News

Homeownership Opportunity with RV Habitat

Become a Homeowner with Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity!

Pluckemin, NJ (October 18, 2021) — Have you ever dreamed of owning your own home and providing strength, stability and self-reliance for yourself and your family? Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RV Habitat) is currently seeking one household for one side of a new low-income duplex home in Raritan Township (Hunterdon County), NJ.

This home will have 2 ½ bathrooms, and either 3 or 4 bedrooms depending on the number of people in the household. The price for the 3-bedroom home is $160,000 and the price for the 4-bedroom home is $175,000.

Potential homeowners for this project must qualify as low income according to the limits adopted by the NJ Council on Affordable Housing for Region 3 (Somerset, Hunterdon and Middlesex Counties). Other required qualifications can be found at www.rvhabitat.org/apply-now.

The selected future homeowner(s) will partner with RV Habitat to purchase their own home. They will be responsible for providing sweat equity hours—including time on the actual build site, in workshops, at the RV Habitat ReStore, and more–and for paying an affordable mortgage provided by RV Habitat.

To apply, please visit www.rvhabitat.org/apply-now. Preliminary applications are due on November 16, 2021. Once RV Habitat determines that applicants meet the low-income housing and RV Habitat underwriting requirements, full application and documentation are due on December 7, 2021. The final lottery to select from qualified applicants is on December 21, 2021.

Applicants must attend one webinar orientation in order to apply. To register for the orientation, visit www.rvhabitat.org/homeowner-orientation-schedule.

Attached is a downloadable flyer. To download an application, please visit www.rvhabitat.org/apply-now. For any questions or to request a paper application, please reach out to Jessica Abbott, Homeowner Services Manager, at (908)-704-0016 x. 117, or homeownerservices@rvhabitat.org

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About Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) puts God’s love into action and brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Our vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset counties has a decent place to live. Since 1991, RV Habitat has been building strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable home ownership opportunities for hard-working, local families. To support these projects by making a donation, please visit www.rvhabitat.org/give or mail a donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 330, Pluckemin, NJ 07879. For individuals (ages 16+) and groups who would like to volunteer on the Montgomery Township build site, visit rvhabitat.org/volunteer.

Contact:
Brittany Powelson, Community Outreach Manager
bpowelson@rvhabitat.org
(908)-704-0016 x 114

Three Cheers to 30 Years, Carpenter’s Club Press Release

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity announces New Exclusive Way to give, celebrates 30 year anniversary

Bedminster, NJ (August, 2021) — Three Cheers for 30 Years! In late July, Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) celebrated its 30-year anniversary of serving Somerset and Hunterdon counties with a gathering and an announcement of their new regular giving club. The RVHFH Carpenter’s Club is a valued group of supporters who make recurring monthly or quarterly gifts to RVHFH, and will receive exclusive opportunities to build, shop with discounts, and connect with other like-minded people.

Carpenter’s Club members conveniently give through regular monthly or quarterly credit card donations or workplace payroll deductions. Regardless of the individual gift size, these recurring gifts make an incredible difference. These gifts provide Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity with a reliable stream of support which is vital for planning and growing our impact in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties.

Carpenter’s Club supporters align themselves with others with similar values and enjoy many member benefits, such as invitations to exclusive build days with other Carpenter’s Club members, an invitation to tour the completed homes before the future family moves in, camaraderie within the community, and discounted shopping at the Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore. 

For more information on how you can become a part of this rewarding new group, visit this link: https://rvhabitat.org/carpenters-club/.

At RVHFH’s event “Three Cheers to 30 Years”, Habitat homeowners, past and current board members, staff, donors and volunteers gathered at the site of RVHFH’s new office space to look back at the past, revel in the present, and plan for the future. Various members of the RVHFH community spoke about these different aspects of the organization, including Executive Director Melissa Flynn, current future homeowner Cicely Caldwell, and past and current Presidents of the Board, Meg Helms and Nuno Barboza. Reverend Ian Rankine, Pastor of the Pluckemin Presbyterian Church, said a prayer before the evening began. As the Pluckemin Presbyterian Church owns the building that will serve as RVHFH’s new office, this event was not only a celebration of 30 years, but signified a wonderful new partnership between RVHFH and the church.

