News

COVID-19 Response

To our Supporters and Friends

Impacts of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Dear Raritan Valley Habitat Supporters, Customers, Volunteers, Homeowners and Friends,

Due to the ongoing spread of the Coronavirus, we must do our part to minimize transmission and protect you and our staff. Toward that end, we’re taking the following actions effective Monday, March 16:

  • The RV Habitat office is closed. Administrative staff will be working from home, regularly checking phone and email messages.

  • Our Habitat ReStore in Manville will be closed to the public for two (2) weeks starting Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30. At that time, we’ll assess the situation and determine whether we can reopen or need to extend the store closing. ReStore staff will monitor phone and email messages during this time.

  • Pickups of ReStore merchandise will be suspended after Tuesday, March 17. ReStore staff will contact donors who have pickups scheduled to reschedule these pickups.

  • The Habitat Youth Rainbow Run 5K Walk/Run scheduled for April 19 is postponed. A new date will be announced at the earliest opportunity.
  • To the extent possible, the contractors at our new home build site in Montgomery Township will continue with excavation and installation of the septic system.

Though we are in a time of extreme uncertainty, we are hopeful that our projects, volunteer opportunities, and operations will normalize in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, we encourage our Hunterdon and Somerset County neighbors to be mindful of how we can all positively impact our communities. Right now, that means social distancing, practicing good hygiene, and supporting businesses and neighbors in whatever ways we can. We look forward to a time very soon when the Raritan Valley Habitat office, ReStore, and build sites will reopen and events will proceed.

We’re hopeful that it won’t be long before we can welcome you back, and, together, celebrate the importance of a strong community!

We’re reminded, now more than ever, how having a safe and decent place to live brings the sense of security, stability and hope that all of us need, and deserve, to weather storms like this.

We greatly appreciate your continued support, and wish you and your families the very best during this challenging time.

Jan Holmstrup signature

Jan Holmstrup
Executive Director

Rainbow Run Logo

Habitat Youth Rainbow Run Postponed

Rainbow Run 2020
Postponed

Due to the spread of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the Rainbow Run.

Originally scheduled for April 19th, we plan to reschedule the event to a date to be determined. Habitat staff will contact registered participants and sponsors this week about options to hold or refund processed payments.

Though we are in a time of extreme uncertainty, we are hopeful that our projects, volunteer opportunities, and operations will normalize in the coming weeks and months. Meanwhile, we encourage our Hunterdon and Somerset neighbors to be mindful of how we can positively impact our communities. Right now, that means social distancing, practicing good hygiene, and supporting businesses and neighbors in whatever ways we can. We look forward to a near future when we can reschedule our events and celebrate the importance of community. We appreciate your support during this time!

On behalf of everyone at Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, we send our best wishes to you, your families and our communities.

Building on Faith Event Recap

BUILDING ON FAITH COMMUNITY SERVICE DAY
September 14, 2019

Thanks so much to the army of volunteers who came together on September 14, 2019 to donate 550+ hours of community service to several local churches and retreat centers. Your time and talents made an amazing and valued impact in our local community.

In late spring, Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity and Thrivent Financial Services Company, a nonprofit financial services company focused on serving Christians and the local community, reached out to partner faith organizations and asked if they had any projects for which they would like some volunteer support. North Branch Reformed Church, United Reformed Church, Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church, Pluckemin Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Deaconry Ministries, and Crossroads Retreat Center submitted projects for the community to support.

Over 100 adults and youth participated in some way to help make the Building on Faith Community Service Day a success.

The work team volunteers met for a shared kickoff breakfast at Pluckemin Presbyterian Church and divided into eight work teams. The team spirit was high. The volunteers were ready and eager to serve. This enthusiasm carried over into their work. Some teams accomplished their project in record-breaking time and energetically went out to other worksites to lend a hand on other projects.

The churches and retreat centers are very grateful for the help of all volunteers. The pictures below will demonstrate what is possible when a team of people is willing to share their time and talents. Thanks again to all who contributed and made an impact in our local community through the Building on Faith Community Service Day.

View the Powerpoint Presentation below.

View the Photo Gallery below.

MetLife Women Build image

MetLife Supports Women Build Day

On Saturday, June 29th a group of women from MetLife’s Women’s Business Network at Bridgewater’s MetLife corporate campus extended their work week to do work of a different kind. They gathered in Franklin Township to help an area woman, Anita Fredericks, build her Habitat for Humanity home. Although these women worked for the same company and were all part of the MetLife Women’s Business Network, many had not known each other personally before the Women Build. By that afternoon, new friendships were forged, and a strong foundation was built for working relationships at MetLife and for the family working hard to build a stable and bright future.

