World Habitat Day 2017

Monday, Oct. 2

Skagit Habitat for Humanity highlights need for increased access to land for shelter on World Habitat Day

Mount Vernon, WA – September 28, 2017 — As the world continues to urbanize, cities will grow rapidly, with the number of people in need of decent housing increasing faster than ever before. To combat this growing trend, and in commemoration of World Habitat Day, Oct. 2, Skagit Habitat for Humanity is helping to bring attention to the often overlooked role of land for housing.

Habitat for Humanity’s global advocacy campaign, Solid Ground, focuses on improving policies and systems to increase access to land for shelter. Launched in March 2016, the campaign aims to touch the lives of 10 million people. Solid Ground is focused on four key areas: secure tenure, slum upgrading, disaster resilience and gender equality.

“Thanks to the support of partners and supporters, the campaign has already started to help millions of people access decent housing through changing land policies and systems,” said Kimberly Bell, Resource Development Coordinator “But there is still much work to be done. For many around the world, access to the land is the first big step toward having an affordable place to call home.”

Last year, over 150 governments agreed to the New Urban Agenda as a global framework highlighting the need for urban policies to emphasize housing, focus on secure tenure and prioritize community-led development. Skagit Habitat for Humanity invites its community and supporters to help ensure governments are held accountable to these commitments.

To learn more or to advocate for access to land for shelter, visit

About Skagit Habitat for Humanity:

Since 1994, Skagit Habitat for Humanity Homebuyers have built 31 homes along with the many volunteers dedicated to the program. 3 Skagit Habitat Homeowners have payed-off their home mortgages and now own their homes outright. $624,720 in property tax has been invested back into our community by Skagit Habitat Homeowners since 1995 & $302,785 in sales tax has been generated from sales at the Skagit Habitat Store since opening in 2009. Over 290 individuals have received on-the-job training, providing them with the skills needed to obtain employment. Over 1,700 tons of resalable materials have been saved from local landfills to date from donations from the generous residents, businesses and organizations in our community. 37 low income Homeowners have received minor repairs and maintenance through Skagit Habitat’s Habitat Helpers Program, allowing them to live safer following these repairs and in some cases allowing them to stay in their homes, providing them financial stability. Through shelter, we empower!

For more information visit us at | Facebook | Twitter

Habitat for Humanity International: |

World Habitat Day resources on

Habitat’s Solid Ground campaign:

The United Nations: |


Regence Provides a Foundation to Build on!

Skagit Habitat_Regence lockup

Regence and Habitat for Humanity have once again partnered, this time in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Regence.  This year we welcomed Regence employees as they joined us on the build site and worked alongside Future Homeowners and our many dedicated volunteers to build in the Summerlynd Neighborhood in Mount Vernon.  As part of this partnership Regence has pledged $5,000 to Skagit Habitat for Humanity as well.  Thank you Regence.  Your contribution will pay for half of the next foundation poured at the Summerlynd development, giving a family in our community stability for generations to come!

Regence, rooted in a commitment to the communities they serve since June 2, 1917, was built on the idea of neighbors helping neighbors.  This is a perfect fit for a partnership with Habitat for Humanity as we help Future Homeowners achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and their families.

In an article featured in the Seattle Business Magazine, John Levesque discusses Regence’s centennial and how Regence grew from a small communal collective to covering more than 2.4 million people in four states.  Read the full article “Past Experience: Most Happy Fellers” in the Seattle Business Magazine.

Olive Garden image & logo

We also want to thank Olive Garden in Burlington for providing lunch on the day Regence was on site.  They provided an elaborate feast of salad, bread sticks and build your own pasta that included a variety of noodles, sauces and toppers as well!  Thank you for building strength in our crew as they worked alongside the Regence employees and Future Habitat Homeowners.  We truly appreciate your continued support to Skagit Habitat as well as Habitat affiliates across the Country.


Regence build day photos


Lumber, Windows and Door… OH MY!

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In April of 2015 Skagit Habitat for Humanity Construction Coordinator Paublo Baca met with Lisa, Community Relations for WA of Sierra Pacific Industries.  This meeting got the ‘ball rolling’ for a partnership that would result in Sierra Pacific Foundation making a generous donation of materials for one Skagit Habitat for Humanity home.

On October 27th we received the good news from Sierra Pacific Foundation that our request for lumber, a sliding door and all of the windows for one home in the Summerlynd Neighborhood had been granted!

On the 5th of May 2016 Lisa, along with other Sierra Pacific Industries representatives, came out to the build site during Skagit Habitat’s National Women Build Week.  Representatives included Lisa, who is Community Relations for all of WA State, two representatives from the local Burlington Mill (Plant Manager and Human Resources) as well as a representative from Sierra Pacific Windows.  It was great having Sierra Pacific join us on the build site to see how their donation is helping our organization and gave them an opportunity to meet the Future Homeowner who will directly benefit from this contribution.

Sierra Pacific is an environmentally responsible forest management company and talk about keeping it local… lumber grown locally, milled in Burlington and used on a Habitat home in Mount Vernon.  But, we wouldn’t expect anything less from a company that prides itself on being a good neighbor.

About one month following Sierra Pacific Industries visit to the construction site, Skagit Habitat reached the phase of construction for installation of windows and doors.  On June 2, 2016 core volunteers began installing the donated product.  We cannot thank Sierra Pacific Foundation enough for seeing how strong and stable homes build strong and stable communities.  All of the staff and volunteers here at Skagit Habitat appreciate the time Lisa, Brad, Janifer, and Mike took out of their busy schedules to come out and see how this donation will impact Selamawit and her family as they build a brighter future together.  Thank you!

