What will your verb be?
 
A few years ago, my family sent out Christmas cards that included one word — a verb — to describe each member. My entry read, “Jonathan flies.” The card went on to reveal that my wife drives, our oldest texts, our middle child reads, and the youngest entertains. That’s still pretty accurate.
 
Lately, I’ve been thinking about what Habitat for Humanity’s verb would be. More than one, to be sure!
 
Habitat builds. For more than three decades, millions of people around the world have known us for stories like the Bennetts’. The home that Cynthia Bennett built with Habitat has provided her family with opportunities to build bigger hopes and dreams.
 
Habitat teaches, too. In Uganda, for example, Habitat leaders have provided the legal knowledge and assistance that Acam Rose so desperately needed to acquire land tenure after her husband died. Secure tenure is critical in developing stable housing. Why bother to invest in a home or make improvements if someone can force you off the land on which you live?
 
In other locations, we’ve discovered that what some families need most is construction advice on how to build or improve their homes or financial literacy training to build the budgets that will allow them to change their living conditions for the better.
 
Habitat partners. With more than 1.6 billion people around the world inadequately sheltered, we know that we can’t solve the challenges of affordable housing alone. Rosa Zorilla’s story shows how an emphasis on making shelter markets work better for the poor can help Habitat impact more families in more locations. Rosa’s story is a great example of how Habitat can work with local firms and entrepreneurs to expand and improve available services so that low-income households can improve their shelter more effectively.
 
Habitat advocates. An important part of what we do is inspire action in support of decent and affordable housing. We must work to change the systems, policies, attitudes and behaviors that can lead to inadequate housing. This can mean advocating for initiatives and programs like the one that has meant a stable home for Dallas resident Noel Sindihokubwabo and his family.
 
Habitat has so many verbs. We partner with families; we empower communities. We mobilize volunteers and supporters. We engage with corporations, foundations, governments, churches and faith groups.
 
We do all of this because we seek, with your help, to be the very verbs that carry God’s love into the world. Your support makes all of this possible. Donate, volunteer, advocate, share. Build.
 
What will your verb be?
 
— Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity International CEO
 
 

In the comments below, tell us your Habitat verb and describe the actions you take in support of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. One lucky commenter will be randomly selected to receive a Habitat for Humanity T-shirt.
Entries will be accepted beginning at 9 a.m. EST on March 18, 2014, until 11:59 p.m. EST April 2, 2014. Winner will receive a Habitat for Humanity T-shirt, valued at $10. No purchase or donation is required to win. Only one entry per person. The odds of winning depend on the number of entries. One winner will be selected randomly and notified via email. Winner will have 14 days to respond. Unclaimed prize will be awarded randomly to another entrant. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Must be over 18 years old to win. Contest is void where prohibited. Good luck!