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Article Archive >> Community

Building Homes, Rebuilding Lives: Habitat Auction Helps Build Homes

Building Homes, Rebuilding Lives
Habitat Auction Helps Build Homes
by William L. Bulla

"The housing needs of the poor in America are profound and pervasive," says Robert Adams, Executive Director of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. "Of the array of housing needs in this country, none deserve more attention than that facing America's children. We have a national responsibility to see that the childhood of our next generation are not scarred by substandard housing and homelessness."
Safe affordable housing is a basic necessity for every family. Without a decent place to live, people cannot be productive members of society, children cannot learn and families cannot thrive.
Inadequate housing also impacts the physical and psychological development of children and the problems can be irreversible. Almost ninety-two percent of the households with children that confront housing problems receive no housing assistance.
In Washington County, more than 11,000 people live in poverty. That's one in ten. Half of these are children. These families are earning wages that do not allow them to provide decent housing. And that's where you and Habitat for Humanity come into the picture.
A Habitat built home is a community effort! The homeowners work side-by- side with volunteers from all walks of life to build their homes. Then they are allowed to purchase the home at no profit and with zero interest loans, making payments they can afford. The homes are built with donated materials or materials purchased with donated funds. Habitat uses no government funds for construction. But funding is essential! It comes in from many sources! In the fall of the year, Habitat conducts a campaign soliciting gifts. During the year Habitat seeks out grants to fund its projects. Corporations donate to help construct homes. Caring people contribute to the cause to the best of their ability.
Then, every spring, Habitat for Humanity of Washington County holds an auction as its major public fundraiser. This is a big undertaking requiring lots of hours of work by many volunteers. Plans are already underway for next April's event. Teams of volunteers are beginning to seek sponsors for the event. Also, they are looking for items to be auctioned, particularly the "big-ticket" items for the live auction. Commitments for electronics, furniture, lawn tractors, art objects, trip packages, celebrity items, etc. often take more time to acquire. Other items which will be used in the silent auction are also necessary but can be collected nearer to the auction date. If any of you have any items of any kind you would like to contribute to Habitat for the auction, please call at any time to make arrangements for them to be picked up.
So put April 1, 2006, on your calendar now! Plan to be a sponsor, donate an item, and/or attend the auction dinner. It will be Habitat's 13th Annual Dinner Auction in Washington County. It is scheduled to be held on the evening of Saturday, April 1, at the Clarion Conference Center in Hagerstown. You can help make the dream of home ownership a reality for a low-income family by becoming a sponsor, donating an item, or by attending the event.
For more information, call Habitat for Humanity of Washington County at 301-791-9009.

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