By Chris Johnson,
Director of Communications

November is supposed to be a month for thankfulness and gratitude, and it certainly was that for The Fuller Center. Not only are we thankful for some remarkable work being done in the field by our covenant partners in the U.S. and overseas, but we also continue to be blessed with generous gifts that ensure more and more families will be extended a helping hand.

Among those gifts in November was a $1 million donation by longtime friends and frequent volunteers Doug and Jill Miller. Many thanks to President Jimmy Carter for inviting the Millers and Fuller Center President David Snell and his wife, Sheilla, over to his home in Plains for the presentation.

Doug has worked hard all his life to achieve a great level of success and gladly shares his blessings — however, he insists on sharing it in ways that don't just help people temporarily but in the long run. He prefers our hand-up approach of partnering with families who are willing to work for a better life moreso than mere handouts that often have the opposite effect that was intended.

To read more about the Millers, their appreciation for hard work and their generous gift, please click here. And to see just some of the other big events from the month of November, see below:

By Chris Johnson,
Director of Communications

It's finally starting to feel a little bit like fall here in Georgia. This is often a time when our covenant partners hammer out plans for the next year and ramp up the end-of-year fundraising efforts to make those plans a reality.

But that doesn't mean the hammers have stopped swinging. In fact, one of the biggest events this month was last week's completion of The Fuller Center's 56-home Lambi Village in Haiti. Lambi was a great plan — building an entire community where families were full partners in the building process and not the recipients of the kind of well-meaning handouts that have unintentionally crippled the Haitian people.

With apologies to George Peppard's character Hannibal on TV's "The A-Team" (my favorite show back in 8th grade), I love it when a plan comes together. If you didn't get that, congratulations, you haven't watched too much bad TV. Haiti has seen plenty of plans made and plans fizzle, often before they even got off the ground. But Lambi stands as a testament to The Fuller Center's determination to follow through on plans and to help people help themselves.

Click here for the complete report on last week's dedication of Lambi Village.

Now, here's a sampling of other happenings in October. Click the links for full details:

By: Lydia Huelskamp

When you try something new you never know what to expect. Things could go completely wrong, you could find out you’re allergic to shellfish, or your clay pot looks more like a clay blob, or your haircut makes you look like your little brother cut your hair with his play scissors. Trying new things can be very scary.

However, without trying new things you also never grow, you would never find your new favorite food, discover you have a knack for painting, or start a new fashion trend. Trying new things can be very good. “Where is she going with this?” you may be asking. Well, this past weekend FCBA took a step into the unknown and discovered just how good trying new things can be. Here are a few examples of how our new Silver Comet ride really was a great, new experience:

By David Snell,
President, Fuller Center for Housing

I’ve reached that point in life where time seems to pass faster and faster, losing its steady pace in an ever-accelerating spiral.  When I feel like it’s getting out of control, though, I just take a minute to look back and I’m always amazed at how much activity filled those fleeting days and weeks.  Summer is the high building season for many of our covenant partners here in the States, and what a summer it was!

Things got off to an early start with April’s Millard Fuller Legacy Build in Louisville.  Over a hundred volunteers spent a week rehabbing six houses there, a project that helped the Louisville team receive the Mayor’s Spirit of Louisville award just this month.   These events are just like family reunions (except everyone pretty much likes each other and there aren’t any crazy uncles).  We had a great time in Louisville.

In June we hosted the Toolie Build right here in Americus.  To celebrate her 50th birthday,  our friend and supporter Karen “Toolie” Warkentien raised the money and mobilized the volunteers to build a house with the Battle family.  Being on the hosting side of the event took Sheilla and me back to our earliest Habitat days, when we cut our teeth putting together the Jimmy Carter Work Projects.  It’s a lot of work!

The summer Bicycle Adventure took off from Atlantic City in June for their 3,600-mile jaunt across the country.  Their fundraising goal was to cross the million dollar mark and they made it!  We joined up with them on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, my old stomping grounds, and got to share in the spirit that makes this so much more than a cross-country bicycle ride, as if that weren’t enough — a great group of dedicated souls spreading the word about our work all across the country, and having a good time doing it.

By Chris Johnson,
Director of Communications

In the past few months, the Ebola crisis has gotten more and more attention — and rightfully so. It's tragic to see the toll it has taken on thousands of families in West Africa and terrifying to think of the “what ifs.” What if we can't stop it? What if we can't contain it? What if it mutates and becomes more than we can handle?

When I think of the “what ifs,” here's one you may not have thought about: What if the Ebola outbreak had begun in a Haitian tent city with families crammed together in unsanitary conditions, more than four years after the devastating earthquake there? I believe it would have be even more devastating and would spread even faster.

Here's another “what if”: What if we stopped such outbreaks before they started? One critical element in that equation is decent, healthy housing. That's why we remain committed to helping our covenant partner in Sierra Leone, in the heart of the outbreak, as they strive to provide decent homes for families and move them away from the unhealthy slums of crowded cities like Freetown. If you would like to contribute to that cause, click here.

Housing is a key component to having healthy families and healthy communities. Studies have clearly shown that children who grow up in a decent home are healthier, happier and do better in school. That's why we're thrilled with each Fuller Center home built or repaired. And we're even more thrilled to see entire communities of Fuller Center homes.

And that's what we're seeing in Haiti, where an entire healthy community of decent homes will be completed during a Global Builders work trip Oct. 19-26 of this month. Haiti is a nation desperately in need of the kind of help The Fuller Center provides — help that empowers instead of creating a culture of dependency. This community sets the standard by which all nonprofits should operate. President David Snell will join volunteers on site for this momentous occasion and will share his thoughts from the experience with you. Click here to meet some of the dedicated volunteers who've helped make this possible and who will be revisiting Haiti this month to help us complete the place we call Lambi. They are some pretty impressive, service-minded folks!

Now, let's catch you up on some of the Fuller Center news you may have missed in September. (Like us on Facebook to make sure you never miss any news.) Click the links for each story: