Thursday, March 19, 2015

Future opportunities

Our affiliate has been very blessed in enjoying the hard work and dedication of several interns during the past few months.  This semester, we are fortunate to count on Mr. Robert Modine and his construction and leadership skills.  Rob comes to us from United States Navy and is pursuing a degree in Communication from CSU Channel Islands.  Not only are we grateful for his service to our country, we are also grateful is helping us our as a Crew Lead on our Trinity Lane site in Santa Paula.  

In any case, we recently asked Rob what it is like to be an intern for Habitat Ventura.  Here are his words:

"Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County is an amazing organization to be affiliated with.  The staff has gone out of their way to make sure that my needs are met first.  Currently, I spend most of my time on the build site in Santa Paula, CA.  This is where I am blending my past background of construction into my current field of study.  I am a currently a student at CSU Channel Islands, majoring in communication and interning with Habitat for Humanity for a community involvement project.  I am also a Seabee in the United States Navy Reserves and served 5 years of active duty prior to.  It was an easy choice for me when choosing a community partner because of my past construction background in the Seabees and my more current knowledge base that I have gained through the undergrad communication program at Channel Islands.  This blend has made it easier for me to work with groups of volunteers that come from various demographics and teach them how to do multiple tasks.  Habitat is going out of their way for me to not only meet my educational needs, but for me to use this opportunity that will help further my future opportunities".

Rob pictured to the right

Interested in becoming an intern or volunteering with us?  Visit our website at and or contact Rachel McIver at and learn how.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Homes 59 & 60

It's update time! On Saturday, February 21, 2015, we had our groundbreaking ceremony for homes 59 and 60! This means, our new builds will soon be underway! This time around, as usual, we had a great turn out and we would like to thank everyone in the community for taking time our of their busy schedules to help us celebrate the two new homes that we are preparing to build. We would also like to thank everyone for coming out and supporting the families as well. Your kindness hasn't and will never go unnoticed!

We would also like to thank our Community partners. You are all blessings to us and your handwork and dedication to what we do doesn't go unnoticed. We appreciate you SO very much! To see more pictures from the groundbreaking ceremony, make sure you head over to our Facebook page and check us out!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Join Us in Welcoming Our Newest Habitat Families!

It's been quite some time since we last updated you all on all of the progress being made over here at Habitat for Humanity Ventura County! Since it has been so long, we decided to update you with some awesome news first! The long selection process is over and on February 10, 2015 we finally announced the newest members of the Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County Family. Tuesday evening, the families came in and met all of us, as well as each other and it was a joyous occasion. Now it is time for us to introduce these three wonderful families to you, so that you can share in ours and their joy. 

The first family is a family of seven from Santa Paula. They are a family consisting of mom and dad, four girls ranging in age from 7 to 19 and one boy who is twelve years old. The second family is a family of four, from Oxnard, consisting of mom and dad with two children, a boy and a girl, ages 2 and 8. The final family is also another family of seven consisting of mom and dad, two girls, 10 and 20, and three boys between the ages of 11 and 21. The oldest daughter in this family has received many awards in school for her hard work as well. 

All of the members in these families are hardworking people and they take great pride in all that they do. So, we ask that you join us in giving these families a warm welcome into their new extended family, Habitat for Humanity. We are so excited to be sharing in this incredible experience that these families will be going through and we can't wait to continue to update you all on the progress that will surely be made soon!

Please come out and meet the families at the Groundbreaking Ceremony on February 21, 2015. It will be held at our Trinity Lane site in Santa Paula at 9:00 am. Hope to see you all there!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

I really don't like good-byes

As the month of December comes to a close, as does the traditional school semester, we get ready to bid "adieu" to our wonderful Intern - Natalie Stone.  She came to us from California Lutheran University and currently plays for the Women's Basketball team.  She was a welcome addition to our Staff this semester and would brighten up our office with her positive energy and attitude.

