Thursday, April 25, 2013

Participate in Habitat's Mother's Day Contest!

In celebration of Mother's Day and Women Build Week, Habitat for Humanity International is having a fun Twitter contest!

Habitat wants you to share your pictures and stories about how your mom has impacted your life and helped "build" your home.  Follow Women Build on Twitter and share your stories with the hashtag #WomenBuild13.

A winner is randomly selected every Friday at 4pm!

For the official rules and more information, check out the contest page!

Good luck!

Don't have Twitter?  That's okay!  We still want to hear from you!  Feel free to share your pictures and stories on our Facebook page! (This is not a contest, we're just trying to spread the love!)

Want to spend time volunteering with your mom?  Email Jessica at for information about how to volunteer as a family.

Monday, April 15, 2013

We Love our Volunteers!

Youth groups volunteer at our ReStores fairly often, but recently we had a very special group of volunteers.  These volunteers were a part of the Youth Leadership Program and came all the way from Illinois.  Illinois!

These teens spent a week in and around the DC area and volunteered with a different organization each day.  What an inspirational way to spend their spring break!  We were lucky enough to have them as volunteers at our Alexandria ReStore and they helped organize the store while brightening everyone's day!

The Youth Leadership Program, part of Youth Crossroads, Inc., helps develop and enhance leadership skills that youth already possess.  The program includes internships and trainings that help youth design, plan and implement their own service projects.  Check out their website to learn more about this awesome program!

Thanks for your service, YLP!  Come back anytime!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Yorktown High School Habitat Club

We are very excited to announce our first official Habitat for Humanity high school club!  A group of committed, lively students at Yorktown High School started a Habitat club in their school and meet each week to organize fundraisers and outreach activities.

March 31st through April 1st, the Yorktown HS Habitat club will be participating in Act! Speak! Build! Week, a week of student-initiated activities which aim to educate youth and their communities about poverty housing issues and Habitat for Humanity.

The Yorktown High School Habitat club has some very exciting and creative ideas for the week!  Stay tuned for pictures of their week of activities!

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication, Yorktown!

If you are interested in starting a Habitat club in your school, contact Jessica Sweeney at for more info!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Habitat and AmeriCorps

It's AmeriCorps Week!

You may be asking "What is AmeriCorps?" right now.  

Here are the basics:

 Since 1994, more than 800,000 Americans have given more than 1 billion hours of service through AmeriCorps.  Every year, more than 75,000 AmeriCorps members meet pressing community needs across the country – strengthening education, assisting veterans and military families, providing disaster services, fostering economic opportunity, expanding health services and preserving the environment. Serving at more 15,000 locations, AmeriCorps members recruited and managed more than four million volunteers last year, boosting the impact of the nonprofit and faith-based organizations they serve.

AmeriCorps members work in communities across the United States to:
*tutor and mentor disadvantaged youth
*fight illiteracy
*improve health services
*build affordable housing
*teach computer skills
*clean parks and streams
*manage or operate after-school programs
*build organizational capacity
&much more! 

But what does this have to do with Habitat for Humanity, you ask?

AmeriCorps members serve in a variety of roles within Habitat. Whether they are engaging communities, building homes, leading volunteers, raising resources or developing new programs, AmeriCorps members help Habitat affiliates operate more efficiently and effectively. Most importantly, members help us to serve more families.
Since becoming one of the first nonprofits to partner with AmeriCorps in 1994, Habitat has engaged over 7,000 members who have performed over 12 million hours of service and:
*served more than 15,000 families in the United States
*mobilized and engaged over 2.5 million volunteers
*raised tens of millions of dollars
Interested in learning how to get involved with AmeriCorps?  Check out the AmeriCorps website or the Habitat for Humanity website!


 "Service is a spark to rekindle the spirit of democracy in an age of uncertainty. When it is all said and done, it comes down to three simple questions: What is right? What is wrong? And what are we going to do about it?" 
~President Bill Clinton, swearing in the first class of AmeriCorps members

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lend a Hand, Change a Life

Check out this amazing story of one volunteer's experience building with Habitat in Macedonia.

Are you interested in traveling with Habitat?  Here are some great resources:

*Youth ages 16-18 form teams and can travel domestically or internationally to build with Habitat on a Learn and Build Experience trip.  There are some great trip locations for 2013! 

*Youth ages 16-25 can participate (as a group of five or more) in a Collegiate Challenge trip!  Get a group of classmates together and join one of the trips on your school break!

If you would like help signing up or want more information, please contact Jessica Sweeney at!

If your parents are interested in traveling with Habitat, they can check out Habitat International's Global Village program!

Happy travels!

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore. Dream."
-Mark Twain

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Home Is Where the Heart Is

 The Abdallah Family

"Love grows by service."--Charlotte Perkins Gilman 

Habitat homes bring love and hope to families in Northern Virginia and all over the world!

