Thought Center

habitat for humanity los angeles

John D. Russell – Photographer, Entrepreneur & Leaper

I have had the pleasure of working with photographer, John D. Russell during several Habitat for Humanity events over the years. There is something special about the people you meet at Habitat builds – from the volunteers who arrive with an open heart and zero build skills to the crew leaders (made up mostly of volunteers) to professionals like John Russell, who provide their time and expertise to support the mission in other ways.

Like all of the people I have met along my Habitat journey, John has become a friend and I am so happy he agreed to share his entrepreneurial story with me. There are many layers to John, which may explain his ability to capture people and places so beautifully. As always, I hope John’s story will inspire others out there to follow their passion and take the big Leap!

Describe what you do for a living.

Photo credit: Paulius Staniunas


I am a Professional Photographer.

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Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles Announces Annual Adopt-A-Family Holiday Program

Donations will Provide Holiday Gifts to 25 Habitat Partner Families

Los Angeles, CA- November 14, 2014: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles’ (Habitat LA) Adopt-A-Family Holiday Program was developed to help provide support to families who recently moved into their new Habitat home or received home repair services due to a financial need. Despite the fact that they now have a decent, sustainable and affordable home, many still lack the resources for holiday “extras”. More than half of the families Habitat LA serves earn less than 50% of the County’s area median income. For a family of four, that equates to $40,750 annually. This year’s participants are children, senior citizens, disabled, veteran and military families.

A donation of $250 will sponsor an entire family, but a monetary or gift card donation of any amount will also make a big difference.

“Your generosity fills me with hope and the need to give back.

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Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles Celebrates Grand Opening of Newest ReStore Location in Bellflower

Ribbon Cutting and Community Recycle Event Scheduled for this Saturday, Sept. 20th

Los Angeles, CA – September 17, 2014: On Saturday, September 20, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) will celebrate the grand opening of its third ReStore. From 9:00 am until 3:00 pm, the parking lot of the Bellflower ReStore location will host a community celebration with food trucks, giveaways, a live remote broadcast from The Sound FM Radio Station, plus recycling and donation opportunities for local residents.

ReStores are home improvement thrift stores which are open to the public and provide significant savings on a variety of items for the home. Since 2004, Habitat LA ReStores have helped divert more than 5,761,975 lbs of materials from local landfills. Habitat LA ReStores are located in Bellflower, Gardena and Norwalk.

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Grifols Partners with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles as a Half House Sponsor

Build Day & $75,000 Check Presentation Set for August 6th

Los Angeles, CA – August 5, 2014: Grifols, a global healthcare company dedicated to improving people’s health and well being through the development of life-saving plasma medicines, diagnostics systems, and hospital pharmacy products, is partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) as a Half House Sponsor. The partnership will include a donation of $75,000, as well as company build days. On August 6th, at the site of a seven-home neighborhood currently underway in Lynwood, Grifols volunteers will help with framing and conclude their day with the Grifols executive management team presenting a check to Habitat Los Angeles President and CEO, Erin Rank.

The funding will help complete the seven affordable and sustainable homes currently under construction in Lynwood. The site will feature six homes that are two stories with three bedrooms and 2.

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Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles Named Largest Non-Profit Residential Developer by The Los Angeles Business Journal

Los Angeles, CA – June 18, 2014: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) has been named the largest non-profit Residential Developer in Los Angeles County by The Los Angeles Business Journal’s Book of Lists for 2014. The Book of Lists, published in the publication’s April 28th issue, features a list of the Top 25 Residential Developers in Los Angeles.

“It is an honor to be recognized by The Los Angeles Business Journal and to be named in such esteemed company,” said Erin Rank, president/CEO of Habitat LA. “The past several years have been a challenge for residential developers, and especially nonprofit builders. We are pleased that our home production grew even during these very tough times. Our dedicated staff and visionary board are a big factor in our success.

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Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles Announces CharityBuzz Auction Featuring VIP Set Visit Plus Opportunity to Meet “Ray Donovan” Star Pooch Hall

Los Angeles, CA – March 28, 2014:  Hollywood for Habitat for Humanity (HFHFH), a program of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA), launched its latest VIP Experience auction on featuring a VIP visit to the set of Showtime’s “Ray Donovan” plus a meeting with one of the show’s stars, Pooch Hall.  Bidding is open through Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm EDT. This VIP experience is priceless and all proceeds benefit HFH GLA’s mission to end substandard housing.


Bid now on the chance to meet Pooch Hall in Los Angeles.

Donated to Habitat LA by Showtime Network Inc., the auction winner, plus one lucky guest, will have the opportunity to visit the set of “Ray Donovan” and meet actor, Pooch Hall, in Los Angeles, California.

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Local Youth Advocate for Affordable Housing with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles during Act! Speak! Build! Week April 6 to 12, 2014

“Opening the Doors to Change” Design Contest is One Way to Get Involved

Los Angeles, CA – March 20, 2014: Act! Speak! Build! Week (ASBW) is a student-initiated advocacy program that empowers young people ages 5-25, not only to educate themselves about affordable housing issues, but also to take action. Habitat for Humanity affiliates around the country participate annually and this year ASBW will take place April 6-12.  Locally, schools and universities will participate with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) by planning and hosting an event or activity focused on ending poverty housing, raising social consciousness, and changing housing policy.

This year’s theme is “Opening the Doors to Change.

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Thrivent Financial reaches $200 million in donations to Habitat for Humanity with new 2014 commitment

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles benefits from Thrivent Builds with homebuilding efforts

Los Angeles, CA – February 28, 2014: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) has been awarded $137,500 from Thrivent Financial to build a home in Long Beach, California. This will be the ninth home built in in partnership with Thrivent in greater Los Angeles.  From the national partnership’s inception in 2005, Thrivent Financial and its members have now committed more than $200 million and more than four million volunteer hours.

The funding is part of an ongoing partnership between Thrivent Financial and Habitat for Humanity International, called Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity. Through the partnership, Thrivent members, Habitat affiliates and others partner with families across the U.S. and around the world to provide affordable housing and stronger, generous communities.

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Habitat For Humanity of Greater Los Angeles Announces 2014 T-Shirt Design Contest

Los Angeles, CA – January 30, 2014:  Habitat For Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (HFH GLA) will be holding its annual Volunteer Appreciation Event in April and has announced an opportunity for volunteers and supporters to get involved by designing a special T-shirt for the event.

Applications are now being accepted for t-shirt designs. The winning submission will be featured on the shirt and distributed to those who attend the event. Submissions are due by February 21, 2014. Please send submissions to in a JPG format.

“We are so thankful for all those who volunteer with us because they are the reason we are able to help so many hard-working homeowners achieve their dream,” said Erin Rank, president and CEO.  “Our annual volunteer appreciation event allows us to honor those who serve with us and we feel that having a T-shirt designed by a volunteer just adds a special, meaningful touch to the occasion.

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