MONTH IN REVIEW: February 2015

MONTH IN REVIEW: February 2015

By Chris Johnson,
Director of Communications

On February 2, Groundhog Punxsutawny Phil emerged from his house and saw his shadow, guaranteeing six more weeks of winter. In an unpreceented move, The Fuller Center for Housing has since seized his home and given it to a more deserving family of opossums — at least until Phil decides to reconsider whether he actually saw his shadow.

Ever since then, the news from The Fuller Center and its covenant partners has been much more positive. Here’s a look at some of the goings-on from the past month.

  • Our friends Boots and Ramsay Walker are starting a new Fuller Center covenant partner in Lampang, Thailand — Boots’ hometown — and have hit the ground running on their first home project. See photos here.
  • Another new international partner, The Fuller Center of Bamenda, Cameroon, has completed its first project. Click here for the full story.
  • Earlier this week, our Director of International Field Operations Ryan Iafigliola completed his annual report on our international efforts in 2014. It turned out to be a record year for homebuilding and Global Builders volunteer participation! Learn more here.
  • President David Snell touched on the growth we are seeing in his latest blog post, noting how faith over faithlessness always seems to produce great results. Read more here.
  • The Fuller Center of Henry County made Valentine’s Day extra special for an elderly woman and her family in Stockbridge, Ga. Click here for coverage of that project.
  • KTBS-TV takes a look at how the Fuller Center of Webster Parish in Louisiana honored a longtime supporter by dedicating a house build to them. Click here.
  • The Daily News Journal of Smyrna, Tenn., offers this piece about Lindsey Bawcom, who will be riding across the country this summer with our Bicycle Adventure to raise money for a Fuller Center covenant partner she and others are looking to bring to an area just south of Nashville.
  • The Kansas City Star published this excellent piece about a family who went above and beyond in completing their sweat equity hours in the building of their Fuller Center home.
  • One of the most interesting projects we have going on right now is in Greenwood, Miss., where The Fuller Center is placing unused and donated Hurricane Katrina cottages on solid foundations and turning them into beautiful new homes in the Baptist Town neighborhood (which you may have seen parts of in the acclaimed movie "The Help"). Learn more about it here.
  • Dedicated volunteers Sona and Leo Maneulian, as well as our partners in Armenia, are featured in this MassisPost article about our continuing work there.
  • And, Linda Fuller, who celebrated a birthday this month, dropped by to meet with Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project Director Kim Roberts to promote June’s inaugural Lind-A Hand build for women. Linda and Kim talk about it in this short video.

Be sure to check FullerCenter.org and Facebook.com/FullerCenter often for ALL the news and updates from The Fuller Center’s work across America and around the world.

MONTH IN REVIEW: January 2015

MONTH IN REVIEW: January 2015

By Chris Johnson,
Director of Communications

January is usually a fairly quiet month for The Fuller Center with winter conditions curtailing a lot of projects, especially in the U.S. But there is a lot of work being done in the field by good-hearted folks willing to brave the cold.

And for those of us who can’t handle the cold — including myself as I’m a lifelong Georgia who thinks any temperature under 50 is "freezing" — there are all kinds of international hotspots where The Fuller Center stays busy.

One of those is Nicaragua, where I was fortunate to spend a week in January documenting the work of the covenant partner while being part of a Fuller Center Global Builders team led by none other than our president David Snell and several members of our Board of Directors. We all came away hugely impressed with the work in Nicaragua and it was hard to say goodbye to the wonderful, friendly, hard-working people there.

Please click here to see a special report, complete with video and photo galleries, about The Fuller Center’s work in Nicaragua
.

Also, click here to see what David Snell had to say about the experience.

Meanwhile, here’s a sampling of some other Fuller Center news from January … Read More »

MONTH IN REVIEW: December 2014

MONTH IN REVIEW: December 2014

By Chris Johnson,
Director of Communications

The holidays have been great this year, and the Christmas spirit is alive and well in the hearts of Fuller Center supporters and volunteers. Now, we are ready to charge ahead into the year 2015, which will be The Fuller Center’s 10th anniversary (hence the 10th Anniversary logo pictured at right). But while we’re focused on the future, here’s a quick look back at some of the news in December.

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MONTH IN REVIEW: November 2014

MONTH IN REVIEW: November 2014

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: Read More »

Month in review: October 2014

Month in review: October 2014

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: Read More »

Month in review: September 2014

Month in review: September 2014

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:
 

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Back in the 'valley'

By Aaron Carmichael,
Chief Development Officer

Well the injury bug has struck again.  Perhaps it’s my age.  Perhaps I’m pushing myself too hard.  Perhaps I’m pushing myself too hard for my age.  But whatever the cause, here I sit with a twisted back and bruised ego.  This time I need the attention of a trained medical professional.  Seriously, should I be able to stare straight down at the heels of my feet?  I don’t feel like I’m the king of the road right now, I kind of feel like I AM the road. 

In life, we’re not guaranteed all sunshine and roses.  There will be hard times.  There will be challenges.  David, writer of most of the Psalms, often lamented the challenges of life.  Psalm 23 is a perfect example of this: “…even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil.”  He didn’t say “IF” I walk through the darkest valley.  Walking through valley is assumed.  But the next part of that passage is really what’s most important: “I will fear no evil for you are with me.”    Whatever challenge we face, God is with us.  Some of those “valleys” are the making of our own hands and some are life circumstances.  But the one thing I am sure of is we are promised that we will not have to walk that valley alone.

There are countless families in this country and around the world that are in their own “valley.”  Millions of families have housing insecurity.  At the Fuller Center for Housing, we want to be that hand of God that helps these families out of their valley and placed on firm footing in a simple decent home.  We need your support to make this possible.  Visit my donation page and make a tax-deductible gift that will help change the future of a deserving family.

A time for renewal

A time for renewal

By Aaron Carmichael,
Chief Development Officer

I believe spring has finally sprung here in Indiana.  This past week I have been able to take my workout, at least part of it, outside.  We’ve had some amazingly gorgeous weather and I just couldn’t wait to get outside and enjoy it with a few evening jogs. 

But getting off the dreadmill, I mean treadmill, and hitting the pavement isn’t without its perils.  There are a few things you don’t have to worry about at the gym … like traffic.  Do you remember the old Atari video game Frogger?  Imagine the little frog jumping through traffic with running shoes on … that’s me.  And of course there are unfenced dogs in my community lining every block waiting for an expectant jogger to come by.  My first outside jog was a good 4 minutes faster than my treadmill time.  It’s funny how fast you can be when you’re running for your life. Read More »