SPI blog collage FINAL

Huge Success Two Years in a Row!


National Women Build Week is a nationwide initiative of Habitat’s Women Build program developed in partnership with Lowe’s. Lowe’s donated $2 million to support this year’s National Women Build Week and will provide $5,000 gift cards to 300 participating Habitat Affiliate organizations and $25,000 grants to support 10 Affiliates ‘Girls Night Out’ build events in cities across the U.S. Girls Night Out evening builds will take place in Lowe’s parking lots and will engage Lowe’s Heroes and Habitat volunteers, kicking off National Women Build Week.  This year’s events will be part of a yearlong initiative between Lowe’s and Habitat for Humanity to build or repair 1,000 homes alongside families across the U.S. in time for the holidays. During National Women Build Week alone, volunteers across the country worked on 650 homes, which included the two homes here in Skagit County at the Summerlynd Development.  We were excited to be selected for a second year in a row for this nationwide event!

We had several groups join us, alongside of our National Sponsor Lowe’s Companies, Inc., and support National Women Build Week again this year to be a part of improving our community together.  Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves.  We thank all of those who supported this year’s National Women Build Week.  In addition to our National Sponsor Lowe’s we also received donations from:  Costco Wholesale Corporation, Girl Scouts of Western Washington Troop #40730, Jersey Mike’s Subs, North Puget Sound Carpenters Local 70, Party City, Skagit Bank, Starbucks CorporationUS Bank, Woods Coffee… Thank you all!  We also had groups throughout the week volunteering, in addition to our regular volunteers who are dedicated week in – week out to our program:  Ellingson Home Group of Keller Williams Western Realty, Lowe’s Heroes from Mount Vernon and Bellevue stores, Mount Vernon Fire Department, North Puget Sound Carpenters Local 70, Skagit Bank, US Bank…  Thank you all!!  Skagit Bank and US Bank were also participating this year as a United Way of Skagit Days of Caring project.  These groups had the opportunity to work alongside three Partner Families:  Selamawit, Jose and Noelly and Vidal, building their homes, helping them achieve their goals and requirements as Habitat Homebuyers.

The excitement of Media Day also drew a crowd of special guests and media from Skagit Publishing resulting in front page coverage in the Skagit Valley Herald for the second year in a row for National Women Build Week on Saturday, May 7th.  On Media Day we also had representatives from United Way of Skagit County, KAPS Radio personality Mike in the Morning, and Sierra Pacific Industries who donated doors, windows and lumber for Selamawit’s home.  It was great having Sierra Pacific Industries and Windows representatives join us on the build site to see how their donation is helping our organization and meet the family who will directly benefit.  Sierra Pacific is an environmentally responsible forest management company and talk about keeping it local: the lumber is grown locally, milled in Burlington and will be used on a Habitat home in Mount Vernon.

We cannot thank all those who volunteered and supported this week long event enough.  We also thank Lowe’s for providing our two Lowe’s Clinics this year, held April 7 and 14 at Lowe’s teaching us about selecting and proper use and safety of hand and power tools.  As always these were a great educational opportunity!  Thank you, especially to Darrell Smiley and your fabulous team there at Mount Vernon Lowe’s Home Improvement!  Looking forward to next year’s National Women Build Week!



Skagit Habitat for HumanityWe made the FRONT PAGE the morning after our Media Day yesterday! If you haven’t gotten your copy of the Skagit Valley Herald yet today… Go get one!! National Women Build‬ was a huge success this year, and guess what: its still not too late to be a part of this exciting partnership between Lowe’s Home Improvement and Habitat for Humanity! Tomorrow we will be at Summerlynd for one more day of National Women Build Week here at Skagit Habitat for Humanity. We cannot thank our local Lowe’s Home Improvement enough for their continued support, not only for‪ ‎NWBW15‬, but for everything they have done for us previously. Your staff and ServicePros and Managers were a great help in our Lowe’s Training Clinics and on the build site as well. We look forward to working with you tomorrow again and hope you remember you can join us on site… any time!
Thank you Shannen for joining us and for all your staff at Skagit Publishing that helped in getting this article put together, and for taking the time to join us on site yesterday!

Skagit HFH Store helps out Orcas Islanders

In the past many years, residents of Orcas Island have used their home-grown “Exchange” as a place to recycle useable items that might have gone into a landfill without the Exchange.  About two years ago, the Exchange burned completely, and since then islanders have either had to haul recyclables off island, throw them into the landfill bins, or hang onto them.  None of those options was very satisfying.

A year ago, one of our long-time volunteer families moved to Orcas Island, and learned of the Exchange situation.  Skagit HFH offered to bring our Store truck to Orcas on a test basis to pick up donations.  This began last spring and the response was extremely positive.  Islanders turned out to such an extent that the truck was full to the brim on more than one trip.  They really appreciated the opportunity to put their recyclable items to good use.

The effort to reopen the Exchange on Orcas Island has continued, and it looks like it will finally be back in operation in late 2015.  Until then, the SHFH Store will consider coming back to Orcas to serve islanders and recycle donations.  There is no regular schedule, but we try to meet the needs of the islanders when it fits well with the operation of our Store.  During these visits, we have found out that Orcas residents are generally unaware that Habitat for Humanity has a retail Store in Skagit County (they seem to be well aware of the Store in Whatcom County.)  The presence of our Skagit Store truck helps create awareness of our own Store–a more convenient location when coming off the ferry.