Time is really flying.  Natalie started Interning for us back in July and now, she is wrapping up her assignments and preparing to leave next week.  Her assistance came at a key moment since thanks to her, many open or pending projects were completed dutifully and efficiently.  But before leaving, I was able to ask her a few questions about the time she spent here with us, sort of an exit interview I guess I can call it, and the following is her response:

During my six months at Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County I have met some of the nicest, most genuine people who right away welcomed me onto their team. The employees have the biggest hearts and want to help as many people in their community as possible. Everyday I came into the office I had the chance to help on different projects. I was able to learn from each staff member and I am taking little pieces of advice with me from each of them. The greatest lesson I learned from Habitat is concept of time. The employees and volunteers of Habitat for Humanity make a difference in people’s lives and the community everyday. Just by giving your time and going the extra mile when needed the staff and volunteers from Habitat amaze me with what they are able to accomplish each day. The staff uses their time and effort to help others around them daily.
I absolutely loved helping with the Hearts for Hammers dinner in early October. I had the chance to have my hand in many aspects of the event. From planning, decorating, the silent auction, and tear down I really got to see the work that goes in behind the scenes of this nonprofit. Hearing the testimonies from the Habitat home owners was such a humbling experience and makes all the work in the office and behind the scenes so worth it to see that Habitat for Humanity really does change people’s lives for the better. The event was a total success, and I am so happy I had the opportunity to be apart of it.
I will miss the staff here at Habitat for Humanity of Ventura the most. Each staff member has taken me under their wing to teach me new skills and help me succeed. I could never thank them enough for welcoming me on their team and always being there to answer all my questions. This is a really special group of people and I feel honored to have gotten the opportunity to learn from them and work along side this remarkable staff.

Thank your time and effort Natalie!  We will absolutely miss you, but we will certainly not forget you!  Your Habitat family wishes you the best of luck in all your future endeavors!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wall Raising at Trinity Lane - Home #1

This is a great video.  I'm not even going to write some sort of narrative to try and describe what is happening here.  Good people, doing good work.  Period.  For more really cool videos, please visit our YouTube page: Habitat Ventura videos.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"I feel happy"

Last Saturday night, our affiliate held it's second annual Hearts & Hammers Dinner and Auction.  The evening was nice, good friends, warm atmosphere and a wonderful meal.  Bob Carey, resident photographer, did an awesome job again capturing the spirit of the event.  We celebrated the fact that we have begun to build again, after a 2 year hiatus.  We celebrated the exciting direction where we are headed and most of all we just celebrated all things "Habitat".

The evening was truly enjoyable, I'm not kidding, it really was.  It fun to compete with other attendees for live and silent auction items and it was exciting to hear from our Executive Director as to where the affiliate is headed, now that our current development is underway.

I thought the best part of the event was hearing from Rosa, one of our 56 Habitat homeowners, regarding the life-changing event she and her family went through almost 4 years ago.  They went through a dramatic change as they moved from a small, cramped garage to a brand new, beautiful single family home.

But no one in the room captured the audience's attention like Mariana did.  Mariana is Rosa's young daughter and she put into words how she felt about the whole experience.

Obviously, Mariana's written words cannot compare to her spoken ones, but her message is one and the same - gratitude, so thank you Mariana, for sharing your thoughts with all of us.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bar tending for Cocktails in Havana 2014 at its finest

On August 22nd, the Real Estate Partners held their 4th Annual Cocktails in Havana evening.  This event has grown to become the second largest fundraising event for our affiliate and this year, there are rumors that net proceeds are near $60K.  This has yet to be confirmed since the final tally is being added up however, anyway you look at it, that is an impressive amount.  The first year, $11K were raised and the event has raised exponential amounts since then.  We are extremely grateful to Peter and Kristina Kalaydjian and Lupe Flores for their hard work, dedication and passion for Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County - thank you yet again.  You guys rock!

On that note, I would also like to give extra special kudos to my 2 cousins, Miguel and Chuy, for stepping up and bailing us out of a bind.  Other than the beer and hard liquor sampling, we had no barman to mix and serve drinks this year.  My cousins, who were on vacation here from Aguascalientes Mexico, offered to step in and volunteer.  This opportunity was a piece of cake for them since they both work at one of the most popular watering holes back in their hometown called "La Cantina".  In any case, Miguel and Chuy got busy as they proved they were certainly no fish out of water.  Peter told them his recipe for his famous "Jungle Juice" to which they picked up on right away.  No ingredients were written down at all.

During the evening, some attendees only wanted juice while others wanted mixed drinks and this resulted in uneven quantities of remaining ingredients.  So rather than closing up the bar, they began to do what they do best - they improvised.  They made their own jungle juices and margarita mixes by skillfully combining remaining juices or soda and liquor until all ingredients were gone.

Talk about being resourceful.  Not only did they use all ingredients wisely and evenly, they put out a tip jar and raised an additional $150 that went towards our mission.  These 2 gentlemen did an awesome job and I personally will be forever grateful to them.  I love these guys.  Gracias muchachos!  Los quiero mucho!