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Article Archive >> Community

Building Homes, Rebuilding Lives: You Can Really Change the World if You Care Enough

Building Homes, Rebuilding Lives
You Can Really Change the World if You Care Enough

"You can really change the world if you care enough. The people of Habitat are changing it one family and one house at a time," said Sherry Brown-Cooper at a recent home dedication.
The occasion was the dedication of a new Habitat for Humanity home in Washington County in October. The home on Reynolds Avenue in Hagerstown was built on a site purchased several years ago and will be occupied by Wanda Cain and her family. Brown-Cooper said, "Wanda's home is a two-story home, where the typical Habitat house plan is a one-story home. This was done because the other homes in the neighborhood are fairly large Victorian homes, and we wanted to blend with the neighborhood."
Cain applied for a home in 2004, and worked several hundred hours on its construction with many other volunteers from the community. Without Habitat it would not have been possible for Cain to become a homeowner she said at the dedication. It was made possible by Habitat building the home, which was sold to her at the actual cost of construction and made available on a no-interest mortgage--making her payments affordable.
Cain said, "I'm just numb and overwhelmed with joy."
She plans to move into her new home soon with her daughter, Melinda, 13, and son, Jermaine, 18. "The kids want to move in today," said Cain.
"This home was the 23rd Habitat for Humanity home to be constructed in Washington County since the chapter formed in 1994," said Dori Nipps, committee coordinator for Habitat.
Another Habitat for Humanity home is scheduled for dedication this month in Hagerstown. A Hurricane Katrina survivor family will occupy the house, which was sponsored by First Data/Western Union Foundation.
There is a critical need for more homes and Habitat for Humanity of Washington County would like to build them. Finding land on which to build has become a problem. Land costs are going up, thus making it more and more difficult for Habitat to construct affordable homes.
"We have a great need to build more homes! We have families waiting for these homes to be completed. Their need is great! Their need is now! Yet, the Board of Directors is facing great challenges in obtaining land. We're looking for help! We're looking for donors, either monetary or those who can deed over a piece of land. There are tax benefits both ways!" Brown-Cooper said. "Or, if you are willing to sell it to Habitat below market value, you can use the difference as a tax write-off!" she continued.
"Working together in partnership we can meet the housing challenge in our community. This way we will be able to provide decent, affordable housing to low-income families who pledge work hours in return for loans that enable them to purchase an affordable home."
Yes, you can change the world if you care enough! You can help provide a home for a family in need. Every gift you send will make a difference! Mail your tax-deductible contributions to Habitat for Humanity of Washington County, 20 South Prospect St., Hagerstown, MD 21740. For more information contact Sherry Brown Cooper at 301-791-9009.

William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.

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