Spread the love in our community by volunteering with us!  Youth volunteers can make thank you cards for volunteers and donors, put together a welcome basket for new homeowners, volunteer in the ReStore and (if you are 16 or older) help build on the construction site!

Check out this video we love of students from Singapore building homes with Habitat for Humanity in Mumbai.  Love knows no borders!

Spread the word that where homes and communities are built, love and hope grow, too!

Happy Valentine's Day to all of our volunteers, donors, supporters, families and neighbors!  We love and appreciate you all!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Thank You!

Thank you to all of our wonderful youth volunteers!  We appreciate your hard work, dedication and kindness!  Thank you for generously donating your time and effort to help families in the Northern Virginia community.  Each one of you makes the world a little brighter!

"We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change.  Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world."
-Howard Zinn

Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia welcomes youth volunteers ages 5-25.  For our current volunteer opportunities (or to suggest some of your own!) email
We would love to hear from you!


Friday, January 18, 2013

We're Having a Book Drive!

photo from

Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia is holding a book drive to benefit Books for America, a non-profit, self-funded 501(c)(3) organization located in Washington, D.C.

In 2012, Books for America donated 65,655 books and other materials to local schools, community organizations, homeless shelter, prisons and more!
Their mission is "to promote literacy, life-long learning and understanding by distributing donated new and used books of all types and other forms of educational media to organizations serving disadvantaged communities and individuals."

Check out their website, find them on Facebook and visit their Amazon storefront to purchase books!
Don't forget to visit their bookstore in Washington, D.C.!

Stop by the Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia office to say hi to our staff and donate your books for a wonderful cause!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service


Monday, January 21st is Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service! "It's a day on, not a day off!"

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?"
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Each year, millions of American take this day to serve their neighbors and communities.  Many communities already have projects organized and welcome you to join.  You can easily find a project in your neighborhood and spend some time on Monday helping to strengthen your community!

If, after volunteering in your community on Monday, you find that you want to continue helping your community email Jessica Sweeney at for some fun ways to volunteer with Habitat NoVa!

Have fun!

"Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve.  You don't have to have a college degree to serve.  You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Spring Fever!

photo courtesy of GMU Habitat

Think it's too early for Spring fever?  Don't tell that to the GMU Habitat for Humanity campus chapter!  They've been feverishly planning some wonderful events for their Spring semester!  Here are some details about what they will be up to:

*The GMU Habitat chapter will be holding four interest meetings on campus to engage new members and tell them about Habitat's work!

*GMU has two groups participating in the Collegiate Challenge this year; one group will be going to Michigan and the other to Mississippi.  They will have a weekly kiosk on campus and will be holding "percent nights" at local restaurants to raise funds for the trip.
*At the end of March, the GMU Habitat chapter will be participating in Shack-a-Thon, in which they partner with Greek Life to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity NoVa while also collecting food for a local food pantry.  The shacks are built by different campus clubs and remain in the center of campus for three days in order to draw attention to poverty housing.  Check out this cool video highlighting Shack-a-Thon 2009!

*Last year, the GMU Habitat chapter organized a Nat Bresler Benefit 5k but will be mixing it up this year and holding a benefit concert!  They are looking into having local bands come and show their skills and are hoping to have a very special guest of honor (stay tuned for details!).

Habitat NoVa would like to thank the GMU Habitat for Humanity campus chapter for all of their wonderful work!  We appreciate you so much!

 Feeling inspired to start a Habitat club in your school?  Contact Jessica Sweeney at to find out how! 

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards

Do you know an outstanding volunteer (or group of volunteers!) who has worked to improve our community?  Nominate them for the 2013 Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards!

*Don't forget about the outstanding youth volunteers in our community!*

Volunteers can be nominated by someone or nominate themselves for a Competitive Award or a Benchmark Award.  The general guidelines are as follows:
*Nominations must be received via online application to Volunteer Fairfax
*Nominators must obtain approval from the person or group being nominated prior to submission.
*The nominee must be a resident of Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, the City of Herndon, the City of Vienna or the City of Falls Church.
*The volunteer service must benefit the Fairfax County community.
*Nominated volunteers must have provided service during the 2012 calendar year; however, service provided may not include hours served as part of an academic requirement.
*Volunteers may nominate themselves.
*Nominators are subject to verification.
*Staff members compensated by salary or any other compensatory means are not eligible.
*All decisions made by the independent panel of judges are final.  
Visit Volunteer Fairfax's website for more information and to nominate a fantastic volunteer today!  Nominations are due February 4, 2013 by 4pm.

Listen to this fun playlist featuring the 2012 Service Songs of the Week compiled by Youth Service America while you fill out your nomination application!