When I was growing up my mom had a plaque in our kitchen that said, “Our home is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.” That pretty much sums up my memories of our home when I was young. It wasn’t the cleanest or newest house but our family and friends were comfortable there. That’s what I strive for in our home today, too. Unfortunately, many people today can’t strive for that because they can’t even afford a home. Habitat for Humanity is trying to solve that problem. Over the past 40 years Habitat for Humanity has built thousands of affordable homes for families around the world. That’s why I’m so excited to announce that I’m partnering with Habitat in the month of April to spread the word about their #HomeIsTheKey campaign. Let me show you my kitchen table centerpiece in a key area of my home and share several easy ways you can help us this month.
Why Home is Key
First, let me share a key area of my own home. Many of y’all have seen photos of our small townhouse before. Our dining area is somewhere between an eat in kitchen and a dining room. Either way, it’s where a majority of our conversations take place.
We’re very laid-back entertainers. Most of the time we tell our friends to come in and make themselves at home — sit down in the kitchen and watch me cook, make your own cup of coffee, and look in the fridge to see what you want to snack on. Many times we end up having deep conversations or laughing uncontrollably while playing games at our kitchen table.
My Spring Kitchen Table Centerpiece
Years ago my mother-in-law had an eat-in-kitchen and her kitchen table centerpiece always had salt, pepper, and cards in a little basket. The girls loved going over to their house to play cards with Papa while they wanted for Nana to finish dinner. That was what inspired my spring centerpiece this year.
This relaxed, interactive centerpiece just makes me happy. No, it’s not as neat and clean as other kitchen table centerpieces. And it gets messed up pretty often. But it’s pretty and at the same time it shows how our home is the key to building relationships with our friends and family. It’s during those times eating and playing games at the kitchen table where our relationships are built and grow stronger.
I feel very blessed to live in our home. Especially when I read facts like these:
- One in four households in the U.S. pays more than 30 percent of income for housing and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food or clothing.
- Virtually nowhere in the U.S. can a full-time employee earning minimum wage afford a one-bedroom apartment. Even two such jobs won’t rent a two-bedroom apartment in 29 states and the District of Columbia.
- Children of homeowners make fewer visits to the emergency room for routine health problems and are more likely to succeed in school.
- Affordable housing can improve health outcomes by freeing up family resources for nutritious food and health care expenditures.
Let me give you an example. The minimum wage in California is $11.00. If I worked 40 hours a week at minimum wage I would make about $1700 a month. I just checked and there are only 5 apartments in our city that are $1500 or under. Those are either studio or one bedroom. If I had a family and my spouse and I both worked minimum wage jobs we would be spending close to half of our combined income JUST on rent.
How You Can Help
“Home is the Key” is Habitat for Humanity’s first nationwide campaign to address the growing affordable housing crisis. Drew and Jonathan Scott will be building 2 homes in Nashville during this campaign. But there are many other ways you can help out, too:
- DONATE: Visit the Habitat for Humanity website and make a donation.
- SHOP: Several corporate sponsors have generously offered to make donations when you purchase certain items from their stores.
- At Home Stores: In addition to featuring Habitat as the register fundraiser throughout April, At Home will sell specialty patio umbrellas and spring coaster sets in store to give back to Habitat.
- Chico’s: Every sale of the basic essential slub tee from April 1 – May 31 will support Habitat.
- White House Black Market: Proceeds from every Comfort Stretch Ankle Pant sold April 23-May 31 will go to Habitat.
- Soma Intimates: From April 23-May 31, each Cool Night Pajama separate sold will support Habitat.
- O’Cedar: From April 1 – June 15, O’Cedar will donate $1 to Habitat for Humanity for every ProMist® Max spray mop sold.
- Kum & Go Convenience Stores: 10 cents of every specially marked water bottle sold will be donated to Habitat, and customers will have the opportunity to donate additional funds at checkout.
- SHARE: You don’t even have to spend any money to make a donation! Nissan will donate $1 every time #HomeIsTheKey is shared on social media in April. So start tweeting, Instagramming, and Facebooking!
Schneider Electric, HGTV, and iHeart are also helping to spread the word.
It makes me sad to think that as small and simple as our home is, many people today can’t afford even this. Doesn’t everyone deserve to have a place to sit down and play a game with their family while they wait for dinner?
Thanks for reading about my kitchen table centerpiece today. This article is much more important than most of my blog posts. Please consider helping Habitat for Humanity some way today. Feel free to ask me any questions and let me know how you’re helping out this month!
‘Til the next project,