CAMBRIDGE — Community members can enjoy an extra sweet holiday season this year without turning on their ovens or dusting off their cookie cutters. During the holiday edition of Second Saturday in downtown Cambridge, Habitat for Humanity Choptank is hosting a Cookie Walk on Dec. 9, in Grace United Methodist Church at 501 Race St. Thanks to a generous crew of volunteer bakers, guests will be able to choose from over 1,000 cookies when the event kicks off at 4 p.m. At a cost of just $10, guests will be able to fill a bakery box with an assortment of homemade cookies. The event goes to 6 pm or until the supply of cookies runs out.
“We hope folks will come out and fill up multiple boxes,” says Rhodana Fields, Habitat Choptank’s neighborhood revitalization coordinator. All proceeds from this event will go to fund housing repairs for low-income senior homeowners in the City of Cambridge.
Earlier this year, Habitat Choptank was one of a handful of Habitat affiliates in the United States to receive a grant from Lowe’s. The funding was aimed at community improvement projects as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization. Through NR, Habitat affiliates offer an expanded array of housing services beyond the traditional affordable home ownership program and partner with local residents, housing leaders, community groups and businesses to transform neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life in communities.
Habitat Choptank committed to using the funds to complete critical exterior home repairs for income-eligible senior homeowners in the Historic Pine - High Street area in Cambridge. The program has focused on safety and accessibility improvements as well as repairs to correct code violations.
A kick-off event was hosted at Grace UMC in August. “We had a tremendous response,” Ms. Fields explains. Over 45 applications were completed just that day by homeowners in need of critical repairs. “We’ve completed 21 repairs already but the need is greater.” At the Second Saturday event, guests can also make donations to fund specific housing repairs. For instance, $100 will fund the replacement of failing entryway steps.
“What we raise through the Cookie Walk will make a difference in the lives of local seniors,” Ms. Fields adds. “These are our neighbors, many of whom spent their working lives in the community but today living on a fixed income find it hard to keep their homes safe and warm.”
Shortly after launching its Neighborhood Revitalization program in Cambridge in 2015, Habitat Choptank began participating in open community meetings hosted monthly at Liv Again on High Street. The collaboration was focused on bringing together interested community residents, nonprofits, agencies, members of the City council, and City staff.
“Housing repair has been the top conversation at each meeting,” notes Ms. Fields. “The City of Cambridge has set a goal of reducing housing blight. Homeowners are seeking a way to preserve the history of the community, and to keep families from having to move out as the property owner’s age and have fewer resources to make necessary repairs.”
To complete these repairs, Habitat Choptank is using both local contractors and volunteers based on the scope of work for each house. Every Wednesday in Cambridge, Ms. Fields leads a crew of volunteers working with the home owners who are physically able to tackle smaller projects such as porch repairs and exterior painting.
For more information, to make a donation, or to volunteer on the repair crew, call 410-476-3204 or visit www.habitatchoptank.org.