HfHCC Welcomes Chris Wiseman as New Executive Director

Habitat for Humanity of Chester County is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Wiseman as the new Executive Director. Chris will be responsible for the leadership of the organization and will work closely with the Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and Habitat families to bring more affordable housing to Chester County.

Chris brings a wealth of nonprofit experience, including 20+ years in financial development, strategic planning and implementation, staff and board development, and operational effectiveness.  Most recently, he served as the Director of Operations at Germantown Academy where he managed key areas of operations, security planning, camps, and school programming.  Chris has also served in a variety of roles with the YMCA in Illinois, California, North Carolina, and close to home here in Coatesville.  As the Executive Director at the Brandywine YMCA, Chris led the operations and services for the full-facility branch, serving more than 10,000 members and increasing the net revenue by more than $400K.

Now in our 31st year, Habitat for Humanity of Chester County has significantly expanded our current level of single-family construction in Coatesville and our new 40-townhome community in West Grove.  We currently have nine (9) homes under construction and look forward to their completion when the statewide restrictions are lifted.  Chris will be instrumental in working with local philanthropic and community leaders, donors, volunteers, and Habitat friends to drive the organization’s impact on the growing need for affordable housing in our local community.

Chris is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.  Andy Signore, President of the Board of Directors offered, “We welcome Chris to the Habitat family and look forward to his leadership in our mission as we seek to ‘put God’s love into action and bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope.’

Build a House…Build a Dream Contest 2020

When we first announced that we would not be able to host the Build a House…Build a Dream contest on March 21st; we were so hopeful that we would be able to postpone until things calmed down. With Governor Wolf’s shelter in place order and the extended closing of schools, we came to another sad truth that getting all of our participants together this year wasn’t going to be a possibility.

But that didn’t stop us! We want to show off all the hard work the students have put into their dream homes by hosting the first-ever VIRTUAL Build a House…Build a Dream contest! We are asking participants to email us a photo and/or video of their dream homes with their 100-word description of the inspiration behind their house. We will upload all the pictures and videos into a presentation and share everyone’s work in a video.

The virtual event will take place on May 2nd from 10am-12pm via a YouTube link sent to everyone that submits a home. We will also share the video on our Facebook page for everyone else to see these amazing creations.

We welcome any 5th grade student to submit a dream home even if they were not previously registered for the event! We hope this allows for some fun at home while everyone is doing their part to stay healthy and safe.


We have made some changes to the rules to accommodate for the virtual version of the contest. You can find more information below but if you have any questions you don’t see an answer for, please email Becki Patterson at becki@hfhcc.org

Submission Instructions
  • All dream homes must be submitted by 5 pm on April 28th, 2020.
  • To submit your dream home, please email the participant’s name, age, elementary school, a picture and/or video showing their creation along with a 100-word description of how they came up with their design. Also, please let us know if you had originally worked on your dream home with a partner.
  • We will create a presentation of all of the homes and host a live YouTube video on May 2nd from 10am until 12pm displaying all of the submissions along with thanking our sponsors and pulling winners for our raffle prizes.

Please email submissions to becki@hfhcc.org

Contest Rules

Here are the updated rules to keep in mind when building your model dream home:

  • Models must be three-dimensional and fit on a base no larger than 2ft x 3ft.
  • Students must prepare one written description of about 100 words or less explaining why this is their idea of a dream house and highlighting any interesting features. This paragraph will be displayed with their homes.
  • Since the house will be displayed in your home, you are welcome to use electricity or any other element that might not have been available before.
  • Participants are also welcome to use liquids or goo when designing their homes since there is no risk to a venue location.
  • Students must include their name, age and what school they go to.
  • Since the contest will not be judged, we welcome the whole family to get creative and have fun building a dream home.
Helpful Answers
  • What exactly is this contest when it’s not happening virtually?
    It may be easiest to think of the contest like a science fair, except instead of making a science project, students build a model home. Contestants spend time before the contest building their three-dimensional model dream home and then present it on the day of the contest along with a written paragraph as to why this is their dream home. Judges will evaluate each entry based upon originality and creativity, use of materials, appearance and design, and independent effort.
  • Who can participate in this contest?
    Any fifth-grader in public, private, charter, parochial, or homeschool (or any other type of schooling we missed) can participate!

Tickets for our online raffle are now available!

We have raffle prizes available for participants and parents to win during the event. Raffle ticket sales are normally a big part of the funds raised during the Build a House event and are crucial to keeping Habitat’s mission going. If you’re able to purchase raffle tickets, we would greatly appreciate your support.

All students will be entered into the student raffles including passes to rock climbing, bowling, and other fun activities. We understand that most of these locations are currently closed due to the quarantine restrictions but we have been in contact with our fabulous donors and we will ensure that the prizes won will be valid for when the restrictions are lifted. (We can’t wait for that day to come!)

There are also 5 big-ticket raffle prizes available by purchasing raffle tickets through an online program!

