To all of our friends in Westchester: A toast to home this holiday season! A toast to home, to finally seeing family and friends, to fellowship and giving thanks—and of course, to gifts. One of the greatest gifts I have is a safe, stable, home.
A home means so many things. It’s where we lay our heads at night. It’s where we gather with loved ones; where we watch our children grow up. And often, it is where we feel safest.
This sense of security and comfort is a distant dream for the 140,000 families in Westchester County who struggle to afford their home and for the thousands more who live in unhealthy, unsafe or severely overcrowded conditions.
These families are not invisible. They are the backbone of our communities. They teach our children. They are first responders and essential workers. But no matter how hard they work, their rents keep rising and homeownership can feel all but out of the question. This is bad for them certainly, but it’s also bad for the health, education, and economies of our communities.
We know that Westchester residents believe as we do that families who work hard every day to provide for their families deserve an opportunity to access the transformational power of a safe, affordable home to call their own. And, supporting communities in embracing that philosophy is good for us all.
Toasts may not normally include a pitch, but we’re not living in normal times, so I am asking for your help. Habitat for Humanity is a well-known and well-respected global brand. However, our work is inherently local, and it is made possible only by the incredible support of local donors and volunteers. We work alongside the families we serve, helping to build and preserve homes and communities. We would love for you to join us.
An easy way to get involved is to support our ReStore. Whether you’re renovating your home, cleaning out your garage, downsizing, or decluttering, Habitat NYC and Westchester’s ReStore accepts your gently-used furniture, appliances, cabinetry, building materials and other household items. All proceeds from the store support Habitat NYC and Westchester’s mission, and all donations are tax deductible. For those of you who may be looking for a deal on some of the amazing items we receive, we recently launched our online store!
Another way to help is to donate. No matter how small or large your contribution, your gift of home will make a lasting impact in the lives of Westchester families.
As we look ahead to 2022, we are excited to work creatively with Westchester residents, businesses, nonprofits, and local governments to build long-term strategies to ensure generational affordability, develop homes at an impactful scale, and create opportunities for renters to purchase their homes, build equity, and pursue their dreams.
Home helps me pursue my dreams. Join us in giving Westchester families the gift of home so they can pursue theirs. To home, cheers.
Karen Haycox is CEO of Habitat for Humanity New York City and Westchester County
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