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Article Archive >> Community

Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives! Hacking-out Homes In The Wilderness!

Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives!
Hacking-out Homes In The Wilderness!

"Hello, the house! Hello!"
"Hey! Is that you Muldoon?"
"Yeah, Fritz! It's me, Swartz and Chico! We're headin' for the Henderson place. Want to get started at first light so we can have that family under roof before sunset!
"Okay, Muldoon! My wagon's loaded and I will be right behind you! The Kirks and Johansens are coming up from the valley and will meet us there with some of the other families.
That is a sample of the dialog that may have taken place when our nation was in its infancy. That was a time when neighbors, friends, and even strangers, would come from miles away to pitch-in and build a home or barn for one another. It was the American way of life!
Today we have something similar, which we call Habitat for Humanity. It is also an event where homes are built by friends, neighbors and strangers volunteering to provide decent, affordable homes to others in their community. And, while Habitat is now found around the World, it, too, is the American way of life!
Habitat for Humanity of Washington County is a volunteer-driven organization. People from all walks of life join in to build simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with God and families in need. Though the vast majority of the volunteers have no construction experience, or building skills, they are involved in many aspects of construction. Habitat volunteers contribute more than muscle. The organization depends upon volunteer committees for support with many non-construction projects and duties. Creativity, strategy, and technical skills are among the many invaluable traits volunteers bring to Habitat. They will work side-by-side with the family who will live in the house. They will experience the joy created when a family is able to realize their dream of home ownership.
Habitat for Humanity homes are sponsored by churches, businesses, organizations, and others in the community. Contributions of land, materials, technical support services and many hands-on volunteers are also needed for each home. The family chosen to buy this home is required to perform a minimum of 500-hours of volunteer work known as "sweat-equity" within the Habitat organization before moving into the home. When the home is completed, the family is allowed to purchase it on a no-profit, no-interest mortgage provided by Habitat. The mortgage payments are then turned back to help build another home.
That's the teamwork effort it takes to build a home. Perhaps, you as an individual, or part of a group, want to help others obtain their dream of home ownership of a decent, affordable home. Now is the time to act! You can help Habitat touch lives! When people reach out to help others, they change lives!
Our early pioneers reached out and helped others! They hacked-out homes in the wilderness to help their neighbors and to develop communities. Today, after many generations, ancestors of those hearty men and women are still strengthening communities by building home and rebuilding lives for low-income families in need. They are still addressing the same basic issues their ancestors did. They are providing families with a place to live and grow! Why don't you join the more than 2,500 ecumenical volunteers in Washington County supporting Habitat for Humanity's vision of eliminating poverty housing? Call 301-791-9009 today!

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

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