Holiday Gifts that Build Homes

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We are all being bombarded with holiday shopping ads right now – buy this, buy that, buy these!

The temptation to get caught up in the things is strong – the things we want, the things we don’t want, the things on sale.

I challenge us all to think about the people instead.

What if the gifts you give bring joy to you, to your loved ones, AND to people who are in need of affordable housing?

Habitat for Humanity of Durham loves this idea. We love partnerships that are mutually beneficial. Our organization is built on helping our neighbor while helping ourselves. Before a qualified homebuyer can help themselves break the cycle of poverty by building and purchasing a home with Durham Habitat, they must first help their neighbors by volunteering sweat equity to help build their homes. Homebuyers, volunteers, and donors alike come to Habitat with a need – be it affordable housing, community, purpose, building skills – and leave having built homes, hope, and community together.  

Durham Habitat has several ways for you to give gifts that focus on the people, gifts that bring joy to you, to your loved ones, AND to people who are in need of affordable housing:

  • Alternative Gift Open House on December 5th at 309 North Driver Street, Local artists will bring crafts of all kinds – jewelry, furniture, pottery, art, food, photography – to a Durham Habitat home on North Driver Street. You’ll take home unique holiday gifts that benefit Durham Habitat’s affordable housing work. While you’re there, tour this beautiful rehabbed Habitat home – to see first-hand the good work that Durham Habitat donors and volunteers make possible and to learn about our homeownership program and our building practices.
  • Durham Habitat holiday cards, Give the gift of hope in honor of your loved ones. For a suggested donation of $10 each, Durham Habitat volunteers will hand-address, sign, and send special holiday cards to all of the people on your list. The Durham Habitat partner family on the card will be home for the holidays this year.
  • We CAN Build It, Five Durham craft breweries have come together to build a home with Durham Habitat. They’ll offer a limited edition We CAN Build It crowler case with a special canned beer each and a Durham Habitat pint glass. Donors get special beers, event invitations, and the opportunity to mingle with the brewers.
  • The ReStore, Thanks to generous and creative donations, you never know what you might find and sales benefit Habitat’s home building programs.

These gifts are all about the people, our neighbors.

You and your loved ones get the benefit of unique, meaningful holiday gifts.

Durham Habitat gets the benefit of funding to build safe, decent affordable homes in Durham.

Habitat partner families get the benefit of wealth building and stability through homeownership.

For more information or to offer up your own crafts for the December 5th open house, please contact Heather at or 919-880-2432.

Habitat rehab

This beautiful home, rehabbed by Durham Habitat, is the site of the holiday gift fair on December 5th.


Durham Habitat does several historic rehabs each year. This old fireplace once heated three rooms and was too lovely not to preserve.

holiday cards

The Gunn Family, featured on Durham Habitat’s holiday cards this year, will be home for the holidays in their new Habitat home. Cards are available online and at the December 5th Alternative Giving Open House.


A beloved Habitat volunteer, Mike, collects scraps from Habitat home build sites to craft these beautiful bowls. A bowl is presented to each Habitat homebuyer at their dedication. They’ll be available for you at the December 5th Alternative Giving Open House.

painted windows

Durham Habitat’s deconstruction program salvages building supplies to be used for our home building and to be sold in the ReStore. These great windows were saved from the landfill and transformed into art that you can buy at the December 5th Alternative Giving Open House.


This one-of-a-kind bench was hand-crafted using materials salvaged from a Durham Habitat home rehab site. It will be available at the December 5th Alternative Giving Open House to benefit Durham Habitat.

Habitat Success Stories

Lal is a Burmese refugee who came to Durham after stops in India and Thailand. Lal partnered with Habitat and the Durham Literacy Center to renovate a historic home in East Durham. “There is no more fear,” Lal said. “We won’t have to move again because the home belongs to us.”