Sep 13

Before The Build

By mikebarrett

One of the many great things about this job is getting the opportunity to brighten someone's day.  Working for the Trail Blazers, and getting the chance to share special moments with fans and would-be fans, is probably the most rewarding part of being in this profession. 

During the season, and probably more often during the offseason, we get these special chances to step out of our normal roles and do something much more meaningful.  Once in a while I take a quick moment to share these experiences with you.  I probably don't do that often enough.  There's always the fear that it'll appear self-serving or hollow.

This one, however, is easy.  Because as much as the Trail Blazers were involved in helping change some lives recently, most of the credit goes to another group of people- Habitat for Humanity.  Most likely, you've heard of this group.  But, if you're like me, you probably haven't ever taken the time to really help put the rubber meet the road with these people.

I got an education recently, and got to see lives changed at the same time.

The Trail Blazers, along with Wells Fargo, have partnered with Habitat for Humanity, to help some special people see their dreams become a reality.  It's been dubbed the Home Team Challenge, and 150 people will gather this week to participate in the largest one-day build in local Habitat history. 

I'll be there, as will many from the Blazers and Wells Fargo.  But, I was fortunate enough to get to be there a week early, to meet with Steve Messinetti from Habitat for Humanity, and one of the families who will be getting the opportunity to own a home of their own.  We walked the project together, and I had the chance to meet Maria Jaime-Aguirre, her children, and her grandchild.

Maria is a person who is doing everything right.  She's responsible, hard working, and by all accounts has done the best she possibly can with the hand she's been dealt.  But, up until now, all she could afford was substandard housing for her family.  Now, she's getting this huge opportunity to own a home, build equity, and be rewarded for building toward the American dream the right way.  Maria says she simply wants her children to learn more responsibility and have a sense of ownership and pride in a home that will be theirs.

Habitat for Humanity appeared to Maria when she was searching online for affordable housing.  The family was overwhelmed when they received their acceptance call.

In all, 40 moms, dads, and kids will get to experience the benefits of a stable, healthy home, at Victoria Cottages in Gresham.  Eight low-income families, who have met a long list of requirements, are essentially getting the opportunity of a lifetime.  They're basically being presented an affordable home, a zero-interest mortgage, and a chance to start a new life.   

I encourage you to watch the video we put together while we were at the project, and become educated about this entire process.  And, obviously, if you possibly can, get involved.
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  1. Thank you Mike:

    So good to hear from you, I really missed you buddy


    by Hg on 9/13/2011 4:02 PM
  2. I'm gonna be there on Thursday, I'm excited, it's my first Habitat event. Hope to see you there!

    by Michael Fitzgerald on 9/13/2011 7:35 PM
  3. Great article and video, Mike. Good work!

    by dockaren on 9/13/2011 9:41 PM
  4. Waaaah ,I want our season back........w alley oops ,tre's,all the good stuff...Plus no season and MB will home doin honey do's,,,,,,,,lol

    by DowntownVinnie on 9/16/2011 3:24 PM
  5. I don't know about you guys and girls,but I have seen about enuff...remember when games....If Phi was here I know he'd chime in.......Granted I love our history and all our great teams,BUT,I'm chompin at the bit for some new stuff...Just me...call me jaded.

    by DowntownVinnie on 9/16/2011 3:31 PM
  6. Giving back is a great thing.

    by mbmurr1 on 9/17/2011 8:40 AM
  7. The NBA should disband and the owners form a new league based on the NFL model: complete revenue sharing and a hard salary cap. It's the only way to maintain competition and prevent rich teams from dominating. Its better for the game and for the fans. The players can get used to making a few less millions per year or go pout in the corner.

    by dgpdx on 10/4/2011 8:13 PM
  8. Looks like Brandon Roy will be getting more rest. Not looking like were gonna have a season, or at least a full season thats for sure. Iam not to sure about the numbers and how everything works out for everybody, But I as a fan would prefer to see the league being fair and just. The players are the people who bring people to the games. And I do agree they should get atleast a 50/50 cut if not maybe more, that I dont have prab with.

    BUT...with that being said, Its the crazy amount of money star players get...its getting stupid. Spread that money around!...make a league where all teams can compete, and give alittle more money to the lesser nba players and also make it cheaper for the fans to attend games...basically make it nicer for everyone. Im not a finance expert, so I dont know all the answers, but as long as the fans win and the players are making a good living, yes I think guys like Lebron and Kobe can still survive and live comfortably making 10 million a year lol vs 15-20+ and the league can compete better, it will be a better league. Right now it seems the only people making big money, are the superstars and powerful teams owners...everyone else is kinda lost in the middle.

    by whitefeather21380 on 10/4/2011 9:03 PM
  9. hey MB! it seems like such a long time (let's just ignore the fact it's taken me almost four weeks to get myself over here to comment).

    while i didn't have a hammer in my hand, i had the opportunity a couple of years ago to see some Habitat for Humanity Home building, thanks to my second-oldest brother who is in the construction business. it was truly wonderful to see the camaraderie of all the people from different walks of life coming together for the singular purpose of improving a family's life. i'm proud that my home town team is involved in things of this nature.

    as for the lockout/negotiations/season, i echo those who call for an agreement to be reached so that there may be a full season (as i write this, i have learned that there are some 11th-hour negotiations going on in an effort to avoid losing games). i agree that the players make too much money, but i don't blame them for asking for all they can get. i also understand that there are 450 people in the entire world who will make an nba roster each season. it's an elite group. that being said, i feel that over the past 15 years or so, the league/owners have put themselves into this situation, and now they are attempting to force the players to bail them out of it. something about that just seems wrong to me.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 10/9/2011 5:31 PM
  10. oh, and i would be remiss if i failed to mention that while there is no official basketball, i've been able to follow a certain blazer guard's progress in his native australian basketball league. and, of course, i am following the best player in college football every week as he leads Stanford on to the field!

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 10/9/2011 5:39 PM
  11. What's wrong with a 50-50 split of revenues? The players provide the entertainment and the owners provide the venues and pay all the expenses. Seems like a 50-50 deal to me. The players are being too greedy and, although I'd hate to miss a full season, I think the owners should stay the course.

    by dgpdx on 10/11/2011 2:16 PM
  12. @Kassandra -- Yep, he's the best there is all right. There could be three Pac-12 QBs taken in the first round and Luck is clearly going to be #1. I hope Stanford goes all the way!

    by dgpdx on 10/11/2011 2:21 PM
  13. One more thing on the lockout:

    Most players have guaranteed contracts that are insured against injury, while all the financial risks are borne by the owners. I've heard some complain that the owners want a guaranteed profit. The players have that, so why shouldn't the owners as well? A 50-50 split is the absolute top the players should get.

    by dgpdx on 10/11/2011 8:47 PM
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