Guests attending the event were able to enjoy a delicious catered dinner from Luna Rossa in Bedminster, NJ with dessert afterwards and time to network in person with one another. For many, it was a time of safely reconnecting with friends and supportive community members. One homeowner in particular expressed her excitement towards reconnecting with Pam Ely, a past Executive Director at RVHFH. “I haven’t seen her since I was going through the process to become a homeowner myself!” she said excitedly. “She was Executive Director back then. I just talked to her a bit and it was so wonderful to see her again after so long.”

Images below are of various guests at the Three Cheers to 30 Years event and the Burd House, the building owned by Pluckemin Presbyterian Church that is serving as RVHFH’s new office space.

 

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About Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) puts God’s love into action and brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Our vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset counties has a decent place to live. Since 1991, RV Habitat has been building strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable home ownership opportunities for hard-working, local families. To support these projects by making a donation, please visit www.rvhabitat.org/give
 or mail a donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6275 Bridgewater, NJ 08807. For individuals (ages 16+) and groups who would like to volunteer on the Montgomery Township build site, visit rvhabitat.org/volunteer.

Contact:
Brittany Powelson, Community Outreach Manager
bpowelson@rvhabitat.org
(908)-704-0016 x 114

RVHFH and ReStore to Provide Hurricane Ida Relief

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Implementing Programs to Serve Those Impacted by Hurricane Ida

Somerville, NJ (September 7, 2021) — In response to the damage done from Hurricane Ida, Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) is bringing people together to build homes, community and hope with the following:

  • A Brush With Kindness
  • ReStore Gift Card Drive
  • Fill the Truck Donation Drive
  • Offering free supplies to those in need

The pilot of the “A Brush with Kindness” program was in July of this year, and involved a large group of volunteers who gardened, cleaned, and provided small repairs for low- to moderate – income homeowners. RVHFH is seeking volunteers who are interested in providing relief to those suffering from hurricane damage, and who are physically able to perform home clean-ups and small repairs. For information on how to volunteer, please visit https://rvhabitat.org/individual-volunteer/.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by Hurricane Ida and would like assistance with clearing items out of the home, sanitizing, shop vacuuming, brush cleanup and other small repairs, you can find the application at www.rvhabitat.org/hurricane-ida-relief/. To return completed applications, please:

  • Scan or take a photo of completed application and email to homeownerservices@rvhabitat.org
  • Mail completed applications to P.O. Box 330, Pluckemin, NJ 07978
  • Drop completed applications off in person to the Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore, at 110 North Main Street, Manville, NJ 08835

The Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore is also offering an option for shoppers to purchase ReStore gift cards for families in need. Gift cards will be distributed to these families to purchase furniture, household items and home repair items. Families and homeowners in need may also stop by the ReStore in person, where they will be offered donated home repair and relief items for free, such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, paper towels, and cleaning and laundry supplies.

During the week of September 7th, 2021, the ReStore is also hosting a Fill the Truck donation drive in the parking lot. Bring any non-perishable food items, shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, baby food, laundry supplies and bottled water to donate. All donations made will be given to local food pantries in Somerset and Hunterdon counties.

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity aims to build homes, communities and hope through affordable housing. RVHFH feels it is their duty to serve and improve the lives of those living in the community in any way possible, especially when homes are devastated by natural disasters. The programs mentioned above are open to anyone living in Somerset and Hunterdon counties, and RVHFH will be doing whatever they can to provide the services necessary.

