Habitat Greensboro was founded on a model of community building. We believe so strongly in this, that it’s our mission statement – “Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.” It is evidenced through partnerships with future homeowners, partnerships with generous funders, and partnerships with the communities in which we build.

While this community of partnership is visible in every Habitat Greensboro home, sometimes the connections made run a little deeper. Sometimes, God’s hand can be seen in the community being built. Such was the case on this past December 10, when future homeowners, donors, Habitat Greensboro Board Members, staff, and elected officials gathered to celebrate the kick-off for four new homes in Willow Oaks.

“I was so surprised and excited to know my address would always be linked to someone who shared my passion for the field of cardiology.”

Among the future homeowners was April, a medical assistant in the cardiology department at Cone Hospital. When April shared her future address with a colleague, she learned that the street on which her house was to be built was named in memory of Dr. Charles Harshaw, a Greensboro native and graduate of Dudley High School, who became a cardiologist after attending UNC School of Medicine. “I was so surprised and excited to know my address would always be linked to someone who shared my passion for the field of cardiology,” April remembers. While this was a remarkable coincidence for April, there were more connections to be made.

Dr. Palmer Shelburne, another Greensboro cardiologist, was a devoted Habitat Greensboro volunteer. “My husband told me he was going to volunteer for Habitat as soon as he retired. He just loved the work and the other volunteers so much and couldn’t wait to get out on the build site with his volunteer friends every week,” remembers Palmer’s wife, Julie. After retiring from his cardiology practice, Dr. Shelburne spent 20 years volunteering with Habitat Greensboro’s Weekday Crew. Soon after his passing, a friend who knew of his love for Habitat initiated a tribute to Palmer by asking his friends and family to help fund a build lot to honor his many years of volunteer service.

At the December 10 kick-off ceremony, the location of Palmer’s memorial lot was announced – it would be the site of April’s future home on Charles Harshaw Street. During the ceremony, one of Dr. Shelburne’s friends described him as “a heartfelt man who knew a thing about hearts.” The same could be said of Dr. Charles Harshaw, who spent his career teaching UNC Medical students the practice of healing hearts. April, who is now following in their footsteps, could never have imagined her journey with Habitat Greensboro would connect her with these two men who shared her passion for healing and giving hope to others.

April offered this prayer at the kick-off ceremony; “May this home be a place of happiness, health, creativity, kindness, and love. May all who visit and live here know only blessings and Peace. Thank you to all who have made this possible, but most of all, I thank God for making all things possible.” Miraculous and unimaginable blessings happen when people come together to build homes, communities, and hope.