Giving Back

Hammer for Heroes Event Attracts 400 People and Raises Money To Support Veteran Families

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RANDOLPH, NJ - Earlier this month, Morris Habitat for Humanity’s “Hammer for Heroes”, raised funds for two veterans, future Morris Habitat homeowners. The family friendly event attracted 400 people and several corporate sponsors raising over $25,000.

With help from volunteers, corporations, and families, 30 walls were built for the new homes; located on Harding Avenue in Dover.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to support our veterans,” said Shawn Hammon, a veteran who now works for eLEND, a mortgage lender that sponsored two walls at the event, which was held at the Morris Habitat ReStore.   E-Lend was one of six corporate sponsors, which funded walls (E-Lend, Longo Electric and New Jersey Realtors), the playhouse build (Lakeland Bank and The Home Depot ), and the hammer, wood and build stations (The Home Depot Foundation and Investors Bank).

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Participants , many of whom arrived early and stayed late for the event, came from different towns but shared the same motivation to help families in need.  Several families participated, including veteran Renae Florack and her son Jared, of Wharton; and 5 members of the Sardos Family of  Florham Park. 

"I'm looking forrward to help complete the building of these homes once construction begins", said  Linda Sardo, who has worked on Habitat construction sites in the past.

This year’s event was dedicated to our veterans and specifically to the two veteran families of Nathalie Figueroa and Edward Sartorius, who were selected for two of Morris Habitat’s four Harding Avenue homes to be built in Dover. 

Nathalie Figueroa of Dover is a veteran and active in the Army reserves where she serves as Military Police. She was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 for one year, working in support of battlefield operations, and conducted area security of US Army resources and installations. She, her young son and her grandmother will be moving into one of the homes.

Ed Sartorius,  is a veteran of the U.S. Army and is still active in the Reserves where he holds a rank of Sergeant, along with his wife and daughter will occupy the other home.  Sartorius had been deployed to Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and Afghanistan in 2008.

Hilltown Systems, a software company from Mount Arlington, N.J., raised $1,200 and sent 25 people to help at the event.  Liz Thompson, a company spokeswoman, said this is the first time Hilltown has attended a Morris Habitat event, but won’t be the last.  

 “Investors {Bank} has been a long-term partner with Morris Habitat, and we’re here today because this is what we do,” said Tom McMinn, Vice President, Market Manager from the Roxbury Branch.     

Eileen Schissler, of the Roxbury Home Depot, said the event was representative of the company’s “large commitment to our veterans.” Team Depot volunteers from the Roxbury and Dover Home Depot stores assisted with the building of walls and supervising the bird house and playhouse builds.

Wherever you looked that day people were busy hammering, painting, or assembling. In addition to working on walls for the new homes, Lakeland Bank built a child’s playhouse that will be given to one of the veteran families.  The day also provided activities for younger children, including face painting and building and painting birdhouses.  Many who participated that day also placed messages on the lumber used to construct the walls. These new homeowner families will be surrounded by well wishes emanating from the walls.

To learn more about Morris Habitat, the Hammer for Heroes program and how you can help going forward, please go to www.MorrisHabitat.org or call 973-891-1934.

 

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About Morris Habitat for Humanity

Morris Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles by building homes, communities and hope. Morris Habitat is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; advocating for fair and just housing policies; and providing training and access to resources to help families improve their living conditions.  Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all. Morris Habitat welcomes volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds and serves people in need of decent housing regardless of race or religion.  

Since 1985 Morris Habitat has served 305 families though home ownership opportunities, home preservation, and international home building programs. During the past year Morris Habitat has completing 5 units, with 15 under construction, and finished 10 home repair projects. Thirty eight projects are in the pipeline for 2015-2017.  In addition, proceeds from the ReStore, opened May 2007, have built 14 homes and diverted 4,400 tons of useable material out of landfills.  Located at 274 South Salem Street, Randolph. Store hours: Tues 12 - 8 p.m., Wed & Fri 10  - 6 p.m., Thur 10 - 8 p.m., Sat 10 - 5 p.m.  

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