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Ellie MagazineNonprofit

Habitat for Humanity: Building Homes, Transforming Lives

by: Terry Kemmy

Our Mission – Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities,

and hope.


Lack of affordable housing can seep into every aspect of life. It forces families with low income to live in substandard rentals that consume much of their income for rent and energy costs. This leaves little money for food, healthcare, transportation, and education. Families often move from rental to rental seeking lower housing costs, which triggers educational instability for children.

Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County brings families, community partners, and volunteers together to construct affordable, energy-efficient homes that help families build stability, strength, and self-reliance. In fact, the stability provided by homeownership is recognized as the leading factor in children’s academic success.

Habitat has an open-door policy. All who believe that everyone needs a decent, affordable place to live are welcome to help with the work — regardless of race, religion, age, gender, political views, or any other distinction. “We welcome volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds,” says Noel Brooks, Habitat Greenville Director of Development. “We also serve people in need of decent housing regardless of race or religion without any implied condition that people must adhere to or convert to a particular faith.”

Meet Habitat Homeowner Natalia Mayley


Like others in the Habitat program, Natalia was divorced and coming out of a very toxic marriage, and needed a lifeline. “More than anything I needed to find some stability and some safety for my children so I applied for the Habitat homeownership. In the process, I learned a lot of things about myself… that I am stronger than I know. Sometimes I don’t give myself the credit for doing my best as a single parent. And sometimes I feel like I haven’t done everything I could have or should have for my children.

“So I learned that I am very capable when I have the right people, the right information, the right help, just a helping hand, I’m capable of anything.”

In addition to building roughly 15 new homes a year, Habitat Greenville also provides home repair services for about 50 families throughout Greenville county. Habitat provides many ways to partner to help families in need. First off, you can make a financial donation to a variety of new construction builds such as a CEO build, a women’s build, a faith golden strip, and many others. Another way is to donate household items to Habitat’s ReStore (thrift) outlets. Sales from ReStore locations support the materials needed for Habitat’s home-building program. “Lastly, consider becoming a monthly donor,” adds Brooks. “Even giving just $10, $20, or $30 a month makes a big difference to our mission.”

“I also learned how to build a house like this,” adds Natalia. “I helped put roofs on different houses, which was amazing because I had a fear of heights, yet I overcame that. I also took some classes started to learn how to become financially stable so that I can continue to support my kids from here on out and never be in the situation where I started. I would absolutely do the whole process again. Probably the biggest blessing to me are the people I’ve met during this process. They have become like a family community to me… wonderful, genuine, and very encouraging. Yes, it’s a little scary starting over, but when you do there’s such a pride of accomplishment you take out of it when it’s all done and completed. So I would absolutely recommend to those in need to reach out and get more information on this wonderful program.”

Individuals, businesses, and other organizations can partner with Habitat through their time, talent, and treasure. You can volunteer on a Habitat build site and give your time to help a family in need. You can use your talents – in construction, business, or any number of ways –in their offices and in the ReStores, and lastly, through your treasurer. “Supporting Habitat Greenville through financial contribution no matter how big or small supports our families and our programs,” Brooks adds. “As families pay their mortgage, they develop equity in their home which changes their economic trajectory. This literally helps to break the generational cycle of poverty. You can be an important part of supporting these families in need. Please give of your time, talent, and treasure today.”

Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County, 864.370.4787.

For more information on video production or digital marketing solutions, please contact Terry Kemmy at 210.844.1542.