The women happily worked as masons for a day, doing the important job of applying stucco onto concrete blocks (also known as “parging”), to form the foundation of Anita’s new home. The work quality and dedication of the women exceeded expectations — the entire job was finished that day! As one MetLife volunteer described, “It was great working with a group of co-workers doing something so different from what we normally do every day. The best part was getting to know the homeowner – I can already picture her kids running around in their beautiful house. ”

While the day surely met Anita’s needs on a practical level, she unexpectedly gained much more. “I am humbled and grateful,” shared Anita, “I was delighted by the heartwarming smiles and genuine love everyone showed for me.” The volunteers also were touched by the experience, “It was so inspiring to meet the homeowner and speak with her about her dreams for her home. I felt blessed to be able to help her family achieve those dreams in a very small way.”

One volunteer took a moment to inscribe well wishes on a support beam of the frame of the future family home. It read: To Anita and family, best wishes in your awesome house! –Tricia and your friends at MetLife. It was truly a day of women working hard and lending friendship and support to one another.

Thank you, MetLife, for making another positive impact in our local community. “Women Build is a fantastic, empowering, one-day event. For more information on Corporate Women Build Opportunities email sharkins@rvhabitat.org.

House Built with Magic

Our partners, Magic 98.3, came out for the third annual “House Built with Magic” event on June 19th-20th. Generous sponsors of the event included ABCO HVACR & American Standard, Central Jersey Fence, Horizon Pest Control, Lattanzio Lumber Co., and Retro Fitness of Hamilton, Hillsborough, North Brunswick, Manville, and Raritan

Champion Home Sponsor, Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, provided the volunteers for the two-day event. Employer volunteers constructed walls for the next home Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity will build in Somerset County. 

Ethicon, Inc. is the premier sponsor for the next Raritan Valley Habitat home.

View the photo gallery below

Hew Homeowners

Habitat Happenings Newsletter

Habitat Happenings Newsletter: We’ve got so much to celebrate with you—the success of the Manville Habitat ReStore, new homes completed, new homes started, and more! Read how the generosity of supporters is changing lives and building brighter tomorrows!

Wadie Family

Welcome Home, Wadie Family!

welcome Home, Wadie Family!

With tears of joy and gratitude, Ashraf and Nema Wadie, along with their children thanked the community and Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity for helping them build their home and a brighter future. At their home dedication ceremony on Saturday, February 23, Mrs. Wadie shared, “I’m so grateful to all of you who helped us build this home.” Karolin, 17 years old, added, “I can’t wait for my family to grow in this house, for all the new memories and friendships that will be made here.”

The Wadie Family qualified for the affordable homeownership opportunity, attended financial literacy classes and contributed over 500 hours towards the building of their home, working alongside volunteers from corporations, faith-based organizations, and the community. Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity will extend an affordable 0% interest mortgage, which will significantly reduce monthly housing expenses and allow the Wadies to build savings, invest in education and job training, and build financial independence.

Mayor Phillip Kramer warmly welcomed the family to Franklin Township noting that the town exceeded its affordable housing goals thanks to the community. “We’re happy to partner with Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity,” said Kramer, “and give people, like the Wadies, who work and give back to the community a chance to be a part of the community.” Freeholder Brian Gallagher added, “Participation is the word of the day. Everyone here has participated in this home. This proves that if we all take care of our community, it makes things work. People want to give. People want to help.”

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity’s volunteer Family Support Committee coordinated the home dedication ceremony, and the volunteer weekly build crew, also known as “The Wednesday/Thursday Faithfuls”, worked with the Wadies and corporate and civic groups to construct the home. The Tri-County Literacy Council donated books and bookstore gift certificates to the Wadie children, the Bridgewater Garden Club presented a Garden Basket, and Somerville High School students, Arjun Vijayavenkates and Will Gonzalez, of the Habitat Youth Council, gave the Wadies a handmade decorative sign. Magic 98.3 was on site to cover the event.

Major supporters of the construction of the home include the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s HOME Program and the Somerset County Homelessness Trust Fund, Investors Bank, the Lowell F. Johnson Foundation, the PSE&G Foundation and many other corporate and individual contributors.

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