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Escape the Chill of Winter with a Culinary Adventure

Imagine yourself surrounded by lights, music and fine food. Outside, it’s the middle of February. Inside, the air is warm and the mood evokes feelings of somewhere far away.  There is a hint of adventure in the room. Several items you could use to further escape the chill outside are at your fingertips.  You peer out of the room’s windows to see snow flurries in the wind.  You look across the spacious room and see the first course of a gourmet meal unveiled for the crowd. The scent takes you someplace far away from the cold.  You make your way to your seat to join your friends.  As the first bite hits your tongue, you’re transported to another place, leaving winter behind.  As the remaining courses make their way to your table, you find yourself losing sight of the chill outside.What restaurant will take over the Clay Center on February 22nd?

This February, Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam gives you the chance to escape the blustery cold and dine with one of the state’s most popular gourmet restaurants.  As we’ve done in the past, we’re bringing one of the West Virginia’s top restaurants to Charleston.

The Grand Lobby of The Clay Center will fill with food, music and members of our community as we showcase a veteran chef’s creations for you to enjoy.  Our event will feature seven popular dishes, wine and spirits, as well as a signature cocktail.  You will indulge in several unique tastes and textures that most have only read about in travel magazines.

Music from a popular live band, inspired by your culinary adventure, will fill the Grand Lobby with excitement as we showcase the specially-selected items from our one-of-a-kind silent auction.  The things you’ll be bidding on will take you farther than you can imagine.  We’ve curated a selection of items to bring new adventures and exciting travel to your life!

All adventures should include in bit of mystery, so we can’t tell you too much yet.  In the coming months, we will drop hints and clues about what we have in store for the Kanawha Valley this winter.

Join us in the Grand Lobby of the Clay Center in Charleston this winter for a culinary adventure.  Leave the cold behind.

Celebrating National Dog Day: August 26th

August 26th is National Dog Day

Many people that we partner with dream of one day owning a home where their children can have a pet, and there comes a time in most parent’s lives when they’re asked that one particular question by their kid: “Can we get a dog?” This weekend may be a good time to say yes. Saturday is a day to celebrate dogs — all breeds, pure and mixed. It also serves to help mobilize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need rescuing each year. National Dog Day also honors service dogs that work to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort to people.

You may not know it, but dogs are more than just pets. Dogs put their lives on the line every day, and we put them to use in a multitude of ways. We adopt them for personal protection, for law enforcement and to help the disabled. Dogs even ensure our safety by detecting and finding bombs. Some work to keep the streets safe by sniffing out drugs and tracking criminals. Now, scientists are using dogs to detect cancer and oncoming seizures — things even humans cannot do. Dogs definitely deserve a day of recognition.

If you’re an exceptional dog mom or dad, chances are, you already have pictures picked out for your adorable posts to commemorate National Dog Day. Yes, those posts that will make us wannabe dog owners sit in a corner and pet our screens.

Celebrate the Dog in Your Life

If you want to celebrate National Dog Day, it can be as easy as giving your four-legged friend a big hug and kiss. Other ways to celebrate your soul-mutt include teaching your dog a new trick, getting your pooch a new collar or doing something special for Fido. You can’t go wrong with new treats or a day in a park. If you are looking for other ways to show your love for man’s best friend, but you’re not a dog owner, you can always donate food, bedding or toys to your local shelter.

Some people say part of the American Dream is having a home with space to let their children play. What better way to get a child active than to give them a pet partner to burn off some of that young energy. If you can provide a good home and the attention a dog needs, go a step further and adopt a dog from your local shelter.

In honor of the 2017 National Dog Day, we’ve put together a slide show (top of the article) featuring our staff’s furry friends. Not everyone in the building owns a dog, so we’re including man’s other best friend – cats – in our slideshow also.

We want to see your furry friends! Post your pet pictures to our Facebook page.

Learn more at

Tips to Save Money During Peak Summer Heat

As the temperature continues to rise this summer, your power bill doesn’t need to increase by extreme degrees too. Saving money is easy.

save money on bills with energy efficiency tips

Here are some strategies from Appalachian Power to conserve energy and save money on your electric bill.

• Close the drapes on the sunny side of your home while you are there, or close all window coverings if you are leaving for the day.

• Turn off unnecessary lights and use energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs, which use less energy and give off less heat.

• Seal air leaks with caulking and weather stripping, and minimize door traffic to keep the cool air inside.

• Use heat-producing appliances such as your dryer, dishwasher and range during the cooler nighttime hours.

