“A turtle on a fence post did not get up there on its own.”

This is an adage that Habitat for Humanity – DeKalb’s Executive Director Bob Boyd often uses to explain how HFHD has gotten to where it is after 25 years, and how it needs to proceed in the years to come.

“Like that turtle,” Boyd continues, “we did not get here on our own, and we cannot move forward on our own. We need a helping hand to continue moving on and making progress.”

That helping hand this year has been quite literal, and has come from a variety of organizations that have given HFHD their time, support and sweat.

In May, Lowes Home Improvement teamed up with Habitat for Humanity – DeKalb, as well as with Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the country, for National Women Build Week.  On May 11, HFHD hosted over 20 volunteers to work on the house of one of our future homeowners with the support of a donation from Lowes. Recently, on June 19, Newell Rubbermaid also sponsored a build day, and 75 employees volunteered at three separate build sites with HFHD, as well as making a generous gift of supplies and a monetary donation.

“Corporate partners such as Lowes, Newell Rubbermaid, and any of the other organizations that have worked with us over the years are essential to what we do. It allows us to accomplish our mission on a grander scale and reach out to a wider audience,” said Boyd.  “We also truly hope that they enjoyed their time volunteering with us.”

Corporations aren’t the only ones that are helping Habitat for Humanity – DeKalb’s work, however. Students have had a huge impact in 2013 as well. For the first time in our 25 year history, HFHD hosted Collegiate Challenge groups. The Collegiate Challenge program sees college students spend a week of their time working on Habitat for Humanity projects. This year, HFHD has hosted students from the University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI), St. Olaf’s College (Northfield, MN), and the University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL). During their time here, the students worked on numerous projects, ranging from house builds to A Brush with Kindness initiatives. Additionally, Mercer University’s Atlanta Campus (Atlanta, GA) has also aided in our construction efforts.

Local high school students have shown, however, that the urge to help exists even in some of the youngest members of our community. Habitat for Humanity DeKalb has continued its partnership with the Tucker High School Chapter for Habitat for Humanity, and they have worked on several builds. Additionally, Dunwoody High School recently started a chapter, and has begun to partner with HFHD and work on build sites as well.

“It’s great to see young people getting involved early, and we appreciate all the contributions they’ve made over the years,” said Adam Moreland, Program Services Coordinator. “Students getting involved means a lot, and allows us to accomplish even more together.”