Habitat Stories

ReStore Shopping with Tammy Torres

After 30 plus years of buying, selling, and thrift store shopping, my new mission has become re-purposing.  This adventure started 6 months ago when my life of luxuries and jobs came to an end and I moved back into a 3-bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, 1973 house my mom took over after taking care of my grandmother, who passed in 1990.  (Shaking my head.)  My mom is also getting up in age so I had to think of how to make her "Golden Years" easier for her to get around the house with more space, but be efficient.

My first project was our front bathroom with old linoleum yellow flooring, metal medicine cabinet, and long sink and counter with an ugly top.  Also the toilet and tub needed to be replaced.

A Month of Celebrations for the Min Family

For the most part, this year Habitat homeowner Eh Soe Min and his family will celebrate Christmas in a typical Karen (Burmese) fashion.  But there will be a bit of American custom thrown in to acknowledge their new status as American citizens.  Eh Soe, Jue Hae and their children will start with a Bible study and worship time on Christmas morning, (Karen tradition), after which they will each open a gift from under the Christmas tree (American tradition).  That afternoon they will go to Karen church services that Eh Soe will lead in his capacity as the Pastor of the Karen Baptist Church in Boise.  The Christmas celebration will finish a few days later with another Karen tradition, a party attended by all of the Karen people living in Boise (they’ll also invite a number of American-born people who support the Karen refugee population).  During the party each person will give a gift to someone who meant something special to them during the year.  There will be dancing, a lot of Karen food and a boisterous singing contest.  The singers will be judged by the people attending, who will cast a vote for a particular contestant by purchasing a flower for $1.00, going up on the stage and

Family Partnering

By Helen Shepherd

I have been a Habitat for Humanity volunteer since 2003. Shortly after I began volunteering in the office, I received a request from the Executive Director Ken Nichols, to join the Family Support committee.

Since I became part of the committee I have joined wonderful families in their journey from rental to homeownership as they complete a big dream for their families. The path has great moments along the way that build new friendships.

I strongly encourage volunteering with Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity helping families gain homeownership status. It is a great experience and it has given me such joy meeting parents, the children and extended families of the homebuyers. Most of the families that I have partnered with have included me in their family milestone events such as citizenship, birthdays and baptisms. I feel enriched by these experiences and invite others to share in their own chapters of family partnering.

The Turf Company - Supporting Habitat Since Day One

The Turf Company was founded in 1979 with a vision of providing the highest quality turf grass products to landscapers and homeowners.  Since their early days as a small farm outside of Boise they have grown considerably, and now provide a greener life for people all over the Western United States. 

The Turf Company founder Darwin McKay, started out with a small amount of acreage and some used equipment.  He has since gone on to serve as president of the Turf Producers International, teach horticulture to students of Boise State University, and assist in the development and research of several types of new, revolutionary turf types. Many in the Boise area have heard Darwin on local radio talk shows, offering advice on how to properly care for a lawn.

The Turf Company is engaged in continuous improvement of their products and services.  Their turf crops are meticulously cared for and nurtured.  The Turf Company's customers can create a new lawn, assured in the fact that each roll of turf grass from The Turf Company is disease-and-weed-free.

Ken Wood, Habitat Hero

By any measure Ken Wood has made a remarkable contribution to Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity, our families, and our community - some of which we aren’t even aware of, but we’ll share the statistics as we know them.

By our calculations, Ken has helped to build 48 Habitat homes and has contributed a total of 6,456 volunteer hours to Habitat. Ken has also served on the Board of Trustees as both a member and President. As a construction volunteer he has been a House Leader, a Crew Leader, and a member of the Green Team. Ken has also served on several committees to include Construction Planning, Site Selection, and Faith Relations.  Thank you Ken, it's been an honor.


From Alison Beck Haas, Habitat Volunteer, Former Board Member, Former Staff

Sue Mooney "Retires" from ReStore

Sue Mooney "Retires" from ReStore

Sue Mooney has been an important part of the Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore team since January 2008. She has volunteered over 2,528 hours and has been instrumental in the success of  ReStore.

Sue's focus over the years has been helping ReStore keep in tune with the Recycle part of the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" motto.  She helped educate ReStore staff and volunteers on what types of items could be recycled and how to sort them properly. Sue's passion for recycling went way beyond the educational component. She set up a sorting center in the store and kept it organized to make it easy for people to properly prepare items for recycling.  She put in a lot of physical labor loading up her trusty Toyota pick up with cardboard, plastic and paper to take to the recycling center. Over the years she loaded and unloaded over 55,000 pounds of recycling from that little Toyota. Truly an amazing effort!

My Global Village Experience

by Gail Kirkpatrick

Recently I had the privilege to serve Habitat for Humanity in a new way.  I traveled to Anchorage, Alaska for a Habitat for Humanity Global Village Build. I spent 11 days there with 24 other people who traveled from around the United States.  Two of those people were the team leaders who, along with an Anchorage Affiliate staff member, coordinated our living arrangements, food, transportation, community connections, and extra-curricular activities. 

A Global Village Build is different from building with local volunteers.  Our Boise Valley Habitat volunteers usually come out on Saturday with some work being done during the week.  With a Global Village Build there is a large team of people who stay for a week or more and build every day except Sunday.  The Anchorage affiliate hires team leaders to guide and teach the volunteers.  It’s called a global build because anyone, anywhere in the world can sign up to work; I can go to Nepal or Chile to help build if I wished.

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