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Monthly Musing

Monthly Musing

June 2024

Habitat MidOhio Monthly Musing

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CEO Corner

In my first six weeks as President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio, I’ve had the pleasure of participating in six home-related ceremonies including commencements and dedications.   One of these ceremonies bookmarked the milestone of us serving 1,000 families in Central Ohio.  Since 1987, our organization has helped 1,000 families remain in or purchase an affordable home.

I cannot take credit for this milestone, of course.  I can celebrate it and use it as a pivoting point for our future.  Our lack of housing, especially affordable housing, is at a crisis level.  John Kotter, who researches and writes about change leadership, posits that the first phase of planning and executing a successful change is to ensure a sense of urgency.  We should all feel a sense of urgency to solve our housing crisis.  The facts are regularly reported and shared by various expert groups: We do not have enough housing to meet the demands of our growing population – and we have too many families who are paying more than thirty percent or even fifty percent of their income on housing.  Some things need to change for our region to remain livable and sustainable. 

As we celebrate National Homeownership Month this June, I am proud and excited to say that Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio is here to be part of planning, stewarding, and living the change needed for our region.

Habitat is a unique model in creating affordable housing.  We bring together organizations across public and private sectors, volunteers, families, and mission-driven staff experts to build homes that are decent, modest, and affordable.  Habitat partner families not only put “sweat equity” into their home, but they also assume a mortgage; building equity and enjoying the benefits of home ownership.  We also use this model to repair homes; allowing homeowners to remain in their current home or age in place.  Lastly, Habitat has a social enterprise component that helps fund the organization: three ReStore locations that accept gently used and new household items and then sell them.  We offer home items at a fraction of the new price; making household items including furniture, fixtures, and appliances affordable.

Here is what I think is most beautiful about the Habitat model: there is a place and space for everyone to support affordable housing in a direct, results-driven way. I invite you to join in our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live by donating or shopping at one of our ReStores, volunteering to work in the ReStore or on a home construction site or investing money. All of which can be done on the individual, family, team, or organizational level.  I encourage everyone in our region to join us in feeling a sense of urgency for affordable housing and to directly participate through your local Habitat for Humanity. 

Thank you for making 1,000 families served a reality.  I look forward to working with each of you to help create the changes our region needs; affording everyone access to economic opportunity and prosperity. 

Brandi Braun AL-Issa
President & CEO


Homeowner Services

Commencement of Muali Family Home, April 5

It was a full house as we gathered in April to kick off the build for the Muali family! Thank you to house sponsors D.R. Horton and the City of Columbus for joining us on site and supporting Habitat MidOhio and our mission!


Commencement of Brown Family Home, April 18

We gathered in April with the Brown family to kick off the construction of their new Habitat MidOhio home! It was a great time to celebrate together, write blessings on the beams, and add finishing touches to the porch. Thank you to Subtext, Verve Columbus, and City of Columbus for sponsoring this build!

Dedication of Gussler Family Home, May 9

We always have a full house when we dedicate a home in Newark and this was no different! Congratulations to the Gussler Family on receiving the keys to their new home! Thank you to all of our volunteers and Park National Bank, Licking Memorial Health Systems, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, New River Electrical Corporation, Energy Cooperative and the City of Newark for sponsoring this build!

Dedication of Badhi Family Home, May 11

Joined by sponsors Northwest Adopt-A-House and Mifflin Presbyterian Church, we were blessed to dedicate a new home for the Badhi family. We saw smiles all-around as they received the keys to their new home and officially became homeowners!

Commencement of Issa Family Home, May 15

A little rain never stopped us! It was sunshine and smiles inside the future home of the Issa family as we officially kicked off their build! Joined by house sponsors American Electric Power and the City of Columbus, the family hammered in the nails of the first wall that will become their kitchen! Special thanks to our friends at Worthington Presbyterian for building the walls in their church parking lot this spring! Progress is well underway and we will be dedicating this home very soon!

Commencement of Sheikh & Mohmud Family Home, May 18

We had a great crowd and a beautiful sunny day to celebrate the start of the Sheikh & Mohmud home with sponsors Hilliard Adopt-A-House and the City of Columbus! The whole family was full of life and personality as they hammered and nailed what will soon be a part of their new home!

Dedication of Sparkes Family Home, May 30

We celebrated our 17th Women Build home which also happens to be our 1,000th family served in Central Ohio! We were excited to join the Sparkes Family, volunteers, the Women Build crew, and house sponsors Bank of America and The Champion Companies to dedicate the home!

Did you know that Habitat partner families complete 200-250 hours of Sweat Equity as part of their partnership with us on their journey towards homeownership? While a good portion of the Sweat Equity includes construction on their home and other partner families’ homes, it also includes financial literacy classes, homeowner maintenance classes, and education on how to be a good neighbor. Additionally, families participate in a variety of community service opportunities.  Pictured below is Aaliyah and her son who are one of our current partner families, who did a neighborhood clean-up!  They’re getting creative with their Sweat Equity and we love seeing the impact they are making in the community!



As we approach the end of our fiscal year at Habitat MidOhio, we would like to give a huge shout out to those who have worked diligently to help us accomplish so much!  Even now, as the heat of the summer is upon us, our faithful volunteers are continuing to build, renovate and repair homes.  Over the past few months the construction staff and volunteers truly stepped up to the plate to help complete six more new and renovated homes that families have either moved into or are preparing to move into.   We could not do it without the incredible core groups of service-minded individuals!