• Turn air conditioners to the highest comfortable setting to save money. Energy experts recommend 76 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re home and 80 degrees while you are away. Adjusting your thermostat up a few degrees will have a significant impact on your cooling bill, saving approximately 30 percent on your summer cooling costs.

• Clean or replace your air conditioning filter monthly, or as needed.

• Keep coils on the exterior air conditioning unit free of dirt, grass clippings and leaves.
Save Money

For more information about how you can save money and maintain your home for years to come — check out our Master Homeowner Program — designed to teach you the basic skills necessary to be a successful, lifelong homeowner.

A Habitat Love Story

A Habitat Love Story

In the summer of 2006 a young man and a young lady decided to give a day of their time to volunteer at a Habitat jobsite. That decision led to a beautiful relationship that culminated in a wedding ceremony the following summer.

The young woman was the now former Wendy Ewald, a special education teacher  who was coming out to volunteer with her church; Forrest Burdette United Methodist. When other church members had scheduling conflicts and couldn’t make it out that Saturday morning, Wendy decided that she would go anyway.  The young man, Rob Laukoter, former President of the Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors and pastor at the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Culloden, was fulfilling his responsibility to work on the board of directors’ “Board Build Day.” Little did he know that his life would forever be changed that day.  A little over a year later the two were wed.

To celebrate their love, Rob and Wendy decided to ask their friends and family to honor their marriage by coming out for a day to work on the Habitat jobsite.  One week before their wedding, a large contingent of friends and family helped to build a Habitat house on Charleston’s West Side. Habitat held a special lunchtime ceremony to mark the occasion and the bride-to-be was given a hard hat with a veil to wear during the ceremony.

Rob and Wendy remain committed to the mission of Habitat for Humanity and volunteer often.

Our History: Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam

Our History: Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam

When a small group of folks met in the living room of a Teays Valley home on January 28, 1988, they had no idea of how many people would be impacted by what they were about to do. Among the group present that evening were four friends who had lived and worked at Koinonia Farm, a place in southern Georgia that was also the birthplace of Habitat for Humanity. They knew they wanted to bring this special ministry to Kanawha and Putnam County and had heard stories and seen firsthand the way the fledgling ministry had changed people’s lives in Georgia. Knowing that many of their own neighbors needed a decent place to live, they decided to step out on faith.

Mountaineer Habitat for Humanity was incorporated in 1988 as the 256th affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Thanks to the extraordinary abilities of its first executive director, Bill Londeree, the affiliate accomplished much in its first five years. Our first house, built for the Groom family on Charleston’s West Side, brought together countless organizations and people who otherwise never would have been involved in affordable housing. During the next four years, Habitat would build 35 houses, buy and develop acreage in Putnam County and forge partnerships that would help build many more.

When Bill Londeree stepped down in 1994, his legacy was a successful organization with a reputation for delivering what it promised. In 1995, when Habitat finished up its Fuller Street development in Hurricane, new executive director Shawn Means turned his sights to addressing the extreme shortage of affordable housing in Charleston. Because of Habitat’s past performance, city leaders embraced the organization, and from 1995 through 2001, 45 new homes were built in and around the Charleston, West Virginia.

In 2000, we received an extraordinary gift of 29 acres of land in South Charleston from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. This gift would become a full-scale subdivision called “Jubilee Heights,” in honor of the Roman Catholic Church’s term for Year 2000 as “The Year of Jubilee.” During the next seven years, 30 Habitat families would build their homes on this plot of ground as streets and utilities slowly were put into place. During this same time, the organization grew and matured and changed its name to Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam to better reflect its expanded service area.

A new headquarters and a “ReStore” (a new and used building materials retail outlet) were established and expanded. To date, proceeds from the ReStore have been used to build 59 Habitat houses. As our ministry grew, professional staff was added to better equip our homeowners and homebuilders.

As we look toward the future, we know that a large part of it will be built on 50 acres of land generously donated by Gene Warden. Our North Hills Drive development will be a neighborhood where our Partner Families and volunteers build lasting memories.

Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.

All are welcome
Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam has an open-door policy: All who believe that everyone needs a decent, affordable place to live are welcome to help with the work, regardless of race, religion, age, gender, political views or any of the other distinctions that too often divide people. In short, Habitat welcomes volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds and also serves people in need of decent housing regardless of race or religion. As a matter of policy, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations do not proselytize. This means that Habitat will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must either adhere to or convert to a particular faith, or listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Founded in Americus, Georgia, USA, in 1976, Habitat for Humanity today operates around the globe and has helped build, renovate and repair more than 600,000 decent, affordable houses sheltering more than 3 million people worldwide.

Click HERE to make a secure, online financial contribution.