All We Can Do Is Smile…and Pray!

Every day at Macomb County Habitat is a challenge. Even with the most competent, mission-minded staff, – unexpected things happen. These occurrences are never planned, but the trick is to handle them with grace and humor.

All we can do is smile…and pray!

In the last few months, we have had more than our share of these weird, unexpected debacles. Scenario One – At our Shelby ReStore, we experience dumping. During the evening, people drive through our lot and dump items, some good, most not! The neighbors are less than thrilled when they see this mess and because we are not allowed to chain off the driveways into our lot, – the dumping continues.

We have met with the city officials and the solution was a fence to “hide” the mess each morning. Total cost: $11,000. FROM WHERE IS THAT CASH COMING?

All we can do is smile…and pray!

Scenario Two – Thanks to a collaboration with the County and Chippewa Valley Schools, two homes were built. The land that those homes would eventually sit upon was not ready, so the homes were temporarily moved to Baker College in Clinton Township. By the time the land was ready, the only contractor we could find to move the homes to their final destination charged us an exaggerated rate. We were $28,000 over budget. FROM WHERE IS THAT CASH COMING?

Other scenarios include the death of our beloved receptionist Sue Whitty, the departure of a cherished and valued employee, a host of illnesses among staff, and an increase in the amount of money we spend monthly on dumpsters.

All we can do is smile…and pray!

We begin our week with a prayer to remind all that most things are out of our hands and beyond our control. We do the same at meetings, especially Finance and at monthly Board meetings. Through the grace of God, some amazing solutions do surface.

We received a call yesterday from a Dumpster Company who wants to contribute by donating as many dumpsters as we need each month. That’s divine intervention!

The staff remains strong and committed inspite of the losses that hurt our hearts and temporarily shake our spirit. That’s God touching our very core!

The illnesses, some major, have had positive outcomes (for the most part) and very little lost worktime has occurred as a result. Some staff love their jobs so much they work to feel better! That’s the hand of God healing those that do His work!

The mission of Macomb County Habitat for Humanity is very special. A presence, much greater than the volunteers or staff who support it, is with us every day. In our darkest hours, an angel often shows us a different way or opens a door we had not considered.

Nothing, not cost overruns, unexpected expenses, or tragic occurrences will deter us from helping men, women and children find a better life through affordable housing and life-changing hope.

I hope you will find a way to let that spirit touch your heart so that you can do more, be more, and change more lives through your actions.

As for us, we will continue to smile and pray…for us… and for you.


Helen Hicks
President and CEO