Samee & Nakor and their two daughters, lived in overcrowded conditions with multiple families living in a single house with little or no furniture and sleeping on bamboo floor mats. His work as a custodian in a warehouse, just didn’t bring in enough money to support his dream of owning his own home. However, he had faith.

Samee’s sister knew about Habitat for Humanity and applied for the homeownership program. Knowing about Samee’s desire to be a homeowner she encouraged him to apply as well. Samee & Nakor made the decision that if their application was not accepted, they would have to move their family out of the community.  Within days of their move date he found out that their application was accepted and they became the 10th homeowner-partners in Tulare County.

It was a special build with 10 congregations, including the local Christian radio station, joining forces to help fund and build the house with Samee, Nakor and their daughters. Many local volunteer teams joined the build including several groups from Lemoore Naval Air Station.

In December of 2002, the house was dedicated and Samee & Nakor received the keys to their new home, moving the family from substandard housing to a decent and affordable place to live. In 2008 the family joined the Christ Lutheran Church membership and became friends with their pastor, Brian. Samee and Brian spoke for years having long conversations about faith and Samee’s desire to go to seminary and become a pastor for the Lahu community. During one of these conversations Samee learned that Christ Lutheran Church was a part of the 10 church build and that Brian had not only supported, but helped build Samee’s house. It’s a small world.

Samee’s faith was rewarded. he was ordained a Lutheran minister in April of 2018 and on August 7th 2020, Samee & Nakor made their final mortgage payment to Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties. Their oldest daughters are now nurses working at a local correctional facility and their youngest daughter is in high school. Affordable housing made a world of difference for Samee and his family, giving them a chance to build strength, stability and self-reliance.

Support more local families and their dream of owning an affordable home. Donate Today! 


On Saturday, August 29th, a great team of volunteers from NAS Lemoore and the local community joined forces to “roll the trusses” on Habitat’s new homeownership project in Hanford. It took all hands to help lift each 40 ft truss (that weighted close to 400 lbs) onto the top of the walls to be dragged into place on he house. Victor, the future homeowner, also joined the group to put in his required sweat equity hours.

Having community support is key to Habitat’s mission. The vision that everyone deserves a decent and affordable place to live is also key to building a  better community and a better future. With “sheltering in place” so important to everyone’s health, we are reminded that overcrowded conditions and substandard housing is exasperating the spread of the coronavirus in our neighborhoods. By working together to make affordable housing a priority, we can help build healthier communities in the future.

Find out more about the future homeowners in Hanford. Building together in Hanford

Check out pictures from the August 29th volunteer day.

Donate to this and future projects in Kings County.


It’s a small world! Victor and Danielle joined more than 20 local women volunteers at 403 w. Cameron to build the walls to their future home. Victor met and shook hands with Thom Black, the architect of the house project then realized that Thom had been one of his teachers at COS. We talk often of the interconnections between people in our community and here was a relationship come full circle.

Danielle and Victor applied to Habitat for Humanity after walking into the Hanford ReStore. They wanted to know if there was a way to get out of their expensive, over-crowded living conditions and build a forever home of their own for their son and two nieces. Danielle and Victor are fostering two nieces as well as raising their son Evan. This is not the first time Victor and Danielle have “fostered” members of their family while struggling to support themselves. Danielle’s mother passed away when she was 17 so she and Victor raised her two younger brothers, supporting them through school and college. Her brothers now work for the Tulare Police Department and the Tulare City Fire Department. Danielle’s nephews also lived with them temporarily and have since returned to their parents. During all these challenges, Danielle and Victor worked hard to pay their bills, even those that came along with their six-year-old’s heart surgery.

Over the next several months Habitat will partner with Danielle and Victor to build their forever home and community volunteers will join them. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering with us in Hanford please contact Anita at 559-734-4040 ext 106.

You can also support this project by donating directly.



