Welcome - This blog was created to discuss the common questions and topics concerning the start-up and ongoing operations of A Brush with Kindness and Aging in Place

Thursday, March 11, 2010

ABWK - Some Initial Considerations

A Brush with Kindness has been an important complement to our homebuilding at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity over the last 13 years.  However, whether it's building, or restoring homes our emphasis is on the families we serve.  Connecting our volunteers and community to the stories of our families has been the key that has helped our ABWK program grow and accumulate the resources to serve 125 families each year.  The following factors have also contributed to the overall success of our program.
  1. Getting all staff and board members to buy into the benefits of the program.
  2. Taking an inventory of our affiliate resources - financial, volunteer, staff and in-kind and putting together a game plan based on these resources.  We began using donated Valspar paint through HFHI which helped with much of our initial supply cost and helped us leverage other important resources.
  3. We started our program with basic exterior repair and painting which is highly visible and makes an immediate impact.  These are low cost and high impact projects that has helped our affiliate gain the experience, resources and reputation to grow its depth and breadth.
  4. Program work scope parameters determined the amount of resources we needed to begin.  Also we determined in advance how many families were going to initially serve based on our resources and goals.  What determined the limits of the type of work to be done.  Also, given our initial goals and parameters, we needed to determine how were we going to integrate ABWK into our overall Habitat philosophy and marketing strategy. 
  5. Outreach and collaboration with community agencies, businesses, churches and municipalities has helped us identify families in need, increased our resource development and enhanced our reputation with the public.
  6. We also targeted neighborhoods based on the relationships we wanted to build or enhance.  But we didn't allow neighborhood boundaries to limit us when other opportunities became available.
These are some of the most important considerations when starting A Brush with Kindness.  In the coming weeks and months I will be expanding on these and other of the most common questions and concerns.  Also, check out the program section of the blog for more information.Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

"Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." 
                                                                           - Mark Twain 

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