Spokane Valley goes in big on tiny house movement

Spokane Valley goes in big on tiny house movement

(Spokane Spokesman-Review) Retired pastor Ian Robertson is taking a unique approach to addressing the problem of homelessness — and, in particular, the problem of 1,600 homeless children in Spokane Valley school districts. He believe tiny houses are the answer to this big problem. Click here to read this extensive look at the program in the Spokesman-Review.

Fuller Friday turns Black Friday into something more positive

Fuller Friday turns Black Friday into something more positive

The day after Thanksgiving has become an opportunity for bargain-hunters to snag some great deals on gifts for others and themselves. For others, it has become a day to relax at home and avoid the massive crowds.

Now, for those who would like to see the day known as Black Friday be something everyone can cherish, there is Fuller Friday. Fuller Friday is an opportunity to give a gift that truly changes lives — the gift of a simple, decent home.

"Every year about this time we start the search for the perfect gifts, but the whole process has become increasingly commercialized," Fuller Center for Housing President David Snell said in statement. "There’s no more striking symbol of that than Black Friday.  On one hand it’s good that we take time to think of our loved ones and honor them with gifts, but, my goodness, we do seem to go overboard!"

"Fuller Friday offers a unique opportunity to remind us of the true spirit of Christmas, the day we celebrate God’s gift of His son to redeem us all," he added. "Throughout His ministry, Jesus taught that the greatest commandment — after loving God — was to love one another, to take care of the poor and the afflicted, and to reach out to those in need.

"A great way to do that is to share of your blessings to help a family in need to have a decent place to call home, and Fuller Friday is a great way to do just that. Whether you’re making a gift to a family through this ministry or giving an alternative gift to a loved one you can be sure that you are doing just as we’ve been counseled to do — loving others and reaching out to those in need."

If you would like to honor a loved one with a gift on Fuller Friday 2015, please click here. You’ll have the opportunity to receive a Christmas card that you can give your loved ones to let them know they inspired your gift.

IN THE NEWS: Elderly widow thankful for volunteers who fixed leaky roof

IN THE NEWS: Elderly widow thankful for volunteers who fixed leaky roof

(Spartanburg Herald Journal) Beaudell Gilliam hoped that her husband would soon be able to get over his physical ailments enough to repair the leaking roof of the home that they had shared for 58 years. She hoped that they could quit catching rain drops in buckets throughout the house and that they could remove the ugly tarps from their roof. Unfortunately, he did not get better, and when he died, Beaudell believed she would have to abandon the home that she so loved. Then The Fuller Center got involved. "I thank God for them being here," she said.

For the full story in the Spartanburg Herald Journal, click here.

Click here for a photo slideshow from the Spartanburg Herald Journal.

IN THE NEWS: Fuller Center of Macon in the spotlight on Georgia Gives Day

IN THE NEWS: Fuller Center of Macon in the spotlight on Georgia Gives Day

(WMAZ-TV) The Fuller Center for Housing of Macon, Georgia, is in the midst of its biggest fundraising campaign event of the year today as they participate in Georgia Gives Day, a crowdfunding opportunity for nonprofits throughout the state. WMAZ-TV caught up with Fuller Center of Macon’s Executive Director Dianne Fuller to talk about the effort and what the covenant partner plans to do with the funds they raise, as you can see in the video below. And click here if you would like to visit The Fuller Center of Macon’s Georgia Gives Day fundraising page.

IN THE NEWS: Former TV weatherman, Air Force veteran honored in Peoria

IN THE NEWS: Former TV weatherman, Air Force veteran honored in Peoria

(WEEK-TV) The Illinois Valley Fuller Center for Housing in Peoria specializes in helping local veterans have simple, decent places to live, and their efforts are amplified every Veterans Day. As part of Wednesday’s Veterans Day celebration, the Fuller Center covenant partner surprised Air Force veteran Vic Burnett, also a longtime weather forecaster and personality for WEEK-TV, with a special recogniztion and service. Learn more about this special event in the video below:

United Church of Christ gives huge boost to Nepal recovery effort

The United Church of Christ has launched an effort to build 50 safe, permanent homes in the earthquake-ravaged country of Nepal and will be doing so with a familiar partner, The Fuller Center for Housing.

The Christian denomination and the Christian housing ministry worked well together in building permanent homes as part of the long-term earthquake recovery effort in Haiti, which was struck by a massive quake in 2010. The UCC funded the construction of 32 Fuller Center homes in Haiti, more than one-sixth of The Fuller Center’s total in the island nation.

Now, The Fuller Center aims to build 200 new homes in the area of Trishuli, and the UCC’s pledge to help will allow local leaders to truly ramp up the effort.

