Friday, December 14, 2012

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Photo from:
Did you know that since 2007 the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has been milled into lumber used to build a Habitat home?
Visit Habitat for Humanity International's page to learn more about the tree and to enter to win a really fun prize! (Get going--the contest closes at 5pm tonight!)
Good luck and Happy Holidays!! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Join Us!

Help Make a Difference in Our Community!

Join us in helping to make 2013 even more successful!

To get involved email Jessica Sweeney at 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Building on Youth

Participate in our Building on Youth Program!

Youth ages 5-18 are welcome to participate!

What is the program?  Youth 5-18 can earn their Habitat for Humanity wristband by being involved in many aspects of the Habitat program.  It's a four part program that involves learning about Habitat, helping Habitat by doing at least two activities, reflecting on the activities through art and celebrating their accomplishment by sharing their art with the Northern Virginia community (we will post your art on our website and blog).  We will present each youth participant who completes the program with a Building on Youth wristband.

How can someone get started?  Each young person should discuss with an adult sponsor the activities they wish to perform. See below for a list of activities and ideas.  Email for more information or to get started!

What if I have a different idea of what to do?  Great!  Just discuss it with a Habitat staff member first.

Why did you start this program?  Habitat for Humanity is committed to involving youth in solving the important problem of poverty housing.  This program gives youth a more organized way to be involved and then, through our website and blog, celebrates their contribution.

Can the young person use this for community service for school or service clubs?  Absolutely!  The form has to be filled out and the hours must be verified by an adult sponsor.  

What's this about posting art on your website?  We plan to post the participants' art (paintings, drawings, stories, videos, etc) on our website and blog.  We will only identify the young person by their first name and last initial to protect their privacy.

Earn your Building on Youth wristband! 

1.) Learn--Choose 1 activity:
Attend a house dedication
Read Nickel and Dimed, On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich (for older teens)
Read one of the children's books produced by Habitat International: Grandpa's Hammer, Raising the Roof, Doorway to the World, Building Friends (for younger kids)
Visit to:
       Read a recent edition of Habitat World 
       Learn about how Habitat builds in other countries
       Check out their youth page for more educational activities
Talk with or recruit a volunteer and interview them
Visit the Global Village Center or Habitat Headquarters in Americus, GA
Visit to learn about surviving on a minimum wage income

2.) Act--choose 2 activities:
(if you choose any activities marked with a *, you must contact a Habitat staff member first!)
Volunteer at one of our ReStores
Interview a homeowner for an article on our website*
Provide and bring lunch or a snack to the build site*
Draw/create thank you cards for us to give to donors and volunteers
Visit a site and write a message to the homeowner on a stud that will go into the house
Construct a small project like bird houses, window boxes, etc to give to a homeowner
Help a homeowner clean their home before they move in*
Hold a bake sale to raise money for Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia
Make table decorations and signs for events
Create posters for Habitat events
Make announcements in your church when volunteers are needed
Decorate pots for house plants for Habitat homeowners
Challenge your group to collect change to help build a home
Create your dream house out of legos or other building blocks, then take a picture
Tell your neighbors, family and friends about Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia
Hold a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia*

Reflect--choose 1 activity:
Tell us about the activities you chose through photography, painting, drawing a story/poem/essay, video, etc!  Tell us about your Habitat experience or what home means to you!  Be as creative as you wish!  We will display these on our website and blog!

Turn in your "I Did It!" form along with any artwork, stories or videos you created.  We'll add your contribution to our website and blog and send your Building on Youth wristband to you.  

For more information or to get started email Jessica Sweeney at


Friday, December 7, 2012

George Mason University Campus Chapter

Meet our George Mason University Campus Chapter!

The George Mason University Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter works hard each year to provide our affiliate with a great deal of support!  Earlier this week, the GMU chapter held their festive gingerbread house competition at their December membership meeting.  Six teams constructed festive (and yummy!) gingerbread houses to earn membership points!  Scroll down to see pictures of the fun event!

(Photos courtesy of Mary Ann Pool)
As they neared the end of the fall semester, the GMU Campus Chapter celebrated their fundraising efforts with their annual percent night at Panda Express as well as a pancake breakfast hosted by the Knights of Columbus from Saint John Newman Catholic Church.  GMU members shared stories of the different ReStore and A Brush with Kindness events they participated in this year!

"With the excitement of the fall semester, we are thrilled for all that the spring semester has to offer!"  --Mary Ann Pool, President GMU HfH Campus Chapter 

Want to learn more about the George Mason University Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter?  Check out their website and Facebook page!

Thanks for all our of your hard work and dedication, GMU!  

Are you constructing a gingerbread house this year?  Add a Habitat for Humanity or housing fact and snap a picture!  We will display it on our blog!
 Send your pictures to

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Travel and Learn with Habitat!

Join Habitat for Humanity International for a Learn and Build Experience Trip!

Want to make a difference and travel to a new community at the same time?

Habitat International welcomes youth ages 16-18 to join them on a Learn and Build Experience trip!

Photo from
"The Learn and Build Experience is an opportunity for a diverse group of students ages 16 to 18 to contribute to Habitat for Humanity's mission of eliminating poverty housing.  Through the Learn and Build Experience, individual youth come together as a team to build with Habitat in a community outside of their area. In addition to building, students will take part in various hands-on educational and community activities to better understand poverty issues and how Habitat serves families and communities around the world."
The program is taking place this summer in the U.S. and abroad in the following locations:
*Washington, D.C.
*Milwaukee, Wisconson
*Saline County, Arkansas
*Forsyth County, North Carolina
*Trinidad and Tobago

Mark your calendar! The deadline to apply is March 1, 2013.  Visit Habitat International's website to find more information and to apply for a trip!  
Happy travels! :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Our New Youth Programs!

Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia!

Youth ages 5 to 25 are welcome to participate in Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia's youth programs!

Although volunteers do have to be 16 years old to volunteer on the construction site, there are plenty of ways for youth to be involved with Habitat!  We invite you to organize fundraisers, create gifts for partner families, build benches and birdhouses and be involved in dedication events.

You don't need any prior volunteer experience and we welcome and encourage your creativity and ideas!

What is Habitat for Humanity?  Habitat for Humanity believes that every man, woman and child deserves to live in a safe, decent and affordable house.  We help people get out of poverty and into houses by working together with partner families to help them build homes of their own.  We welcome people of all ages, backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together with families in need.

Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International.  Since our founding in 1990, we have built homes for more than 300 people, including 180 children!

Some ways for youth to volunteer:
*participate in our Building on Youth program to earn your Habitat wristband
*make a welcome basket for a partner family
*create thank you cards for volunteers
*deliver snacks or lunches to volunteers on a work site
*create posters for our special events
*design a mural for one of our ReStores
*start a Habitat Club in your school
*organize a school or classroom-wide recycling drive
*coordinate a bake sale
*have a car wash for Habitat
*build and paint birdhouses to be auctioned
*host a talent show
*volunteer in one of our ReStores

These are just a few ideas on how you can get involved!  For more information and ideas or to learn how to get started contact:

Jessica Sweeney
703-521-9890 x107