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Monthly Musing

Monthly Musing

March 2024

Habitat MidOhio Monthly Musing

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CEO Corner

     Who among you hasn’t felt that need-for-pizza and called Donatos to order up a favorite?  Right, same here!  But did you know that this company is partnering with us for an annual event to raise money in a ‘round-up’ program that will be put to use in our Playhouse program?

     I share this to highlight the generosity of the company’s CEO and Board Chair, Jane Grote Abell.  Her vision for Donatos extends well beyond the success of the business.  Jane has a big heart for this central Ohio community, and numerous examples exist of Donatos’ generosity that makes Columbus a vibrant place to call home. 

     Three years ago, Jane called me with notion of wanting to support our work.  Following several meetings with the Donatos team, the concept evolved to one that would take place in the first quarter of the year, with proceeds coming directly to us from what the stores generated in our region.  In similar fashion, this program would be implemented in Donatos stores across the footprint in 12 states, with such proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity affiliates where the stores are located. 

     In this, our third year of the partnership, we as MidOhio are helping facilitate this fundraising effort with affiliates doing work in cities throughout the U.S. where Donatos restaurants exist. 

     All of this is to say how appreciative we are of Jane’s vision and heart for harnessing the success of their business in service to the community.  We look forward to her and the Donatos team building those six playhouses later this year with the resources generated in the round-up campaign!

     On the subject of the impact women have on Habitat MidOhio, allow me to segue to our recent celebration of Women Build Week, held in conjunction with International Women’s Day on March 8th.  We were pleased to highlight the efforts of our own Women Build crew as they work weeks ahead of the construction schedule on their 17th home!

     Also, this month, we celebrated AmeriCorps Week in honor of those who serve many organizations across the country.  During this time each year, we hold an annual AmeriCorps Alumni Build Day, and this was our 12th year honoring their service.  For this year’s project, current AmeriCorps members chose to build a “Blessing Box” and install it in the yard of one of our long-time Habitat homeowners on Genessee Avenue.  What is a Blessing Box you ask?  Once in place, it will be accessible to anyone in the community for free, and it will be stocked with donations of canned goods and shelf-stable items, much of it provided by our affiliate staff. The intention behind a Blessing Box is, “Take what you need. Leave what you can.  Spread kindness.” 

     Of note is that over these past 22 years, Habitat MidOhio has hosted some 160 AmeriCorps members during their year of service to the affiliate.  Interestingly, over the last two decades we have brought about a third of our AmeriCorps participants onto our staff at the completion of their service year.  In fact, one of AmeriCorps’ first members, Andrew Lycans, is now HFHMO’s Construction Superintendent!  All of this is to say that the AmeriCorps program provides us with a win-win, and we remain hopeful that the appropriations process in Congress will result in adequate funding this year.  

     As we continue toward what will be our busy build season, I wanted to share a note of gratitude for Jane and Donatos, our Women Build team and our AmeriCorps members who, collectively, help this affiliate keep the dream of homeownership alive throughout the year. 

Thank you, all!

E.J. Thomas
President & CEO


Homeowner Services

Dedication of Mohamed & Mohamud Family Home, February 6

We couldn't have asked for a better day to dedicate a new home to the Mohamed & Mohamud family! Joined by sponsors Hexion and The Montei Foundation, the family received their keys and officially became Habitat MidOhio homeowners! Thank you to the sponsors and dedicated volunteers who helped make this build possible!

Wall Raising of Gussler Family Home, February 8

We had a big crowd to help the Gussler Family kick off their build in Newark! House sponsors Park National Bank, Licking Memorial Health Systems, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, New River Electrical, The Energy Cooperative, and the City of Newark, came together to celebrate and commemorate the start of the family's home! We can't wait to watch the progress of the build and celebrate with them when they become homeowners!

Dedication of Kidd Family Home, February 29

We were so excited to celebrate with Marley and her kids at their home dedication! We were even joined by Marley’s sister Hannah, who is also a Habitat homeowner, as well as their friend Jamie, whose home is currently underway. A huge thanks to Discover for providing both funding and volunteers on this home, which is the 20th home they’ve sponsored here in central Ohio!



The Many Contributions of Women In Construction At HFHMO

As we’ve recently completed National Women In Construction Week (March 3rd-March 9th), we would like to take the opportunity to recognize the importance of the women in construction at HFHMO!  Many of you likely are familiar with the Women Build program at our affiliate.  We are currently in the process of our 17th Women Build on Genessee Ave in North Linden and as usual things are progressing very well.  The work and service put in throughout the winter months by the women of central Ohio is nothing short of phenomenal!  Kudos to all involved!   

Many may not know that in addition to the active Women Build program and the many other women who volunteer regularly through Adopt-a-House groups, as individual volunteers, and as part of corporate groups, that our HFHMO construction department staff has a significant number of female members all bringing different strengths to the department.  One third of our construction department staff and AmeriCorps position are held by women.  Let’s introduce them to you today! 



