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Habitat News

Wells Fargo Partners with Wyoming Valley Habitat for HumanityJun 25, 02:23 PM

Photo above left to right:
Michael Pisarcik, Store Manager -Edwardsville Office;
Douglas Iracki, Store Manager – Kingston Office;
Bernard Stelma, Store Manager – Back Mountain Office;
Maria Kelly, Store Manager – Exeter Office;
Kevin Engelman, District Manager – Wilkes Barre Market;
Karen Evans Kaufer, Executive Director – WVHFH;
Greg Collins, Area President – NEPA Region;
Bob Borwick, President – WVHFH;
David Kowalek, Business Banking Director

Wells Fargo continues to partner with Wyoming Valley Habitat for Humanity to help build homes that will be affordable to low income families who otherwise would not have had the opportunity for homeownership. Wells Fargo presented Habitat with a $35,000 grant and 600 hours of construction by members of the Wells Fargo team.

Wyoming Valley Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that builds simple, decent homes to sell to families in need. An average Habitat house for a family of four is 1100 square feet, has 3 bedrooms, and costs $65,000 to build. Karen Evans Kaufer, executive director of WVHFH said, “We are delighted to have Wells Fargo partner with us in our mission to eliminate poverty housing. Providing this support helps the entire community by improving neighborhoods one house at a time.”

“We are proud to be a long-time supporter of Habitat for Humanity. They are a world class organization with a noble purpose, and they share our goal of making homeownership available and sustainable for everyone who dreams of owning a home,” says Greg Collins, Area President for Wells Fargo in Northeastern Pennsylvania. “Our volunteers enjoy helping with builds and being part of something that directly impacts the community.”

Wells Fargo is a national partner with Habitat for Humanity and has provided Habitat affiliates with $58 million dollars and more than 4 million volunteer hours since 1993.

Habitat families are selected based on level of need, willingness to become partners in the Habitat program, and the ability to repay a no-interest, 20-year mortgage. Mortgage payments are “recycled” to help build more homes for other qualified families. Families who purchase Habitat homes invest at least 200 hours of “sweat equity” volunteer labor.

Summer of 2012Jul 26, 03:10 PM

The summer of 2012 has been filled with high school students and college student volunteers, and we are very happy to have them working on our build site! One of our high school volunteers said that she is having a great time and having more fun than thought it ever would be and everyone is “absolutely fantastic to work with.” That kind of reference just doesn’t get any better.

The schools, colleges and universities represented this summer are: LCCC, Riverside High School, Wilkes Barre Area Career and Technical, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, Coughlin High School, University of Pittsburgh, Ursinus College, Lake Lehman High School. We certainly have a mix of high school and college students.

We have many lunch providers serving lunches to our build volunteers. Lunch is a very important part of the experience of WVHFH. Some of our lunch volunteers have been Sue L., Joanne O, Rita J., Patty S., the Teresa S. family, The Nutrition Group, Home Depot, Claudia R. and the BAAC group, Wells Fargo, Panera Bread, Karen K’s prayer group, Alderson UM Church. Upcoming lunch volunteers are Pasquale’s, Bev & the Webelos 4-2 Pack, Burger King-Kingston, Subway-Plains, LaTolteca, TGIF, Forty Fort UM Church. We have a diverse group of lunch volunteers. We appreciate everyone and every group who provides lunch on Saturdays. Habitat provides everything but………the delicious food.

The very next day after the dedication of our most recently completed house in March, 2012, we began the foundation on our newest project in Wilkes Barre. It is through various contributions of time, labor, materials, donations and grants, that we are able to continue to provide housing to people in Wyoming Valley, Luzerne County, and positively affect our communities, one family – one house, at a time.

Thank you all.

July 27, 2012

Wells Fargo Partner with HabitatJul 3, 08:55 AM

Wells Fargo Volunteers Team With Habitat For Humanity to
Make Homeownership Possible for Wyoming Valley Family

Thanks to a $30,000 grant and 600 hours of construction from Wells Fargo team member volunteers, a local family will achieve the dream of homeownership. The Habitat for Humanity project took place in Wilkes-Barre and is one of 2 home builds that Habitat will undertake this year in the Wyoming Valley. Wells Fargo is a national partner with Habitat for Humanity and has provided Habitat affiliates with $58 million and more than 4 million volunteer hours since 1993.

“At Wells Fargo we have enjoyed a nearly 20 year relationship with Habitat for Humanity and are proud to provide these funds so that Habitat can continue their vital work in providing well-constructed, low-cost housing,” said Greg Collins, Wells Fargo community banking president for Northeast Pennsylvania. “We believe in doing what’s right for our communities and you could not ask for a better partner than Habitat for Humanity. “

Wyoming Valley Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that builds simple, decent homes to sell to families in need. Wells Fargo’s partnership with Habitat will help build a house for a family of five. Teams of employees spent many hours framing walls, setting roof trusses and sheeting the roof. Bob Sherlinski, Site Supervisor for WVHFH said “I’m very impressed with the Wells Fargo employees’ spirit and hard work to complete the different tasks necessary for house construction.” Volunteers of all skill levels are instructed to do difficult tasks to insure the house is safe and well built.

