for those of us contemplating the retirement lane of life.

Don was such a vital part of Morris Habitat’s success that we established the Donald H. Kuhn Inspiration Award in 2017—given annually at our Hearts & Hammers Gala—to honor volunteers who exemplify his spirit, dedication and compassion.

It is both an honor and a privilege to have known a man who was a role model of note, a man of distinction, our own Renaissance Man—Donald H. Kuhn.  Don leaves behind his wife, Teeny, six children, 11 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. We will miss him terribly.

In honor of Don’s passion and commitment to Morris Habitat, we are establishing the Donald H. Kuhn Legacy Fund. For information, please contact Christopher Palazzi, Chief Development Officer, Christopher.palazzi@morrishabitat.org.

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Respirator mask donation March 2020
27 Mar
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N95 Respirator Masks Donated

On March 23, 2020, Morris Habitat donated over 4,100 respirator (N95) masks to the Morris County Office of Emergency Management. The masks, typically used at our construction sites to protect workers from dust and small particle exposure, are being distributed to those fighting the coronavirus on the front lines.

Click here to view CEO Blair Schleicher Bravo’s interview with WMBC-TV. (Video plays for 3 minutes 4 seconds.)

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Morris Habitat for Humanity 35 year logo
01 Mar
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Morris Habitat gala celebrates 35 years of building ‘that decent place to live’

Business suits and sequined gowns replaced hard hats and work gloves as more than 500 converged on the Meadow Wood Manor on Route 10 on Saturday night to dine, dance, and take their chances on silent auction items at Morris Habitat for Humanity’s 15th annual Hearts & Hammers Gala in Randolph Township.

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28 Feb
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Roxbury’s SDF Partners with Habitat for Humanity’s Hearts and Hammers Gala

The course that covers a wide variety of topics including construction, carpentry, architecture, and design allows students to put their knowledge and skills to work here at home in Roxbury and last Saturday members of the SDF program and RHS took part in Morris Habitat for Humanity’s Hearts and Hammers Gala at the Meadow Wood Manor in Randolph. This is Morris Habitat’s largest annual fundraiser with over 500 people in attendance this year, the most yet.

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Annual Meeting logo
23 Dec
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Annual Meeting, Jan 2020

Thanks for coming to our Annual Meeting & Volunteer Recognition Reception on Sunday, January 26, 2020, at the Presbyterian Church Parish House in Morristown. After socializing and light refreshments, we celebrated our accomplishments in 2019, when we and our supporters built, repaired and restored 69 homes. We expect 2020 to be just as busy, exciting and productive, as we look to serve another 80 families. We hope you will join us!

Last year, Morris Habitat helped 60 local families, 12 through homeownership and 48 through Neighborhood Revitalization and Aging in Place home repair projects. We assisted 9 other families through our international home building program. Volunteers made more than 14,000 site visits and provided 86,000 hours of labor. Proceeds from the ReStore, our retail operation that supports our mission, have built 25 homes since 2007. In addition, the ReStore has kept 11,600 tons of usable materials from landfills.

We recognized some of our many invaluable volunteers and partners who have gone above and beyond to ensure our success.

2019 HONOREES

Charles Lee Hamilton Tribute Award:
Selfless Actions Demonstrating Passion and Love
Robert Alimonti
Betty Schmidt

Community Partner Award:
Businesses and Organizations Which Go

Above and Beyond
Reverend Carie Morgan and First Presbyterian Church of Succasunna

Distinguished Partner Award:
Leadership/Ownership in a Certain Area

Christopher Ward

Perseverance Partner Award:
Return through Thick and Thin

Diane Penola
Eddie Vallebuona

Beth Everett Award:
Former Board Member Who Continues to Lead
Richard Basile

Employee of the Year:
Christopher Palazzi – Chief Development Officer

ReStore Pioneer Award:
Extraordinary Commitment to the ReStore’s Success
Wayfair

Volunteer Milestone Awards:
Robert Alimonti
Glenn Brukardt
Stephen Feld
Richard Genese
Jay Grossman
MaryAlice Hanzo
Barbara Kaufman
Bonnie King
Seth Leeb
John Lester
Gordon Lorig
Sean Monaghan
Catherine Natafalusy
Robert Newman
Marjorie Roller
Barry Scollon
Fred Stewart
John Stromberg

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Mariell and Amy Guridy
15 Dec
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Donate to Support 70 Families in 2020

Homeownership changes lives and is the foundation of strong, vibrant communities. (more…)

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Six new families welcomed to Roxbury as Morris Habitat homes are dedicated
14 Dec
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Six new families welcomed to Roxbury as Morris Habitat homes are dedicated

ROXBURY TWP. – Nicole and Daniel Pope of Flanders have been paying $1,800 a month to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Flanders.

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