Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Habitat OC Does Not Install Lumber Liquidators Products

A news story aired on March 1, 2015, on 60 Minutes, investigating possible health and safety violations made by Lumber Liquidators. The show found that the company’s Chinese-made laminate flooring may exceed formaldehyde standards. It was also mentioned that the company promotes flooring donations it has made to Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity of Orange County (Habitat OC) wants to assure our partners, supporters, shoppers, and homeowners who may have seen the story that our affiliate does not use Lumber Liquidators products and the Habitat ReStore locations in Anaheim and Santa Ana do not sell Lumber Liquidators products. Please direct any questions regarding this matter to

Friday, February 1, 2013

From Nicaragua to Sacramento to D.C.

L-R Board member Ken and Site Supervisor
Casey joined me in Nicaragua.
The Global Village trip to Nicaragua was amazing. There were three homes completed by the Habitat O.C. and Habitat L.A. affiliates in a week. It was a great bonding experience and I was ready to come back home and travel to Sacramento for the Second Annual Habitat California Advocacy Day.

L-R Board members Stan, David, and Don joined
me on my trip to Sacramento.
More than half of the Habitat for Humanity affiliates in California gathered in Sacramento to meet with legislators to talk about affordable housing and the need for funding. As a group, we met with over 90 legislators and were able to spread the Habitat message. I was lucky enough to be joined by four of our board members during this trip who truly believe in the mission. 

Board member Charles also
joined me in Sacramento.
Today I am on my way to Washington D.C. for Habitat on the Hill 2013 where Habitat affiliates from throughout the country will get a chance to get in front of a new Congress in Washington, advocate for the issues important to Habitat,  and then bring that advocacy knowledge to the field. I am excited to continue spreading the Habitat mission to our country's leaders. Wish me luck!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nicaragua Welcomes Habitat OC Again

Erin Rank and I joined forces in Nicaragua.
In January 2012, a group from Habitat O.C. traveled to Nicaragua for a Global Village trip. This week, I took another group from Habitat OC to Nicaragua. This time, we were joined by a group from Habitat Los Angeles.

Erin Rank, the President/CEO of Habitat Los Angeles, brought a team from her affiliate and it has definitely been a great bonding experience as we work alongside during this Global Village trip.
Work has just begun and we are very confident that we will finish all of the work by the end of the week. The Habitat OC team has been busy working on one home and many of the new visitors to Nicaragua are having fun learning how to build a Habitat for Humanity home in Nicaragua, including our construction site supervisor Casey. It has proven to be a learning experience. 

We are all truly inspired to be able to help a family attain their dream of becoming homeowners. 
This is the Habitat O.C. & Habitat L.A. team.

Stay tuned to see the end result!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Habitat OC leaves their mark

Charles Antis and his son Erek traveled
 from Orange County to help build in
For a week, we have all been building Habitat homes in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia alongside volunteers from all over the world. Besides meeting other volunteers, we also got to work with the future homeowners and that was very special.

I was able to talk to one of the families and I learned that most families are used to being nomadic. This provides a challenge for the Habitat homeowners since they have to get used to living in one location. With that in mind, the local Habitat affiliate makes sure they create an area that is fruitful for the families.

Charles and Ally gave the family the
"key" to their home. You can see me in
the background.
Besides getting to learn about the local culture, I was able to learn from the volunteers that traveled with me on this trip. Charles Antis, Habitat OC Board Member, came on this trip with his son Erek and his daughter Ally. Not only did they give up time from their summer vacation to build homes in Mongolia, but they also did a fundraiser to bring along school materials for the children in this community. It was truly an inspirational thing to see.

Dedication day came and we were all excited to witness the families see their completed homes. All of the families were so happy and were impressed we built these homes in a week. 

After a week, the "Blue Sky Build" in Mongolia has come to an end and we are all on our way home. We all leave Mongolia with a joyous heart, full of great memories, and some of us with aching muscles :) If you would like to see more photos from the trip, visit the Habitat Mongolia page.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The "Blue Sky Build" Has Begun

From June 30 to July 16, 350 volunteers from around the world will help build homes for the people of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia as part of the "Blue Sky Build." Eight of those volunteers are from Orange County.

Our group has been anxiously awaiting the day we begin building Habitat for Humanity homes and that day came. Yesterday morning we gathered to make our way to the site and you can sense the excitement from the group. We were ready to get our hands dirty and begin working.

There's so much more to share, but I have to make my way to the site again. It's Tuesday here and it's 8:07 a.m., which means it's time to build. I will share more in the next post.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Global Village Trip to Mongolia

Last week we left Orange County and traveled many hours to Mongolia. Upon arrival we got a crash course on how to speak Mongolian and how to maneuver through the traffic. Traffic lights and cross walks are merely a suggestion as traffic never really stops.

We traveled to the Gobi Desert for miles on off roads since there aren't any roads. We stayed in gers (felt-lined tents) for two nights, which was quite an amazing experience as the wind howls and the rain comes down. Horses were our mode of transportation once we arrived to our camp site. We rode the horses into the mountains and the Gobi Glacier.

We have not forgotten why we traveled miles away to Mongolia. We're here on a mission. We're here to build Habitat for Humanity homes and offer families the stability that comes from owning a home. Things are definitely different here and I will explain more on that in another post.

Habitat OC CEO

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Starting the year giving back

This month I traveled to the beautiful city of Managua, the capital of Nicaragua for Habitat for Humanity Global Village trip. Adelle Yeaton, a long time Habitat OC supporter, and Richard Martinez, Habitat OC site supervisor, joined me on this trip as we kicked off the New Year helping and empowering two families to achieve their dreams.

We built two homes in five days with the help of a great team of overachievers during 16hr work days.

The structures of the homes were made up of 1,200 bricks that weighed 32 lbs. each. We unloaded and loaded them and moved them to the structure location, and used different tools like a machete to cut and carve the bricks.

Then we decided to split our team in half and work on two home additions.

The dedication ceremony was touching and inspiring and since Nicaraguans love to celebrate, it was no surprise to end it with games, a piƱata, and the joy and laughter of families and friends.

But the work is not done yet. They are currently planning the installation of a water system for fresh, clean water to homes and are testing a new toilet system that is much healthier than what they have now. Our team is motivated to go back and help them with the water project installation.

Towards the end of our week we were able to visit the Masaya Market, a volcano, and take a boat trip around Lake Managua Island.

I continue to be impressed with what Habitat is doing around the world and hope I can continue to support them. I'm looking forward to continuing to help other Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout the world.