Available Raffle Prizes:

6 One-Day Park Hopper Tickets to Walt Disney World

With the Park Hopper tickets, you can visit multiple theme parks on the same day of your ticket. These tickets are a $1,014 value! Tickets can not be used between Christmas and New Years.

Family Fun Package

Tickets for a family day out or a night for the parents to have some fun! Includes gift certificate to the West Chester Escape Room, Play Cards for Arnold’s Family Fun, Power Cards from Dave and Busters and six tickets to the Reading Fightin Phils. The package also includes a $20 Gift Certificate to Ron’s Original Bar and Grille.

Green Gardens Package

The essentials for a day of green-thumbed inspiration. Two guest passes to Longwood Gardens, a $50 gift card to Terrain Garden Café, a $50 gift card to Home Depot and a 1-month membership to ACAC Fitness. The package also includes a $20 Gift Certificate to Ron’s Original Bar and Grille.

Thrill Seeker Package

For the family that loves amusement parks! This package includes 6 tickets to Dorney Park, 2 tickets to Hershey Park and 2 passes to Six Flags Great  Adventure & Safari. The package also includes a $20 Gift Certificate to Ron’s Original Bar and Grille. 

All Out Art Package

A complete kit for creative experiences for everyone to enjoy! Includes a $30 gift certificate to Pinot’s Palette in Exton, a bottle of wine to take with you (your choice of white or red), a $50 Michaels Craft Store gift card and two admissions tickets to the Crayola Experience. Also included is a $20 Gift Certificate to Ron’s Original Bar and Grille.

Site Lines Newsletter | Spring 2020

Spring 2020 Edition

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Habitat for Humanity of Chester County’s utmost priority is protecting the people and communities we serve, and that has meant closures, cancellations, and postponements for our everyday activities. We have temporarily closed the ReStore, postponed our Build a House…Build a Dream annual fundraiser and halted any sponsored builds at the construction sites.

For some, the words “shelter in place” create a different crisis when you don’t have a safe shelter to protect your family. Donors like you have helped us build affordable homes for 31 years, and now, more than ever, it is crucial that we continue our mission.

Throughout this difficult time, we have learned that the key to moving forward is by working together. With your support, we are not just helping to build a house. You are ensuring families have safety, security and hope for a brighter future.

Thank you for your continued support. We pray for you and your families safety and health during this unprecedented time.

A HEARTFELT FAREWELL TO TWO OF OUR FRIENDS

 

      

Earlier this year, Habitat for Humanity of Chester County said goodbye to two staff members who have been with the affiliate, for collectively, 27 years. Executive Director Chip Huston decided to step down from his role after 17 years, and Bobette Meeter announced her retirement as Director of Family Services after ten years. During his 17 years as Executive Director, Chip’s leadership and advocacy in the community helped increase HfHCC’s impact on the need for affordable housing in Chester County. During that time, Habitat volunteers and donors built 92 homes in partnership with families in need. Outside of Chester County, Chip and his team participated in two trips to Louisiana, building three houses for Hurricane Katrina victims, and worked on the 2007 Jimmy Carter Work Project in Los Angeles.

As for the future, Chip will be taking time off to consider the ways that he can continue to contribute to the community. “It’s been a long year, and I need to get back to my full capabilities. I am not done helping people in Chester County. It’s my home and a place I love. One of the best places to live, work, and raise a family in the United States. A door is closing, but God has a plan, so I look forward to the window He will open.”

As Director of Family Services for ten years, Bobette helped 47 families achieve the dream of homeownership. Her lifetime experience in the banking world and genuine kindness towards anyone and everyone brought positive energy to the HfHCC office. Bobette was there from the time that families first submitted their applications to dedication day, making sure they all had the tools they needed for success as new homeowners. She also consistently helped out at the Driving to Build Golf Outing and the Build a House…Build a Dream event where her humor pushed everyone towards the finish line of very long days.

Bobette plans to continue giving back by volunteering at the Chester County Food Bank while enjoying retired life with her husband and kitties. She is excited to finally have time to work on all the DIY projects she has accumulated from the ReStore over the years and keep perfecting her already amazing baking recipes.

On behalf of the HfHCC staff, homeowners, and friends throughout the community, we say thank you to our friends Chip and Bobette. We wish you both good health and happiness!

VIWINCO PROVIDES WINDOWS FOR 5 NEW HOMES

 

Through the loyal support of donors like Mr. David J. Barnes, President of Viwinco, our mission thrives. Viwinco made a very generous commitment to Habitat board member Mike Cappelletti, pledging to donate the windows for the first five homes in our new Fuller Meadows community in West Grove. Mr. Barnes began his relationship with Habitat for Humanity of Chester County more than 15 years ago when he helped on a build site in West Chester. Having grown up in Chester County, he has strong ties to the community and its neighboring Habitat affiliates. He feels strongly that his role as a business owner is to be “good to the community” by giving back what he can to those in need.