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About Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity
Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) puts God’s love into action and brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Our vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset counties has a decent place to live. Since 1991, RV Habitat has been building strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable home ownership opportunities for hard-working, local families. To support these projects by making a donation, please visit www.rvhabitat.org/give or mail a donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6275 Bridgewater, NJ 08807. For individuals (ages 16+) and groups who would like to volunteer on the Montgomery Township build site, visit rvhabitat.org/volunteer

Pedals for Progress / Sewing Peace Press Release

Pedals for Progress / Sewing Peace Joins RVHFH Habitat Youth Council to Collect Used Bikes and Sewing Machines

Bedminster, NJ (September 3, 2021) — Pedals for Progress/Sewing Peace, in its continuing effort to recycle unwanted items properly, is having a used bike and sewing machine collection sponsored by Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity with the Habitat Youth Council. Anyone with an adult or child’s bicycle in repairable condition is urged to donate his or her bike to this worthy cause. We do not accept “bikes for parts” or disassembled bikes. We also accept working portable sewing machines and sewing notions (no fabric, please).

Bikes and sewing machines can be dropped off from 9 am to 12 pm on Saturday September 11, 2021 – rain or shine – at the office parking lot of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (next to Pluckemin Presbyterian Church) located at 285 Rt 202/206, Pluckemin, NJ 07978.

P4P/SP collects 3,000 to 5,000 items annually and transfers this material wealth to those more needy. To date, more than 159,000 bicycles and 5,100 sewing machines have been shipped to developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe. In these countries the bikes are reconditioned by partner agencies and distributed at low cost to poor working adults. Bikes provide reliable transportation for commuting to work, transporting product to market, and greater mobility accessing health care and other services. Sewing machine shipments help initiate educational programs and generate income opportunities that may otherwise remain out of reach for many people. Steady employment for adults is vital to the development and success of struggling communities. 

It costs $45 to collect, process, ship, rebuild and distribute each bicycle. donation toward shipping costs is necessary for our continued success (suggested $20 per bike and sewing machine, minimum $10). All cash and material donations are fully deductible and a receipt will be provided on site.

For more information please contact Iris Alston at ialston@rvhabitat.org.

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About Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) puts God’s love into action and brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Our vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset counties has a decent place to live. Since 1991, RV Habitat has been building strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable home ownership opportunities for hard-working, local families. To support these projects by making a donation, please visit www.rvhabitat.org/give or mail a donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6275 Bridgewater, NJ 08807. For individuals (ages 16+) and groups who would like to volunteer on the Montgomery Township build site, visit rvhabitat.org/volunteer.

About Pedals for Progress/Sewing Peace

Pedals for Progress/Sewing Peace is a 501(c)(3) corporation and a registered charity in the states of NJ, NY, PA, CT, VT. Brochures explaining this innovative program will be available at the collection site. P4P seeks donations of wrenches for our overseas shops. For detailed information about our overseas projects and a current schedule of bicycle and sewing machine collections, visit our website at www.p4p.org.

A Brush With Kindness Press Release

17 Homes Received "A Brush With Kindness" from Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity

Somerville, NJ (August 6, 2021) — In July, Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) partnered with Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church to serve 17 homeowners with home cleanup and repairs. “A Brush with Kindness” is a program where low – moderate income Veterans, elderly and/or disabled homeowners receive small services for free.

Adults, high school and middle school aged volunteers from Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church served homes in Basking Ridge, Bernardsville, Bridgewater, Manville, Martinsville, Neshanic Station and Somerville, New Jersey. This pilot program provided services to homeowners such as water sealing, staining, painting, gardening, repairing wheelchair ramps, replacing railings, rebuilding decks, and other projects.

The impact of this program went much further than the outside of the homes. A Somerville homeowner expressed her gratitude for the program: “These kids will be in my heart forever,” says Linda, “I walk around my house every day, and every time I see the work they did I think of them, how kind they were and what a difference they made in my life.”

