“The Secret Sauce”
For Ellen Farber, the success of Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia comes as no surprise.
“It is unbelievable that Habitat takes volunteers that have no building experience, and lets them step in and feel like we’ve contributed,” Farber said. “That is something that Habitat offers that very few non-profits can offer. That is the secret sauce for Habitat.”
She first became connected to the organization in 2015 when Habitat Philadelphia was planning to move the ReStore to its current location in South Philadelphia. What started as a chance to lend her professional interior design skills to stage the new store quickly grew to include positions on various committees, a trip with Habitat Philadelphia to help build in Guatemala, and ultimately to her current position on the Board of Directors.
After serving in multiple roles, including on both the ReStore and Finance committees, Farber commissioned a class of students from Harcum College to work alongside a new Habitat Homeowner to share their interior design expertise. From there, she was asked by Habitat to spearheaded an effort to launch a Women’s Build Day at Habitat Philadelphia in 2019.
“It was really amazing to bring together a group of pretty powerful women that took the time out of their busy schedules to do something totally out of their comfort zone,” Farber said. “All of us had our tool belts and were hammering. We did a lot of framing that day and the group was really committed to doing it and doing it well.”