On July 2nd, several Habitat board members, staff and committee members gathered at the Hanford ReStore to surprise Victor and Danielle with the announcement that they would be Habitat’s next homeowner partners. They have joined the more than 70 families who have become homowners through Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties. Later this month and they will begin to put in their 500 hours of sweat equity building their “forever” home in Hanford.

Like so many families, Victor and Danielle have been working hard to keep a decent home for their family, but have had to line in overcrowded conditions while spending more than 50% of their income on rent. Raising one child of their own and fostering two more has become very challenging.

After they complete their new home, Victor and Danielle, like all Habitat homeowners, will pay an affordable monthly mortgage(including taxes and insurance) that does not exceed 1/3 of their income. These payments then support future projects and help even more families in the community. In fact, the mortgage payments of the four current Habitat homeowers in Hanford have been designated to help meet the cost of construction of Danielle and Victor’s home.

Help Habitat build decent and affordable housing by supporting the Hanford project. Find out how!


Takroa and Nelay See gathered their four daughters at their Visalia home and handed their final mortgage payment check to Habitat’s retired executive Director Betsy Murphy. Betsy was part of the selection committee when Takroa and Nelay were first informed that they would become Habitat homeowners and  when they moved into the home in 2003. Seventeen years later, after a lot of saving and hard work, the mortgage to Habitat is paid off.

At the time they applied they were living in a one-bedroom apartment that was in poor condition and expensive. Nelay even remembers having to put tape on the ceiling to try and prevent a leak from the apartment bathroom upstairs. They both worked very hard to build the Habitat home and raise their daughters, watching them excel in school; this spring, their oldest daughter graduate from Fresno State.

“We were so blessed” said Nelay. “It was our faith that led us to Habitat, and Habitat to our home”

So many other families in our community are in need of a decent and affordable place to raise their families. Help them build strength, stability and self-reliance like Takroa and Nelay by supporting Habitat’s mission.


Early morning on Thursday, June 11th, more than 30 community members joined Habitat staff, homeowners and board members at the site of Habitat’s next homeowership project in Hanford. The property at 403 W. Cameron will soon have teams of volunteers joining the future homeowners as they raise wall on an affordable house that they will call home.

The groundbreaking celebration was the first step in starting the project but it was also forward momentum after months of lock-down. Affordable housing is critical for low-income families and for the community in which they live.

Thank you to Vice Mayor Francisco Ramirez, City Council member Art Bueno, Past City Manager Mike Olmos, John Murphy-General Manager of Walmart DC, Bucky Weeks-Adventist Health, Jeff & Jeanette Tackett, and the other community leaders who attended our Groundbreaking Celebration!

We will be scheduling volunteers as construction starts the end of July so please contact Anita at or call 559-734-4040 ext 100 to sign-up as an individual or group.

The future homeowners Danielle and Victor are working on their future home right now. Find out more.
You can also donate to the Cameron Build project and help us build homes, communities and hope. CLICK HERE



On behalf of the Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties’ board of directors, staff and the families we serve, thank you to Wells Fargo for supporting Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties with a grant of $10,000 to help with COVID-19 relief. During this incredibly challenging time, supporting community seems to be more important than ever. Non-profits, and those they serve, have been hit hard, but we know that by working together, we will continue to build strength, stability and self-reliance in Tulare and Kings Counties.

For more than 25 years, Habitat for Humanity has partnered with hard-working, low-income local families to offer first-time homeownership opportunities as well as vital home repairs for people who already own their home but are challenged by age, disability or circumstance. These vulnerable populations are extremely cost-burdened and have few options for assistance. Many families believe that a decent and affordable home is out of their reach.

Businesses, congregations, service clubs and individuals can all join the Habitat for Humanity mission by providing funding, in-kind donations and volunteerism.

When everyone has an affordable place live, the entire community is stronger and healthier.

Again, thank you Wells Fargo for your support.