While the new waves and Delta-variant of COVID have been leaving many in the community feeling uncertain, this program brought people together to build homes, community and hope. RVHFH and Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church are overjoyed with the success of this year’s “A Brush with Kindness” program, and are looking forward to hosting it again and reaching more families next year.

See below for pictures of some groups and individual volunteers from Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church working at various homes in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties.

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About Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) puts God’s love into action and brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Our vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset counties has a decent place to live. Since 1991, RV Habitat has been building strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable home ownership opportunities for hard-working, local families. To support these projects by making a donation, please visit www.rvhabitat.org/give or mail a donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6275 Bridgewater, NJ 08807. For individuals (ages 16+) and groups who would like to volunteer on the Montgomery Township build site, visit rvhabitat.org/volunteer.

About Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church

We are a vibrant, warm, and welcoming community of faith. Those who worship here come from a diverse range of backgrounds, and would describe themselves in a rich variety of ways. We acknowledge our doubt, our struggles, and that we are all quite human and imperfect and that we are each at a unique place on our faith journey. We find our unity, our common identity, in Jesus Christ, and together seek to joyfully worship God and energetically minister to the needs of the world on God’s behalf. Our Worship Sessions are every Sunday morning at 10:00am, and we offer both in-person and virtual worship options. Please visit www.brpc.org for more information and to join us for worship!

Bring Your Parent to Build Day Press Release

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Gives Children the Opportunity to Learn to Build with event: “Kids, Bring Your Parent to Build Day”

Somerville, NJ (June 11, 2021) — Do you have plans for Father’s Day yet, or did you not get a chance to celebrate Mother’s Day with your hardworking mom? We have a solution to celebrate all amazing parents in our community! Kids, bring your parent to build with us at the Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) ReStore!

On Saturday, June 19th, 2021, RVHFH will be hosting, for the very first time, Kids: Bring Your Parent to Build Day outside our ReStore in Manville, NJ. Just as families partner with RVHFH to build their very own homes alongside volunteers and community members, we are giving you and your young children the opportunity to build a house-shaped desk organizer. Kits have been graciously donated by the Home Depot in Bridgewater, NJ.

Each family will receive their own kit, tools, and paints, and receive instruction from one of our volunteers. Once your house is built, paint or decorate however you’d like! Extra kits are available if more than one child participates.

Registration is $20 and comes with ONE kit for you and your child to complete together. Additional kits will be available for $10 each. All proceeds will go directly to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity to continue building strength, stability and self-reliance in families across Somerset and Hunterdon counties.

All families will enjoy a Habitat ReStore 25% off coupon (on purchases up to $25) to be used on the day of the event, and a Habitat ReStore shopping bag that will give you a 10% discount on any future shopping trips.

We have limited space available, so register quickly to reserve your spot for you and your family! We have six time slots open, and eight spaces available during each time slot. Time slots can be found on the registration page (linked below). Face coverings are suggested but no longer required at this time. 

Click this link to register: www.rvhabitat.org/bring-your-parent-to-build

 

We hope to see you there!

Contact: Brittany Powelson, Community Outreach Manager

Telephone: (908)-704-0016 x 14

Email: bpowelson@rvhabitat.org

Website: www.rvhabitat.org

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About Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity
Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) puts God’s love into action and brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Our vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset counties has a decent place to live. Since 1991, RV Habitat has been building strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable home ownership opportunities for hard-working, local families. To support these projects by making a donation, please visit www.rvhabitat.org/give or mail a donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6275 Bridgewater, NJ 08807. For individuals (ages 16+) and groups who would like to volunteer on the Montgomery Township build site, visit rvhabitat.org/volunteer.

StaySafeStayFit image

Stay Safe Stay Fit Press Release

Habitat Youth Asks Community to Get Back on Track with Fitness and Make a Difference with the Stay Safe, Stay Fit Virtual Fitness Fundraiser

Somerville, NJ (March 29, 2021) — While the end of the pandemic may seem closer than it’s ever been before, staying home and continuing to social distance has never been more important. And while gyms are still operating at half capacity or closed altogether, Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) understands the need to stay fit while staying at home! The community is invited to join RVHFH and Habitat Youth during the weekend of April 16th, 2021 to April 18th, 2021 to continue stay at home, stay fit, and save lives.

