Posted on Jun 09, 2017
Habitat for Humanity and Rotary are a perfect match
Jun 9, 2017, 6:00am EDT
Jonathan T.M. Reckford 

When you look at Habitat for Humanity projects around the world, you will often find Rotarians lending a helping hand.

  • In October, 16-year-old Victoria moved with her family into a Habitat home supported by the Rotary Club in Calgary, Alberta. She said she had never been more excited about anything in her life. “For my family, this means stability; it means not having to move again. It means we will belong to a community.”
  • Earlier this year, volunteers from the Superior Rotary Club in Wisconsin provided 146 hours of labor installing siding on a new home. David A. Clanaugh, executive director of Western Lake Superior Habitat, said the volunteers are inspiring other Rotarians to become engaged. “Rotary has been hugely supportive in the effort to get this affiliate on more solid ground. Members have advocated for us, connected us with relationships and resources and are working on a matching district grant,” he said.
  • Just last month, Habitat India partnered with the Rotary Club of Bombay Uptown to provide a sanitation complex for a tribal school in Vasai (Palghar District, Maharashtra).
  • And last summer, Rotary Club members from Dennison, Ohio, donated a home they had restored on the outside to the local Habitat affiliate. Rotarians have also volunteered during the interior renovation and will help give the keys to the new homeowners. In nearby Canton, Ohio, Rotarians donated $15,000 to fund the development of a pocket park in a neglected neighborhood.

In 2013, Jonathan Reckford helped to build the 800,000th home the organization has built,… more


Habitat for Humanity, which operates in nearly 70 countries worldwide, has become synonymous with volunteerism in many places. Rotary International’stheme for the year, Rotary Serving Humanity, makes us perfect partners. In fact, often when I speak to Rotary groups and ask how many people have worked on a Habitat project, it is not uncommon for more than three-quarters of the audience to raise their hands. Our values are so closely aligned, and the desire to help others runs deep in both organizations.

I’m proud to be a member of the Atlanta Rotary Club that is hosting the 2017 global convention. We at Habitat are grateful that Rotarians — embodying the motto of “service above self” — have worked in locations from Guatemala to Ethiopia and Nashville to Nepal to help families build the foundation for a better life. Ripple effects from families who grow stronger and more self-reliant result in stronger communities as well.

Jonathan T.M. Reckford is CEO of Habitat for Humanity International