He believes in Habitat’s mission and our focus on the affordable housing crisis. “Habitat is greater than what people know about it,” Barnes said, adding that he understands how difficult it can be to get the word out that our homeowners invest their sweat equity and hard-earned income into the purchase of their homes. As he puts it, they “have skin in the game” and that makes all the difference in their ability to appreciate and sustain the low-cost mortgages. Mr. Barnes loves our goals because “the people get involved, the people give back, and we need to always help those that have less.” His philanthropic spirit and dedication to helping others are demonstrated in both his community relationships and personal commitments. 

Mike has known Dave “Barney” Barnes for over 20 years, reflecting, “Dave has always been engaged in the community as a volunteer, supporter, and philanthropist. He has been a big part of the success of our builds in Coatesville for many years. We are grateful for his personal and Viwinco corporate support!” Thanks to Mr. Barnes and Viwinco, our future homeowners in West Grove will come home to safe, stable, and secure homes with a great view of their future through Viwinco’s windows.

WEST GROVE HOMEOWNERSHIP

   

Five townhomes are under a roof at the West Grove construction site! We are currently accepting applications for anyone interested in owning one of these brand new townhomes that feature:

• Brand new
• 1,680 square feet
• 3 Stories
• 4 Bedrooms
• 2 Bathrooms
• 40 unit community
• Starting at $175,000
• $0 down
• 1-3% 30-year USDA mortgage
• Family income ranging from $43,700-$92,250

For more information visit www.hfhcc.org/westgrovesite

 

Join Habitat for Humanity for a day of golf on Monday, September 14, at French Creek Golf Club in Elverson. Designed by renowned architect, Gil Hanse (designed the 2016 Olympic Golf Course in Rio), French Creek is a challenging, exclusive, and scenic course. Proceeds from the outing benefit the construction of affordable homes in Chester County.

Where: French Creek Golf Club, 4500 Conestoga Road, Elverson

When: Monday, September 14, 2020. Registration opens at 9 AM, shot gun start at 10:30 AM.

Registration: $400 for an individual golfer or $1,500 for a foursome and two tee signs.

Includes a continental breakfast at registration, on-course food stations for lunch, and gourmet food and cocktails, a silent auction, and awards to follow after golf.

Click here for more information

NEW EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: SUSIE JAMES  

Susie James was born and raised in West Chester and has lived in Chester County for most of her life. She grew up on a farm in East Bradford Township, where her father had his veterinary office. She was always surrounded by some sort of four-legged critter. As children, she and her sisters were lucky enough to ride horses and started fox hunting at an early age. It was one of her favorite ways to spend time as a family. Susie has two wonderful sons that she’s incredibly proud of. Both live close by, so Susie gets to see them often.

Since moving to Coatesville, she joined Doe Run Presbyterian Church, where she has served as a Deacon and Elder and sings with the choir. Susie says, “Through my church, I am also a volunteer with Family Promise of Southern Chester County…another wonderful non-profit organization whose mission is to alleviate homelessness.”

Susie’s professional life holds nearly 25 years of progressive experience in the Healthcare IT field, working for Shared Medical Systems, Siemens Health Services, and Cerner Health Services. She says, “I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of Habitat for Humanity as Director of Family Services where our vision is the hope that there will be a world where everyone has a decent place to live. By seeking to put God’s love into action, we bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope.”

 From everyone at Habitat for Humanity of Chester County, welcome to the team, Susie!

2020 Driving to Build Golf Outing

Join Habitat for Humanity for a day of golf on Monday, September 14 at French Creek Golf Club in Elverson. Designed by renowned architect, Gil Hanse (designed the 2016 Olympic Golf Course in Rio), French Creek is a challenging, exclusive, and scenic course. Proceeds from the outing benefit the construction of affordable homes in Chester County.

Where: French Creek Golf Club, 4500 Conestoga Road, Elverson

When: Monday, September 14, 2020. Registration opens at 9 AM, shot gun start at 10:30 AM.

Registration: $400 for an individual golfer or $1,500 for a foursome and two tee signs.

Includes a continental breakfast at registration, on course food stations for lunch, and gourmet food and cocktails, a silent auction, and awards to follow after golf.

Sponsorship Information

17th Annual Build a House Build a Dream Contest Postponed

We have been monitoring the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation closely with the health and safety of all our participants at the highest concern. With that in mind, we have come to a decision that we will be postponing the Build a House event (date to be determined). We will be working diligently to find a future date that is sensible for all the participants and within a reasonable time frame. We will communicate a decision on the postpone date for the event by the end of April.

We have also decided to postpone the Pastor Lunch that was scheduled for Monday, March 16th and our Coatesville construction site. We will be in touch with the rescheduled date as soon as possible.

It was a difficult decision to come to for both events but felt it was in the best interest of everyone involved. We will keep you informed as more information comes along with where and when we can showcase the student’s hard work and efforts.

We appreciate your understanding and thank you for your support of Habitat for Humanity of Chester County.