Habitat Youth, members of seven Habitat service groups representing local high schools in Hunterdon and Somerset counties, has created a virtual community fitness event – Stay Safe, Stay Fit. The purpose of this event is to help individuals and families stay physically fit, build virtual camaraderie and to support RV Habitat’s mission of providing affordable housing opportunities to build strength, stability and self-reliance for area families. Having a safe place to live has never been more necessary and important than it is in the unprecedented time we live in now.

Register today using the link below to support those in need and to enjoy some fun, energizing at-home exercise classes! To register, participants will be asked to donate a minimum of $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and $1 for students to join our challenge. Families can also choose to register together for a fee of $15. All participants will receive access to a private Facebook group where we’ll share encouragement, original artwork from youth, and invitation-only free fitness classes from local businesses. Registrants can make an even greater impact by asking friends and family to use the registration link to sponsor their participation.

Habitat Youth will be awarding prizes to those who want to do a bit extra to participate as well! Whoever earns the most likes on a Facebook or Instagram post of their Stay Safe, Stay Fit experiences, or the most likes on a post about what HOME means to them using #RVHFHStaySafeStayFit will earn a prize. Posts that do NOT use the hashtag will not be counted. Participants who win our daily themed contests will also receive a prize, and at the end of the week, all Stay Safe Stay Fit participants will receive a virtual certificate of completion.

Contact: Brittany Powelson
Telephone: 908-704-0016 x14
Email: bpowelson@rvhabitat.org
Website: www.rvhabitat.org

Be sure to register and tune in to the Facebook group on Thursday, April 15th, 2021 to join the Habitat Youth for a fun Kickoff Video! See the flyer listed on this page for more information.

StaySafeStayFit flyer
Click to download the flyer

Local fitness professionals who want to give back to their community at this time can contribute a video fitness class for the event by emailing ialston@rvhabitat.org. Links will need to be submitted no later than April 12th, 2021. Register here: https://rvhabitat.org/stay-safe-stay-fit-event/

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About Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity
Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) puts God’s love into action and brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Our vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset counties has a decent place to live. Since 1991, RV Habitat has been building strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable home ownership opportunities for hard-working, local families. To support these projects by making a donation, please visit www.rvhabitat.org/give or mail a donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6275 Bridgewater, NJ 08807. For individuals (ages 16+) and groups who would like to volunteer on the Montgomery Township build site, visit rvhabitat.org/volunteer.

women build 2021 image

RVHFH Partners with Lowes for International Women Build Week

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s to address COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on women during International Women Build Week

Somerville, NJ (March 8, 2021) – Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s are partnering to raise awareness of the global need for safe and affordable housing for women during International Women Build Week (March 8-15). On International Women’s Day, Habitat and Lowe’s will kick off more than 300 Women Build projects supporting women-led households across the United States, Canada, and India to drive awareness and address the need.

Women have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, from job loss to evictions and foreclosures. According to The National Women’s Law Center, 80 percent of U.S. jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic were held by women. The United Nations (UN) has reported that 40 percent of all employed women globally work in the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties has a decent place to live. The need is greater than ever,” says Melissa Flynn, Executive Director of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity.

Despite the unprecedented challenges women are facing, women remain on the frontlines of the pandemic as essential workers, as caretakers within their households, and too often have to make the difficult decision between maintaining a place to call home and paying for food, health care, childcare, education or reliable transportation. Harvard University’s State of the Nation’s Housing 2020 report revealed that 37.1 million U.S. households spent more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing in 2019, including 17.6 million spending more than 50 percent. The effects of the pandemic have further highlighted the need for safe and affordable housing, as 29 percent of renters and 36 percent of homeowners experienced employment income loss between March and September of 2020.