Tremendous thanks goes out to the Women Build team, the members of the long-time Northwest Adopt-A-House group, the faithful AEP Foundation folks, the trustee Tuesday and Thursday Crew regulars, the Hilliard Adopt-A-House group dedicated members, the incredible Northside Partnership group, and the ever-present A Team.  

In addition to the wonderful work accomplished by these groups working to build and renovate homes for families to attain homeownership, a small but faithful core group of repair program volunteers have served tirelessly to help Habitat MidOhio exceed the goal set on repairing homes for families.  As of this writing, we are one repair project away from meeting that annual goal of serving 110 families with home repairs—with two weeks remaining in the fiscal year.  All of these families now have safer, better places to reside in their neighborhoods. 

We are grateful for Craig Skeel, Ralph King, Dan Davis, and Joe Riley for the many hours of hard work you have put into making people’s lives just a little better through your acts of kindness! 

Our construction staff at Habitat MidOhio can only do what we do because of the volunteers like you all who make our mission and vision achievable!  Kudos to you all and hope to continue to see you out on job sites. 



Shop: Did you know MidOhio ReStores offers new product as well as donated merchandise? Come shop our new product categories that include pet supplies, butcher block countertops, grills and firepits, and so much more. Our Westerville, Newark and Bethel locations offer a variety of purchased goods. We have brand new cabinets, rugs, paint, paint supplies, light duty tools, and tile flooring for sale.

ReStore Locations and Hours

ReStore Westerville Road: 3140 Westerville Road, Columbus, OH 43224
ReStore Bethel Road: 2555 Bethel Road, Columbus, OH 43220
ReStore Newark: 1660 N 21st St, Newark OH 43055

Open Monday-Saturday from 9:00AM to 5:00 P.M.  (Donations Drop-offs 9:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.)

The annual Plant Sale is right around the corner! Mark your calendars for July 19th and 20th and come shop all three locations for deals on flowers, plants, and other outdoor items. Check us out on Facebook or Instagram for details in the coming weeks!

Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio offers deconstruction services for your home!

The Habitat ReStore Deconstruction Team provides removal of salvageable materials from your home or business. As a locally recognized and respected organization, we offer efficient service and experienced personnel to complete your job on time. 

How the Deconstruction Process Works 

  1. Contact us to schedule a walkthrough of your project at or 614-419-4389
  2. Our experienced crew removes salvageable materials from your property 
  3. Materials go to the Habitat ReStore to help raise funds to build affordable housing 
  4. You receive a donation receipt for tax purposes 

Volunteer Services


Join our AmeriCorps team for 2024-2025! Positions include multiple Construction Crew Leads, a Volunteer & Community Outreach Coordinator, and a ReStore Development VISTA member.

We will be starting construction on our Veterans Build soon and are excited to get to work to build a house for a local Veteran and his family! We are looking for volunteer groups to assist with construction. Please click here to express interest in volunteering!


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. On June 17, 2021, it officially became a federal holiday.

We were honored to be invited to participate in the Juneteenth event at Mock Park. Thank you to our homeowner for tabling the event and spreading awareness of Habitat MidOhio and our DE&I efforts!

June is National Homeownership Month and we wanted to share our message that everyone deserves a decent place to live and we were excited to participate in the 42nd Columbus PRIDE March! This is the second largest LGBT pride event in the Midwest, behind Chicago.


Resource Development

On May 23-24, Habitat MidOhio took over Field for the 5th Annual Playhouse Project Blitz Build! Over the course of the two days, 17 sponsor groups came together to build 22 unique, personalized playhouses for local children to enjoy this summer and for many summers to come. The blitz is our largest fundraising event of the year bringing in over $80,000 to support the creation and preservation of affordable housing in central Ohio!

Meet the Team

Please join us in welcoming Chris to HFHMO!  Chris joins our affiliate as Assistant Store Leader in the Newark ReStore.  We are very excited to have him join the team!

Chris shopped our ReStore for multiple home projects, he liked the mission and the store and decided it might be a good place to work.   He is excited to learn more about Habitat and take part in helping our community.  His goal is to soak up knowledge and help to come up with new ideas for store processes.  Outside of work Chris has a lot of hobbies;  He is a musician, a longtime lover of the outdoors, likes to cook, and likes to garden.  He and his family love Dawes Arboretum and hope to volunteer there one day. Fun fact: He was a studio musician and recorded with many different people in his 20’s. 

Welcome Ibrahim to Habitat MidOhio!  Ibrahim joins our affiliate as a Team Member at the Bethel Road ReStore.  We are very excited to have him join the team!

Ibrahim applied to work at Habitat because he is familiar with retail and wanted to know that his hard work goes toward a good cause.  He is excited to get to work and learn the ins and outs of ReStore operations.  Ibrahim’s goal is that he will be effective and helpful in his new role.  Outside of work, Ibrahim likes to lift weights, swim, play chess, and even write books!  He also enjoys being involved with his church.  Fun fact:  He has written two novels so far!

  • madesign
  • Bank of America
    Bank of America

    logo updated 12/18

  • AEP logo 1.19.21
    AEP logo 1.19.21
  • Champion Companies
    Champion Companies
  • Nationwide Founation
    Nationwide Founation
  • Hexion
  • State Farm
  • New River Electrical
    New River Electrical
  • OCCH
  • Donatos
  • Home Depot
    Home Depot
  • OHTF
  • Owens Corning
    Owens Corning
  • Gilbane
  • Huntington
  • Ohio EPA
    Ohio EPA
  • Ohio Wireless
    Ohio Wireless
  • Affordable Housing Trust
    Affordable Housing Trust
  • City of Columbus logo
    City of Columbus logo
  • City of Newark Logo
    City of Newark Logo

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