10 Houses and $700,000 Later: Lutherans And Habitat For Humanity in the Roanoke Valley

//10 Houses and $700,000 Later: Lutherans And Habitat For Humanity in the Roanoke Valley

For the past 10 years a beautiful partnership has formed between Habitat For Humanity, Thrivent Financial, and the Lutherans of the Roanoke Valley.

For over a decade Lutherans from 10 different churches  in the Roanoke area have come together to become ambassadors for Christ in their community by working to provide affordable housing.

Since the partnership began in 2005, Thrivent Financial has granted over $700,000 to build 10 houses.

“Thrivent is trying to help individuals connect their faith and finance so that they can be wise with their money and live generously. Thrivent provides a lot of volunteer opportunities to our members so that they can live out that mission,” said Stephanie Leiser, a financial associate for Thrivent Financial.
“Habitat helps American’s who have had a tough time and people who come to our country who have had horrendous lives,” said Jim McCarthy, a volunteer for Habitat and a member of Christ Lutheran Church in Roanoke.
im McCarthy, a member of Christ Lutheran (left), and Brian Clark, Construction Director (right), get ready to work on the 10th Thrivent funded house in Roanoke

Jim McCarthy, a member of Christ Lutheran (left), and Brian Clark, Construction Director (right), get ready to work on the 10th Thrivent funded house in Roanoke

“Some of these refugee families have been living in relocation camps for 20 years and when they first get to America they are living in dilapidated places. We are able to help these people and it’s always incredible to see them smile.”

Dilli and Leela Maya Kadariya, along with their three children, are the refugees who will make the 10th Thrivent house in Roanoke their home.

Dilli was born in Bhutan, where his family were farmers.  Along with many other Bhutanese, they left the country to find freedom under the Nepalese government.
The Kadariya Family, the new homebuyers

The Kadariya Family, the new homebuyers

With other relatives, they lived in a refugee camp for nearly 20 years. Dilli worked as a farmer, going out from the camp each day and returning in the evening.

In the camp he met his wife, Leela Maya, and their three children, Shabina, 9, Yam, 13, and Narad, 19 were born there.  Like his brother, also a Habitat homebuyer, he chose to come to the U.S. under a resettlement opportunity partnership between the U.S. and Nepalese governments, and arrived here in November 2009. Three months later Dilli secured a job at Maxx Performance Inc. in Roanoke where he is still employed.

 On Saturday, April 10th there was a wall raising ceremony to celebrate the construction of the Kadarida’s new home.

Jim McCarthy was there along with other Lutheran volunteers from the area.

“Jim has an uncanny ability to find friends anywhere. He works well with people of all ages and he is wonderful at bringing people together for a common goal,” said David Skole, the pastor of Christ Lutheran Church.

11148717_10152856348938831_5279912104959618958_n Along with other habitat volunteers, Jim works to keep all 10 of the churches in the area involved in some capacity. There is always a need for onsite volunteers, but many churches also provide meals for the workers.

One of Jim’s newest projects is to involve the youth in the area by beginning small with building picnic tables that will later be moved to the construction sites.

 “We have planted the seed of volunteerism into some of these high school kids.” he said.

Individuals and church groups locally or out of town are welcome to come to Roanoke for one of the build days on the Thrivent house which occur every Wednesday and Saturday from 8-2 until mid August.  To volunteer contact Amy Alls, Volunteer Coordinator with Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley @ (540)314-0955 amy@habitat-roanoke.org.  

By | 2017-07-28T09:37:24+00:00 April 22nd, 2015|News|Comments Off on 10 Houses and $700,000 Later: Lutherans And Habitat For Humanity in the Roanoke Valley

About the Author:

Emily Pilat is the Director of Communications for the Virginia Synod. She is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington where she earned her BA in in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and a minor in Digital Studies. If you have an announcement, upcoming event, or news story idea you would like to share, get in touch with Emily via email [email protected] or by phone (540) 389-1000