Seventy-years ago near Americus, Ga. a small interracial Christian group formed what would soon be the extremely successful non-profit organization, Habitat for Humanity.

As Habitat for Humanity expanded they not only created housing finance opportunities, advocated for adequate housing and prepared for and respond to all disasters, but started Restore locations that helped supply furniture and other household necessities for low-income members of the community.

These Restores are part of Habitat for Humanity’s Local Affiliate international program called the HFHIC. Local affiliates such as the Restore in Isabella County, Mich., build houses for the community just like the international organization and with the same “simple, decent and affordable housing” motto.  

The resale of donated items at the Isabella County store in Mt. Pleasant generates funds to build houses. This saves money when Habitat doesn’t have to buy furniture for the houses and is also very healthy and green for the environment as it recycles and keeps these items from going into the landfill.

The resale of donated items at the Isabella County Restore in Mt. Pleasant generates funds to build houses and building more Restores in areas such as this will create more success for this organization as a whole.

It is a crucial part of the success of Habitat for Humanity to have well-placed Restores in major cities surrounding work sites and partner families in order to raise money for the initial build. Having Restores also allows more volunteer opportunities for the partner families as well as creating networks in communities.

Along with the skills the families build while helping with the houses and working at the Restore, there is also a network being built in the community that creates a network of knowledge. Volunteers and housing recipients get to know each other and can reference future jobs for each other. It allows them to “be a part of others lives that they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to be,” said L. Quinn Lincoln-Keon.

Lincoln-Keon is the Restore manager of Isabella County and believes strongly in the positive change Habitat for Humanity can have on the community. “It brings the community closer together so they can appreciate what other do.” she said. Lincoln-Keon

Another lesson Habitat for Humanity is trying to teach communities is to be green. Recycling and donating old appliances and furniture is one of the major reasons why this non-profit organization works and is how they do their part to keep reusable items out of the landfill. When creating the safe, simple and affordable community for its members, Habitat also wants to make sure the environment of the community is being kept safe as well.

Low-income families are not the only ones who can benefit from the Isabella County Restore. Landlords are often frequent visitors at the Restore. College students are not known to be the most careful when it comes to keeping their living spaces intact and the landlords often need to make repairs before the next tenants move in. Not only does the Restore carry furniture and appliances but also lumber, plumbing and other maintenance necessities.

College students at CMU also save money by heading to the Restore when furnishing their apartments for the year. They can donate useable items back if they have no use for them anymore too. College students happen to get into trouble sometimes so the Restore gets a lot of their volunteers through community service programs.

Teens and those in their early twenties are perfect for helping with the construction of houses. Not only are they often good, strong workers but doing community service for Habitat for Humanity can teach them valuable skills they can use later in life and connects them with important members of the community. Lincoln-Keon said that many students will stay and volunteer even after they’ve done they’re hours because they enjoy the work.

The Isabella County Restore implements a program for senior citizens as well. The program is for people ages 55 and up and it teaches them new skills while volunteering there that will make them become more employable if they ever decide they want another job.

From helping low-income families to teaching college students and the elderly new skills, the Isabella County Restore has proven to be an asset to any community. Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to making this world a better place to live in one family at a time by giving “a hand up, not a hand-out.”

Habitat for Humanity: “Giving a Hand Up, Not a Hand Out.”

The Twilight Premiere in Mount Pleasant

By: Angela Gomez-Mesquita

After buying my ticket weeks ahead of time and standing in line for an hour, I was finally at the Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 Premiere, Mount Pleasant, Mich. More that 1,700 fans attending the premiere so I decided this would be a great story for my blog. This video is made up of clips of the movie and excited fans’ reactions to the movie.

A Survivor’s Story of Hurricane Sandy: My Video News Story Critique

Hurricane Sandy is commonly found in the news as of late so what better story to critique than, On the Road: Sandy strengthens father-son bond for survivor. CBS is obviously a difficult station to be negative about because of their high level of professionalism. I did enjoy this story a lot though because of its emotional impact so I decided to critique it anyways.

I agree that doing a video for this Mike Iann’s story was the right choice because of the impact that can be shown through video. Iann’s house was destroyed and there were still high levels of water in the surrounding area. Also, showing the emotions between the father and son gave the story a lot more depth.

The video was shot very well. There were a variety of shots, some of the actual damage done to the house and others to portray the emotional aspects of the story. The cameraman often panned over the scene like we talked about in class, (November 8, 2012) to give the viewer an idea of the destruction. There was also a time where the cameraman was walking along side of the subject and he kept the camera very even, which is hard to do.

It was smart of reporter, Steve Hartman, to hold the interviews in a quiet, indoor area. Due to this, the audience is able to hear every word the men are saying. Also, the crew did a good job with the distance they put between the people they were interviewing and the camera or microphone, whichever they used. Their voices were very clear and audible.

The narration that is in the video is timed very well. Though the narrator tells the story behind the video, the men also have the chance to tell their version. The narration is broken up by pieces of interviews and is also complementary to the story.

If I had the equipment and the experience, I would not have done this story much differently myself. Overall, another fantastic video story done by CBS.

“A Surgeon In Somalia” Audio Slideshow Critique

The audio slideshow I decided to critique for JRN 340 is A Surgeon in Somalia  and it is about just that, a surgeon fighting for healthcare facilities in underprivileged areas. Dr. Omar Saleh is a surgeon that travels to locations without healthcare and helps to create sterile areas where people can come and have procedures done safely.

The slideshow has a definite beginning, middle and end as Dr. Omar Saleh narrates first, the history of the lack of health care in areas such as Somalia and what services he offers to those residing there. He concludes with personal stories of his best and worst experiences and leaves you with a message of motivation and appreciation of what we have here in America.

There is good pacing and transitions in the slideshow but I thought that there may have been too much time spent on certain photos that did not have a large impact. Also, I was a little disappointed in the first photo because it should draw the listener into the story but in this case it was not related directly to the story. The final photo was good for the conclusion though because of its reference to the youths that are affected by the lack of healthcare.

The problem with the captions is that there are none. I wish the creator would have taken the time to right captions and also give more information on who was in the photos. The only people referenced on the whole page were Dr. Saleh, the photographer and the producer. The audio did match up well with the photos though and as we discussed in class, the relationship between audio and visuals is very important.

There are a lot of things I would have done differently for this audio slideshow. First, there was not enough natural sound; there was only one clip of natural sound at the very beginning. Second, there should have been a title slide and I think captions were necessary for some of the photos. Overall, it is an inspirational program within the World Health Organization but I think the slideshow could use some more work.