1. Tell us, what are you working on?
I have been working with Tabitha, the Homeowner Services Manager and learning a lot. My main task so far has been aiding in the Homeowner Selection Process. I have been focusing on the intake of new applications and working with these families to make sure their applications are complete.
2. What have you enjoyed most about interning with BHFH?
The staff and volunteers are all very welcoming and kind. It’s also just a good feeling to know that my contributions, even if they are small, are helping to put very deserving families into affordable housing.
3. How does this internship help with your career exploration/interests?
Interning here at Benton Habitat for Humanity has taught me a lot about the needs of our community. Before this internship, I did not have a lot of knowledge about the housing need in Benton County.
4. What do most people not know about BHFH that they should?
I think that a lot of people do not know the extent that Habitat can help people; before I started interning here I was not aware that Habitat even had a Home Repair program. I also think that it is important for people to know that the people at Benton Habitat for Humanity build relationships with their clients that do not end once the projects are complete.
5. If you were boss for a day (here or anywhere) what would be your first action item?
I think the first thing that I would want to do if I were a boss somewhere, would be getting to know the perspectives from everyone we interact with, including employees, volunteers, previous clients, and potential clients. I think gaining an understanding of how an organization functions through an outside perspective would be helpful for me as a person in that position.
Benton Habitat for Humanity brings people together to make decent homes achievable for everyone in our community. Interns have the opportunity to participate in many aspects of the organization and they can contribute to a variety of projects that assist with the achievement of the mission of Benton Habitat for Humanity.
The Intern will work with the Family Service Coordinator to assist with partner family services, the homeowener selection process, resource allocation, and event management. The intern will gain an understanding of poverty and housing issues and will work directly with the families that Benton Habitat serves. Close to half of our partner families are primarily Spanish speaking and we are hoping to support them better by offering bilingual services. This is an unpaid internship.
- Work collaboratively with the Family Services Coordinator to communicate and support existing clients, especially with Spanish speaking homeowners
- Identify potential avenues for funding, primarily grant acquisition
- Aid Family Services Coordinator in leading family support based committees
- Develop suitable action items for family support based committees
- Work with Family Services Coordinator to maintain connections and partnerships with community agencies
- Assist Habitat Partner Families in resource education
- Identify clients who would qualify for and have a need for Habitat’s Home Repair Initiative
- Guide clients in the services provided by Habitat and the necessary application processes
- Provide alternative resources and opportunities for non-qualifying applicants
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:
- Program administration and management
- Partnership building with community organizations
- Organizing, planning, and leading events
- Overseeing grant and funding process
- Program development
- Increased awareness of poverty and housing issues within Benton County.
KEY ATTRIBUTES REQUIRED:
- Strong communication skills and attention to detail
- Conversational or fluent in Spanish
- Ability to work with a wide range of people
- Consistent work ethic and good time management
Expectations for this position are to work a minimum of 10 weeks for at least 6 hours a week. This is an unpaid internship. If interested, please send a resume and cover letter to Tabitha Cuilla at Tabitha@bentonhabitat.org by December 21st, 2018.
We’re officially two weeks past our ReStore Grand ReOpening and we’ve been thrilled with the new space! The ReSet exceeded our expectations and we had 77 volunteers come out to our ReStore over the three-day remodel. We would like to give special thanks to the Knights of Columbus, Kings Valley Charter School, Collaborative Employment Innovations (CEI), and Homelife Inc. During this time volunteers helped to clean, move, and organize our entire store without complaint. We deeply appreciate each volunteer who choose to spend their time helping Habitat for Humanity during the ReSet. Another HUGE thanks goes out to TOGO’s, Papa’s Pizza, and American Dream who donated food for our volunteers during the event. Thank you!
If you visit the ReStore today, you’ll (hopefully!) notice how clean and organized it is. Clarrissa, one of our ReStore staff members, noted that “Customers seem to be coming in simply to see the new organized space! It has attracted so many more people to our store”. Without the help of our community, none of this would have been possible. This goes to show that the simple task of volunteering your time can make a big impact, especially with Habitat.
As you know, proceeds of the ReStore go towards building and repairing homes throughout Benton County. All of the inventory comes from donations within the community, from individuals to businesses and churches to schools. Nearly any home item imaginable can be purchased at a discount price, including furniture appliances, and building materials. The ReStore not only helps to build affordable housing, but it helps prevent usable items from being put in landfills and provides quality building materials at discount prices. To donate or shop, visit our newly organized and renovated ReStore at 4840 SW Philomath Blvd Corvallis, Oregon 97333!
If you have shopped at the ReStore with any regularly since April, then you’ve probably seen volunteer Chuck Murarz around the store. Chuck came to the Benton Habitat for Humanity ReStore by way of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), a program that helps adults 55+ gain work experience through volunteering with nonprofits and at public facilities. Administered through EasterSeals in Benton County, the SCSEP program is authorized by the Older Americans Act and helps to serve as a bridge to unsubsidized employment opportunities.
Originally from Chicago, IL, Chuck moved to Oregon 35 years ago. He doesn’t miss the Chicago weather, but he does miss seeing his favorite baseball team—the Chicago Cubs—in person. Along with following Major League Baseball and rooting against the Dodgers, Chuck enjoys watching movies. The fall is one of his favorite times of year because all the Halloween flicks. And, in case you are wondering, he only bothers watching the scary ones!
Around the ReStore Chuck has proved to be invaluable. He has gained a deep knowledge of the products we carry and pays special attention to the customer experience. When asked about his favorite part of the store, Chuck responded, “The checkout counter—it’s where the hard work pays off”! The mission of Habitat is something that also resonates with Chuck. He finds it amazing that “Everything that happens here leads to building homes in the community. We conjure something out of nothing, reselling overlooked items and making homes. THAT is really the best part”. We can’t agree more, Chuck. Thank you for all the hard work!