Interfaith Build 2022: We accomplish more when we work together

We were fortunate to have 29 volunteers representing a variety of faith traditions, including Jewish and Christian, as well as representatives already working in the interfaith space (Terry Kyllo of Paths to Understanding and Kirstin Joyner of Bothell United Methodist Church) join us to create more affordable housing during this year’s Interfaith Build.

Additionally, students from Northwest Yeshiva High School contributed over the two-day event.

Each day began with a blessing given by Alan Bunin of the Jewish tradition. Also giving blessings/prayers were Pastor Chad Johnson of Grace Lutheran, Tamar Libicki of Congregation Beth Shalom, Terry Kyllo of Paths to Understanding and Kristin Joyner of BUMC. At lunch, we celebrated many faiths’ roles in building stronger communities.    

These Interfaith Build days were a great example of what we can accomplish when we work together, and all of the participants agreed to keep the momentum going throughout the year by seeking other Interfaith activities to participate in. Joining forces with the work of Paths to Understanding, Faith Action Network and the work of BUMC will provide an avenue for deeper connection in the Interfaith space.     

Next year, the plan is to schedule Interfaith Build closer to Sept. 11, because it was the tragedy surrounding Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that provided the original motivation to begin the Interfaith Build.

Interfaith Build 2022: Another Year of Unity

Join us in West Seattle for fellowship and the hands-on work of Habitat for Humanity! 

Habitat for Humanity honors the role that faith communities play in building a better world. In our mission of building decent homes for all, we work alongside and serve people of all faith backgrounds, and celebrate the role many faiths play in building stronger communities. 

Members of all faiths are welcome!

Get together with members of many faiths to respond to our regional housing crisis. We strive to be an example of what we can accomplished when we work together. 

Get involved with the build 

Sign up for one or more of our build days. Volunteer your time for build activities and interfaith learning while helping your community. 

We are asking for groups of 5-8 people per faith tradition to make up the 25 person team each day. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and we will provide all the tools, safety equipment, and supervision needed for the day. 

Be a speaker 

We would love to have a representative on-site from different faith communities to share for 5-10 minutes each about how their faith calls them to action and service to others. 

Provide a meal/food prep 

Sign up to prepare and provide a meal for the volunteers. 

Provide and serve meals on-site for volunteers with enough to feed 40 people each day. We ask that food includes vegetarian options. This is a great way for youth to get involved. 

Learn more at www.habitatskc.org/volunteer – use the join code Interfaith when registering.

Contact Angela Appleton, Director of Corporate and Faith Relations at angela.appleton@habitatskc.org or (206) 866-7599 to organize a group, sign up as an individual, or if you have questions. Space is limited. 

Meet Our 2022 Beyond the Build Luncheon Emcee: Aaron Wright

Aaron Wright, evening anchor and reporter at KIRO7 News, will emcee this year’s Beyond the Build luncheon on Thursday, June 2 at the Washington State Convention Center.  No stranger to Habitat for Humanity, Aaron volunteered with the Rockford, Illinois chapter during his first TV news position upon graduating from Hampton University.

Since then, Aaron’s journalism credentials include an Emmy he earned for best evening newscast in San Antonio, Texas, where his news coverage included the deadly Gatlinburg Wildfires of 2016.  His reporting consistently leans toward service to the people in his stories. Aaron’s takeaway from covering those fires is, “People lost a lot, but we were able to get out and show the reality of what they were going through and help the community by making sure they weren’t forgotten when the fires were over.”

Aaron’s attitude toward service as the foundation of his work makes him a perfect emcee for Beyond the Build 2022. Aaron believes journalism is service and, at its best, it uplifts the community, exposes corruption, and helps people in need. It’s that attention to people in need that inspired Aaron to jump at the chance to emcee Habitat’s biggest fundraiser of the year.  Aaron has worked at two TV stations that sent volunteer teams to Habitat builds, and he was impressed by the outcomes. “When I think about Habitat, I think about seeing families walk through their new homes for the first time. The joy they show is like no other.”