Shop: Our inventory is always changing and now is the time to upgrade and refresh your home as we head into the warmer months! Check out all of our new and donated items, featuring La-Z-boy furniture, Dahdoul flooring and home décor, Butcher Block countertops and many other great items donated generously by individuals and corporations! Shop all of our locations or online.

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.)

Donate: Spring is a time to start fresh! Out with the old and in with the new! We would love to be a part of your spring-cleaning process. Items donated to Habitat MidOhio go to our ReStores to be sold at an affordable price to the community which in turn helps support us on our mission to create affordable housing in central Ohio. Do you have bigger items that won’t fit into your vehicle? No problem, we will come to you and pick up for free!

Check out more information on what items we accept and how to set up a pick up here!

ReStore Warehouse Project

The Restore team has undertaken a large project to try and save hundreds of thousands of items from going to the landfill. Help spread the word about available items, or by volunteering.


Please welcome Liz to HFHMO as our newest Team Member at the Westerville Road MidOhio ReStore.

Liz recently volunteered in our ReStore and really enjoyed the environment and decided to join our team permanently. Liz is most excited to work with all of the other Team Members again and wants to work hard and gain more experience in our store. Outside of work Liz enjoys watching movies, reading, and learning new skills, like coding! Fun fact: Liz can juggle!

We are also excited to welcome (back!) Rick & Caleb.

Rick and Caleb are joining us as ReStore Warehouse Coordinators. They will be hard at work in the warehouse processing all of the retail closeout inventory we’ve recently received. They will be helping meet our goal of generating more revenue for our mission by processing all of the inventory we sell as quickly as possible.

Volunteer Services

We are gearing up for Playhouse “Blitz Season” and are seeking more Playhouse Captains! Playhouse Captains coordinate groups of 8-10 volunteers in assembling and painting playhouses. Having volunteer captains allow us to engage more groups and lead playhouse builds more effectively. We will be holding training sessions in March and April for new captains.


Please join us in welcoming Ray as our new Special Projects Manager here at Habitat MidOhio!

Ray applied to work with Habitat because he wanted to use his education and construction experience to impact his community in a meaningful way. He is excited to work with our great staff and volunteers, and is looking forward to providing memorable moments for children. Outside of work Ray enjoys wood working projects and has been trying his hand at smoking meats. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two dogs, and has coached high school football for 10 years! Fun fact: He and his wife met while working as counselors as an Ohio State summer camp. He is a huge OSU fan!


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

As we welcome the warmer weather we also welcome March as a celebration of women!  March is filled with activities, education, remembrance and rejoicing on what women have achieved and the work still to be done.  

Women in Construction Week which celebrates and promotes the role of women in the construction industry. Here at Habitat MidOhio we are proud to have our 17th Women Build house under construction!  

Women's History Month is a celebration of women's contributions to history, culture and society and has been observed annually in the month of March in the United States since 1987.

International Women's Day is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8. Women across the world use this day to come together to celebrate and rally for equal treatment and representation.

Christians celebrate Lent, a season of 40 days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes just before Easter, the day that the church celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. For many, Lent is a season of prayer, fasting and reflection. We invite you to take part in Habitat for Humanity International’s Lenten Devotionals during this season which focus on love and lessons from Jesus.

Ramadan is celebrated this month and is considered one of the holiest months of the year for Muslims. In Ramadan, Muslims commemorate the revelation of the Qur’an, and fast from food and drink during the sunlit hours as a means of drawing closer to God and cultivating self-control, gratitude, and compassion for those less fortunate. 


Resource Development

Have you heard of Habitat MidOhio’s monthly giving program, Foundation Builders? Monthly donors are essential to - as the program name suggests - building a strong, stable foundation for Habitat MidOhio to continue our work towards addressing the affordable housing crisis in our community. Why give monthly?

  • Impact - Your monthly contributions compound over time creating a significant long-term impact on Habitat MidOhio and your community.
  • Easy & Convenient – You can set up your gift online at the link below, through the mail, or over the phone and can cancel or change your donation amount at any time. You’re in control!
  • Budget Friendly – Large, one-time gifts can be hard on your budget. By making more modest monthly contributions, you can provide meaningful support without the strain on your budget.
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  • Bank of America
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  • AEP logo 1.19.21
    AEP logo 1.19.21
  • Champion Companies
    Champion Companies
  • Nationwide Founation
    Nationwide Founation
  • Hexion
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  • New River Electrical
    New River Electrical
  • OCCH
  • Donatos
  • Home Depot
    Home Depot
  • OHTF
  • Owens Corning
    Owens Corning
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  • Ohio EPA
    Ohio EPA
  • Ohio Wireless
    Ohio Wireless
  • Affordable Housing Trust
    Affordable Housing Trust
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