Karen Evans Kaufer, executive director of WVHFH said “We are delighted to have Wells Fargo partner with us in our mission to eliminate poverty housing. Providing this support helps the entire community by improving neighborhoods one house at a time.” The commitment of 600 hours of volunteer labor and the generous contribution from Wells Fargo will allow our local Habitat to complete two homes this year.

Habitat families are selected based on level of need, willingness to become partners in the Habitat program, and ability to repay a no-interest, 20-year mortgage. Mortgage payments are “recycled” to help build more homes for other qualified families. Families who purchase Habitat homes invest at least 300 hours of “sweat equity” volunteer labor.
Established locally in 1992 Habitat is a Christian ministry dedicated to working with the entire community, including businesses, congregations, schools, individuals and our partner families.

December 25, 2010 - A new home for the holidaysJan 24, 12:55 PM

MATT HUGHES mhughes@timesleader.com

It went up in a flash, and not a second too soon.

Sordoni Construction Services and its subcontractors spent 13 weeks building the new four-bedroom West Wyoming home of the Partner Family for Wyoming Valley Habitat for Humanity. The normal home construction period is five to six months, the company said.

“From a bare site to a finished house was probably about three months,” President William E. Sordoni said. “Our guys really tore it up.”

The Forty Fort-based company built the home for Habitat for Humanity to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary. Sordoni said the company’s goal was to complete the project by the end of 2010, its centennial year.

“I really wanted to see us be done and be closed out by the end of the year,”

“I really wanted to see us be done and be closed out by the end of the year,” Sordoni said, “and with that I thought it would be great for the family to spend Christmas in their new house.”
The home was dedicated Dec. 13.

In exchange for the home, the new owner will pay back a $50,000, 20-year, no-interest mortgage to Habitat for Humanity, which will be used to build homes for other families. Our new Partner now lives in the 1,300-square-foot home with her four youngest children.

“Home ownership is such a nice thing,” she said. “It’s something that I value a lot. I also think that I’m going to have a home; not just a house, but a home.”

Sordoni Construction purchased the West Wyoming property on which the house was built with Habitat for Humanity. It also donated much of the construction materials and its employees’ labor.

Sordoni said the project moved smoothly because of the help the company received from the more than 40 contractors that donated resources and labor to the project.

Power Mechanical, Wilkes-Barre, donated the heating and air conditioning duct work for the home and the company’s union sheet metal workers donated their time to install it.

“My employees, all of them, jumped up and said, what day do you want us to be there,” President Tara Mugford Wilson said. “They organized it; it was great.”

Building the home provided an appropriate way for Sordoni Construction Services to celebrate its century in business, Sordoni said. Though the company now specializes in larger-scale construction projects, Andrew J. Sordoni, company founder and William E. Sordoni’s great grandfather, started out digging house foundations. Sordoni added that he hopes the project will be an inspiration to other community-minded companies.

“It’s a great way to commemorate a business milestone,” he said. “Hopefully that house will be there for another 100 years.”

Picture of family to receive a new home built by Sordoni Construction

Home being constructed for family in W. Wyoming through partnership with Sordoni Construction Services.Oct 6, 01:33 PM

Home being constructed for family in W. Wyoming through partnership with Sordoni Construction Services.

By Andrew M. Seder aseder@timesleader.com
Times Leader Staff Writer

WEST WYOMING – Standing on an empty lot in West Wyoming on Tuesday, Habitat’s new Partner Family making plans for Thanksgiving dinner. If all goes well, she’ll be hosting the meal in her new home that will be built on the very spot she stood.

The Partner her four children have been selected by Wyoming Valley Habitat for Humanity to move in to the planned 1,300-square-foot, four-bedroom house. The family gathered Tuesday with borough leaders, soon-to-be neighbors, members of Habitat and employees of Sordoni Construction Services to break ground.

Unlike the previous 16 Habitat for Humanity houses built by the local Habitat chapter, this house is being built in partnership with a company that has helped pay for the lot and will use its own employees and materials to construct the house.

Bill Sordoni, vice president of the construction company that bears his family name, said the project was chosen as a way to celebrate the business’ 100-year anniversary.

“We wanted to do something tangible, take us back to our roots and build something lasting to give back to the community,” Sordoni said.

Habitat’s new Partner Family, currently of Wilkes-Barre, said she hasn’t been told whether she’ll be needed to help construct her soon-to-be house but is more than willing. She has already helped with two other Habitat houses.Her journey to homeownership began 18 months ago when her son found an application for Habitat for Humanity online and printed it out.

Mike and Jill Holcomb owned the property, which was in Mike’s family for 130 years. They decided to sell it to Habitat for a below market rate because they believe in the organization’s mission to give people who would otherwise not be able to own their own house a chance to be homeowners.

West Wyoming Borough Council Chairwoman Eileen Cipriani and other members of council, as well as state Rep. Phyllis Mundy, D-Kingston, were on hand to welcome the new family to the neighborhood.

“I look forward to knocking on your door very soon,” Mundy joked.