Cicely, Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity’s current future homeowner searched for an affordable home with adequate space for her family for ten years. Although she is gainfully employed as an office manager, she was frequently told her income was too low.

This story is not unique. Every day, millions of women face the challenge of a future without adequate, stable housing. This issue underscores the importance of Habitat and Lowe’s efforts to bring awareness to the issue, as well as a partnership focused on ensuring that more women have access to affordable housing.

Lowe’s and Habitat’s partnership began in 2003. To date, the program has brought together more than 143,000 women volunteers who have built or repaired nearly 6,000 houses. Lowe’s has committed more than $78 million to support the global housing nonprofit’s efforts, including the Women Build program, International Women Build Week, and Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization program. Lowe’s support of Habitat has helped more than 18,000 Habitat partner families improve their living conditions.

To learn more or join the conversation, visit habitat.org/womenbuild or follow #BuildHer and #WomenBuild on social media to share and view stories from around the world.

About Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity
Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) puts God’s love into action and brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Our vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset counties has a decent place to live. Since 1991, RV Habitat has been building strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable home ownership opportunities for hard-working, local families. To support these projects by making a donation, please visit www.rvhabitat.org/give or mail a donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6275 Bridgewater, NJ 08807. For individuals (ages 16+) and groups who would like to volunteer on the Montgomery Township buwwild site, visit rvhabitat.org/volunteer.

About Lowe’s in the Community       
As a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company, Lowe’s is committed to creating safe, affordable housing and helping to develop the next generation of skilled trade experts through nonprofit partnerships. Across every community we serve, Lowe’s associates donate their time and expertise through the Lowe’s Heroes volunteer program. For the latest news, visit Newsroom.Lowes.com or follow @LowesMedia on Twitter.

Theft of RVHFH Building Materials

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity confirms theft of building materials at new home site in Montgomery Township, NJ

Bridgewater, NJ (February 18, 2021) – The Raritan Valley Chapter of Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) has confirmed the theft of building materials at their newest homesite located on Willow Road in Belle Mead, New Jersey. The organization reported to the Montgomery Township Police Department that when construction manager Dave Polomski arrived at the home site on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, he noticed that all the lumber purchased to complete the framing of the home was missing.

Partner Family Home
The home is for a single mother and her five children who are in high school and college. The family has been working alongside of volunteers so they can move into their new home in late spring 2021. The theft is likely to move out the project’s completion and the family’s move-in date.

“What is heart breaking about this robbery is that it brings the work on this new home to a stop,” said Meg Helms, Board of Directors President at Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity. “Many may assume that our projects are fully funded and can continue if a loss like this occurs. The truth of the matter is that we rely on fundraising and as we build homes as we receive donations from the community. With this current situation, we have to hope that we can accelerate donations to get the build of the family’s home back on track.”

About Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that offers a hand up and not a hand-out. Families partner with RVHFH to build and improve their own homes alongside volunteers, and each owner pays an affordable mortgage with a zero percent interest rate. Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, serving families in Somerset and Hunterdon counties. During this unprecedented time the affiliate has continued to slowly construct one home. In 2021 the hope is to build a two-family home and assist struggling homeowners with small outdoor repairs through the Brush with Kind program.

How you can help
Anyone wishing to join as a volunteer at the homesite when construction restarts or would like to help accelerate the build the Caldwell Family home can make a donation directly to the Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity website at www.rvhabitat.org or via mail at Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6275 Bridgewater, NJ 08807.

New Executive Director and Board Members

New Executive Director and Three New Board Members Join Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity

Somerville, New Jersey (February 16, 2021) – Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) announces the appointment of three new members to its Board of Directors, and the hiring of a new Executive Director. Joining the Board of Directors are Renee Casey, Ellen Harris, and Michael Scribner. The new Executive Director is Melissa Flynn.

