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Thrivent Builds...with Bicycles

Posted: 2009-05-23 14:59:42

The Curry Partner Family, Eveleth • Brian and Philip Birk, Tower, Gary Miller, Ely, and Meagan Esterby, Cook

Habitat address:
202 15th Ave W in Eveleth
Sunday, May 31st at 2:00 pm

This summer Habitat’s Lutheran bike riders will be pedaling for the Thrivent Builds home in West Eveleth with Angela Curry and her son Nathan. This will be the tenth Habitat 500 for Brian, longtime Habitat board member, and his son Philip. They, some of Habitat’s most experienced bikers, have paired up with two of our newest riders, Meagan Esterby and Gary Miller, to support Thrivent Builds.

Angela’s kind energy and constant smile are contagious. She and her son Nathan are so excited to be building their own home in West Eveleth with Habitat for Humanity and Thrivent Builds. A ‘96 graduate of the Virginia High School, Angela is glad to have rejoined her family and to be putting down roots at home on the Iron Range.

“It’s all for Nathan,” Angela shares with a smile. Her current apartment is too small and cold, and her rent is barely affordable. Most importantly, it has no outdoor space for Nathan. “He will love to be outside. Your yard will be a wonder for his world,” Angela’s mom, Marilyn, says with joy in her eyes. It is the simple things for which Angela is most excited. She already has plans for a garden. To be able to go out and plant, to see their yard change with the seasons through the eyes of her two year old son: “it’s all I live for.” They are also excited about the close proximity to the skating rink and baseball field in West Eveleth, dreaming that he might grow up to be one of the great Eveleth athletes.

Angela has already put in more than 40 of her required 200 sweat equity hours, working primarily on last year’s build in Aurora. There she enjoyed learning how to hang closet doors with Pastor Brian Birk. Pastor Birk was the Aurora site supervisor last year and is a member of the Thrivent Builds team, and now he is riding in the Habitat 500 for her home. “It was inspiring to see people come together...to see their anticipation grow as they worked and got closer to moving into their own home,” Angela said as she remembered Kelli Ritz’s joyful tears at her dedication in Hibbing last fall.

The Curry build connects back to several Habitat homes. It is just up the street from Habitat homeowners Scott and Ann Hanson, the first home North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity built. Another Habitat homeowner was the catalyst for Angela’s application. Angela’s mom first connected Angela to Habitat several years ago. Angela had been looking at houses in the area but found nothing affordable or safe. Any house that was close to suitable required unaffordable repairs. Marilyn, Angela’s mother, works with Habitat homeowner Sarah King. She saw an invitation to Sarah’s home dedication at work and shared Habitat’s story with Angela. Angela’s dad, Ken, had also volunteered for Habitat on the first Virginia builds in the late 90’s. After reading a little more about Habitat’s homeownership program, Angela went online and applied, but she never thought she would be selected. She was overjoyed to find out that, indeed, she would soon become a Habitat homeowner.

We will be building at the corner of 15th Ave W and 2nd St W in West Eveleth. The lot was generously donated by the city of Eveleth. Angela loves the strong sense of community in Eveleth and is excited to stay so close to her family.

I am so excited to be riding to raise money for Angela’s home together with Brian, Philip, and Gary. Brian is an experienced rider and Habitat champion. He is also an active part of the Thrivent chapter in our area. He shares with us:

“This year Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is providing 65% of the cost of the West Eveleth house. As a condition of the grant, local Lutheran congregations are being asked to raise 10% of the cost of the home. One of the ways of meeting that condition is to have Lutherans ride in the Habitat 500 and pledge the money they raise toward the cost of that home. I am happy to be riding to raise funds for the future home of Nathan Curry and his mother Angela. Thank you to all of you who support our peddling and our home building efforts!” -Brian

Gary, like myself, is new to the Habitat 500. But he has ample experience in both biking and the construction world. We feel blessed to welcome him into the Habitat 500 family this year:

“This is my first Habitat 500, but I have been involved in biking now for about ten years. I grew up in Chatfield MN (near Rochester). I retired from the military in 1990 and taught High School JROTC until 2006. Currently I am a seasonal employee at The Wilderness Golf Course at Fortune Bay Resort & Casino. My hobbies include biking, canoeing, camping, and woodworking. I am building a new house on Clear Lake near Ely, which is almost completed. Am a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Ely and am active in the choir and on the Stewartship Commitee. I am also a life member of the Disabled American Veterans and the American Legion. I am looking forward to the challenge of the Habitat 500.” -Gary

I invite you to join Brian, Gary, and myself both on site at the Thrivent Build and in fundraising for the Habitat 500. Thank you for partnering with Habitat for Humanity.