The Combined Federal Campaign is offering an opportunity for federal employees to support local non-profits dealing with the impact from COVID-19.

This special solicitation is for Federal employees, members of the military, postal workers and retirees. You can create a new gift or an extra gift to Habitat for

Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties online or through the CFC mobile giving app.

Support Habitat for Humanity of Tulare Kings Counties by signing up through the donor pledging system at: & search for Habitat using CFC #22213

Your support with help us continue our mission to provide decent and affordable housing for local families impacted by Covid-19.

Stay safe and thank you for your support.


Sharon and her husband were living in a church classroom when they heard about Habitat for Humanity and applied for a home in Visalia. In August of 2018, 22 years after making her first mortgage payment to Habitat, she walked into the Habitat office and made her last. During those 22 years Sharon raised her children and is now enjoying sharing her home with her grandchildren.

Having a home meant everything everything to Sharon and her family. Take a moment and hear her story.

You can be a part of making sure that everyone has a decent and affordable place to live. Donate to Habitat’s programs today and help a local family tomorrow. 

Qualified Charitable Distributions: Using Your IRA to Give from the Heart

From Trish Arnold @ LPL Financial (2019 Dec 27)

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act roughly doubled the standard deduction ($12,200 for single filers and $24,400 for married taxpayers filing jointly in 2019) and indexed it for inflation through 2025. As a result, far fewer taxpayers will itemize deductions on their tax returns, and some people may be disappointed that they no longer benefit from writing off their donations.

If you are 70½ or older, you can use a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) to donate from your IRA and get a tax break, whether you itemize or not. Not coincidentally, this is the same age you must begin taking annual required minimum distributions (RMDs), which are normally taxed as ordinary income, or face a 50% penalty on the amount that should have been withdrawn.

QCDs satisfy all or part of any RMDs that you would otherwise have to take from your IRA. Better yet, QCDs are excluded from your income, so they help lower your adjusted gross income (AGI) as well.

How QCDs work

The IRA custodian must issue a check made out to a qualified public charity (not a private foundation, donor-advised fund, or supporting organization). In some cases, the IRA custodian may provide a checkbook from which you can write checks to chosen charities. Be aware that any check you write will count as a QCD for the year in which it is cashed by the charity, whereas a check from the custodian counts for the year in which it is issued.

You can take an RMD any time during the year you turn 70½, but you must wait until after you are 70½ to make a QCD. The QCD exclusion is limited to $100,000 per year. If you’re married, your spouse can also contribute up to $100,000 from his or her IRA. You cannot deduct a QCD as a charitable contribution on your federal income tax return — that would be double-dipping.

A QCD must be an otherwise taxable distribution from your IRA. If you’ve made nondeductible contributions, then each distribution normally carries with it a pro-rata amount of taxable and nontaxable dollars. With QCDs, the pro-rata rule is ignored, and taxable dollars are treated as distributed first.

Tax perks for givers

If you no longer itemize, you could reduce your tax bill by donating with QCDs from your IRA instead of writing checks from your standard checking account. And if you still itemize, QCDs might prove more valuable than tax deductions. That’s because they can help address tax issues that might be triggered by income from RMDs.

For example, an itemized deduction reduces your taxable income by the amount of the charitable gift, but it does not reduce your adjusted gross income. This is a key distinction because the 3.8% tax on net investment income, Medicare premium costs, taxes on Social Security benefits, and some tax credits are based on AGI.

Also, charitable giving can typically be deducted only if it is less than 60% of your adjusted gross income. But with QCDs, you may be able to give more than 60% of your AGI and exclude the entire amount (up to the $100,000 cap) from your taxable income.

Time for a rollover?

Qualified charitable distributions are available from traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs (with taxable amounts), and inactive SIMPLE or SEP IRAs, but they are not allowed from employer retirement plans such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s. Thus, you might consider rolling funds from an employer plan to an IRA if you want to take advantage of a giving strategy that involves QCDs.