“We had worked with you guys in Haiti, so there already were some connections there,” said Zach Wolgemuth, Executive for UCC Disaster Ministries who paid a visit to Fuller Center headquarters in Americus, Georgia, on Monday to discuss the effort. “So, when the Nepal earthquake happened, we were looking for certain partners. We don’t have offices internationally for disaster response and recovery work. We work through partners and partners who do have local relationships. I was looking for organizations that had established relationships there, that were not just coming into the community right after the disaster, so I thought of (The Fuller Center).”

Fuller Center President David Snell said that the follow-through that the UCC witnessed from The Fuller Center’s work in Haiti is important whether it is dealing with an organization like the UCC or an individual donor. He said the trust between donors and the ministry is key to its success.

“We too often call donations to our work ‘gifts’ when in reality they are ‘trusts’,” Snell said. “The donor is entrusting us with funds to serve a purpose on which we both agree. Honoring this trust is among our most important duties, and we’re pleased to know that the funds entrusted to us by the United Church of Christ for our work in Haiti honored their expectations.

“Now, we’re moving forward with another generous sum entrusted to us for our earthquake recovery work in Nepal,” he added. “I’m confident that they will be pleased by how their funds are used there as well as how we reach out together to bless more of God’s people in need.”

Wolgemuth echoed the importance of trusting its partners.

“That makes a world of difference,” he said. “We’re dealing with donated dollars, folks that have given from the depths of their heart and out of conviction, so a major part of my job is to make sure that those donated dollars are utilized in an appropriate way — that they are going to the things that they need to go for but also that funds are utilized wisely and not squandered or wasted. The fact that we worked with you guys in Haiti worked to build that trust. And that’s really what it’s about — the trust and the relationships.”

Wolgemuth visited Nepal on a trip with Fuller Center Director of International Field Operations Ryan Iafigliola in June to survey needs and examine the situation in Trishuli, where The Fuller Center had a previously established local presence and had completed 12 homes before the quake. All 12 of those homes were not only still standing after the quake but completely unscathed despite being just about 30 miles from the epicenter.

“I was certainly impressed with the quality and the construction of the homes,” Wolgemuth said. “Knowing that the homes prior to the quake had been built in this seismic area and ended up fairly close to the epicenter of the quake itself and really didn’t sustain any damage at all was certainly a major factor. It is really, truly a sustainable project.”

He also was able to meet local Fuller Center leaders in Nepal, notably Samuel Tamang, and left confident that the right team was in place locally to ramp up the work of building more homes for people in need.

“That’s one of the things I always look for with our international response — that local relationships are there and local people are able to either make all of the decisions or at least be involved significantly in the decision-making process about how their community is going to recover,” Wolgemuth said. “All disasters begin and end locally, so local people need to be able to make the decisions about how they are going to recover. I was impressed with the local leadership in Nepal, especially with Samuel (Tamang) and the support and the connections that he had and the vision he had for how to ramp up if the resources were available.”

Iafigliola said the resources the UCC will provide toward its goal of working with The Fuller Center to build 50 new homes in Nepal will be a game-changer for the housing ministry and families in need.

“These homes will enable hundreds of people who have experienced terrible trauma to feel safe and secure in new earthquake-resistant homes,” Iafigliola said. “It will also help us continue to support the Nepali economy as we create jobs, teach masons earthquake-resistant construction and purchase local materials. The UCC has been a great partner in disaster recovery efforts.”

During Wolgemuth’s trip to Americus on Monday, he was able to have a down-home, Southern-cooking lunch with Snell and Iafigliola and meet with staff members at The Fuller Center’s quaint but cozy headquarters.

“This is great,” he said as he looked around the small building. “You guys are grass-roots, absolutely, which is wonderful. Knowing the heart of The Fuller Center and how The Fuller Center came to be, I did not expect anything different than what I see here — humble and simplistic.”


Click here to see photos of The Fuller Center’s work in Nepal.

Interested in taking a Global Builders trip to volunteer in Nepal? Click here.


IN THE NEWS: Partnerships make Southside revitalization possible in Indianapolis

IN THE NEWS: Partnerships make Southside revitalization possible in Indianapolis

(The Southside Times) A new Fuller Center of Central Indiana house on Caven Street is going to a mother, Veronica, and her four children, who have lived in Indianapolis for five years. The three-week build was made possible by partnerships with Sacred Heart of Jesus and Old Southside groups. To read the complete article in The Southside Times, click here.

IN THE NEWS: Transformation of Indy's Old Southside community has begun

IN THE NEWS: Transformation of Indy's Old Southside community has begun

(WTHR-TV) The Fuller Center of Central Indiana has been very busy over the past month building a home in Speedway and two more in an area known as the "Old Southside", not far from Lucas Oil Stadium. Much like the Fountain Square neighborhood that The Fuller Center revitalized, the Old Southside is an area many people had written off as hopeless. But local Fuller Center leaders, volunteers and residents see great potential for the community. Indianapolis’ WTHR takes a look at the project in the video below:

13 WTHR Indianapolis