Newly arrived in Seattle, Aaron’s journalism career has taken him from his home in Spartanburg, South Carolina to Rockford, Illinois, San Antonio, Texas and Knoxville, Tennessee. He’s happy to be here in Seattle working with “…a team that takes news seriously.” He enjoys sharing the city’s great parks and the region’s hiking trails with his wife and two daughters.  Of course, there is the seafood, “Between oysters, clams, crab, and salmon I am in heaven here.”

In keeping with his joy of service, Aaron is passionate about children of color learning to swim, “Black kids drown at a really high rate compared to others.” His first job as a YMCA lifeguard showed him the value of water skills in saving lives. He also supports animal adoption because he’s seen “… how much they (rescued pets) can help an owner live a really full life, while saving theirs.”

The bottom line for Aaron Wright is community connection and storytelling.  He’s sure to bring that spirit to his emcee duties on June 2 and his partnership at the head table with keynote speaker Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century author Jessica Bruder. If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time – please do so here: Beyond the Build Luncheon Habitat SKC. We hope to see you there!

Women Build 2022 April 30-May 7

Get ready for Women Build 2022!

Women Build is a community of Seattle-King County women and organizations coming together to empower one another, make an impact, and change lives. The women of King County fund projects, build homes, and revitalize neighborhoods working side-by-side with our homeowners and volunteers.

We are excited to announce our schedule of events for this year’s Women Build. We hope you will join us for one or more of our events! Thank you all for stepping up to empower women and build an affordable future for families in King County!

Highlights from Women Build 2021

Check out all the photos from the event here

Find our news coverage on KIRO7 here

Celebrating 20 Years of Unity: Interfaith Build

Habitat for Humanity strives to exemplify what can be accomplished when we work together, and this year’s Interfaith Build, which began on Saturday, September 11 at our La Fortuna (Renton) site, was a perfect model of that kind of teamwork and community. A poignant day of remembrance for many, Interfaith Build 2021 commenced on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Thirty-five volunteers and members of several different faith groups gathered to build both homes and bridges between communities.

group photo of InterFaith Build

Initiated in response to 9/11 under the name “Together We Build,” dozens of Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and other faith groups have come together each year to build for the community, overcome the cultural divisions that rise in the wake of violence, and to practice building a better world together. More than 50 faith communities have participated in Interfaith Builds with Habitat SKC since 2001.

The 35 volunteers hailed from a variety of regional faith communities, including St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Seattle; Bothell United Methodist Church; University Unitarian Church in Seattle; Holy Rosary in West Seattle; North Shore Church in Kirkland; Church of Jesuit Christ of Latter Day Saints – Eastside; Holy Family in Kirkland; and numerous religious (but unaffiliated) individuals. All came to support Habitat for Humanity as part of its annual Interfaith Build.

Volunteers, working in small groups led by Americorps helpers, spackled and painted the La Fortuna buildings, as well as made repairs to one existing resale home in a previously completed La Fortuna building nearby.

The morning build began with a blessing by led by Andrea Liggett from Holy Family in Kirkland.  Lunchtime speakers included Gary Fallon, Habitat for Humanity board member, faith committee member and member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church; Vince Stricherz , founding member of Interfaith Build and longtime Habitat volunteer, member of Interfaith Committee and member of Holy Names Catholic Church; and Joel Feldman, former Habitat corporate and faith relations director, Jewish – unaffiliated.

Stricherz pointed out that Christians are in the Season of Creation (Sept. 1 – Oct. 4) and how this year’s theme, “A Home for All,” was fitting. Feldman spoke about how this Interfaith Build event timed with Rosh Hashanah (New Year); he shared sliced apples and honey with the group, a Jewish custom that symbolizes the hope of a sweet New Year. He also spoke to KING-TV, explaining the history of Interfaith Build and its significance in bringing all faiths together for a common cause.

Additional upcoming Interfaith Build dates include Friday, Sept. 17 & Saturday, Sept. 18, 8:45 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Thursday, Sept. 30, 8:45 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Learn more about Interfaith Build.

We are inspired by our accomplishments when we work together and push forward as a team. Thank you so much to all the faith groups and volunteers making our 20th Anniversary Interfaith Build such a success!