Melissa Flynn joins RV Habitat for Humanity after serving as the Operations Director with Warren County Habitat for Humanity (WCHFH). Flynn joined the Warren Habitat affiliate in 2008 as a volunteer on various committee and projects, and ultimately moved into a project management position to oversee the construction of a Warren Habitat ReStore. She proceeded into the Operations Director position, overseeing all aspects of WCHFH including planning a community center that will open this spring. Flynn takes over the Executive Director position upon the retirement of Jan Holmstrup, who served in the position since 2016 with important and impactful accomplishments, including opening the Habitat ReStore in Manville.

“We are thrilled to welcome Melissa Flynn to the RVHFH family,” remarked Meg Helms, RVHFH Board of Directors President. “Besides her extremely valuable 12 years of prior Habitat experience, her friendly and outgoing nature are a great fit for our team, as they have been in all of the civic endeavors she pursues. Her contributions to her Warren County community include serving as a member of the PTA, a Sunday school teacher, preschool leader, and even as a women’s fitness class leader. Her energy and drive are admirable, and she is sure to make a positive impact for families in our community. We are honored to introduce her as our Executive Director.”

The first of the new Board of Director appointees is Renee Casey, a Senior Director of Strategic Capabilities and Customer Experience at Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices. Ms. Casey brings a depth of experience in leadership, customer engagement, sales, and marketing, and will help to strengthen strategic fundraising and marketing efforts at RVHFH. Her involvement with Habitat for Humanity started years ago as a volunteer in Trenton with St. Borromeo Church and now in Raritan Valley. Ms. Casey said “When I read that Habitat was building a home in my own backyard in Montgomery, I was inspired to get involved at the organization level. I am excited to accelerate Habitat’s mission and to build homes for deserving families in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties.”

Ellen Harris, Esq. is Senior Counsel at Norris McLaughlin, PA Attorneys at Law, based in Bridgewater, and joins her colleague Tim McKeown on the Board of Directors. Ms. Harris has wide-ranging experience negotiating and creating comprehensive agreements for construction projects, low-income housing tax credit transactions, multi-family housing development, and related expertise that will strengthen RVHFH’s work in providing affordable housing opportunities in the community. She tells us, “I am truly excited about serving on the RVHFH Board. My family has had a long-standing commitment to Habitat for Humanity starting in Daytona Beach, so the mission has been fostered and encouraged over the last 30 years. I was an integral part of the municipal team that made land available to Habitat in Newark. The reward of my career in housing is manifested in the joy of seeing families receiving a home of their own.”

Michael Scribner is a co-owner at BH Wireless LLC, overseeing the daily operation of various Verizon locations and Apple repair centers. Mr. Scribner has extensive experience overseeing retail operations at stores throughout the northeast, and his experience will be integral in creating relationships and partnerships with small businesses in the communities that RVHFH serves. When asked why he joined the RV Habitat Board of Directors, Mr. Scribner said that “Affordable housing is an issue which affects many Americans, and many families in our area. Joining the Habitat Board affords me a greater opportunity to focus on this issue rather than just making just a financial contribution.”

“I am excited to tackle the changes we will have to make to accomplish our mission of bringing people together to build communities, homes and hope during this unprecedented time in our lives,” said Melissa Flynn, RVHFH Executive Director. “The appointment of three new Board members revitalizes and strengthens our board, which will help us to continue expanding our presence and services in the region, and I look forward to what’s to come.”

About Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity
Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) puts God’s love into action and brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Our vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset counties has a decent place to live. Since 1991, RV Habitat has been building strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable home ownership opportunities for hard-working, local families. To support these projects by making a donation, please visit www.rvhabitat.org/give or mail a donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6275 Bridgewater, NJ 08807. For individuals (ages 16+) and groups who would like to volunteer on the Montgomery Township build site, visit www.rvhabitat.org/volunteer.

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