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Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives! Hallelujah! It Happened!

Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives!
Hallelujah! It Happened!

Recently I wrote about a "Hearty Band of Builders" trying to get a house ready by Thanksgiving. Well, Hallelujah, it happened!
The Habitat for Humanity house, located at 951 Concord Street was dedicated in a ceremony on Sunday, November 23. The home was constructed by Habitat for Humanity of Washington County's Women Build program. It is the third home constructed by Women Build since 2005.
At the ceremony, the keys for the new home were turned over to the new homeowner, Ruth Tinney. However, Tinney and her two sons, having to await an occupancy permit, were not able to move into the home before Thanksgiving.
Habitat requires all potential Habitat homeowners to put in 500 "sweat equity" hours working on home construction. Tinney had actually been volunteering hours working on the house before she became aware it was to be her new home. Tinney has also worked on the Habitat for Humanity Faith House dedicated November 30.
The Habitat for Humanity Faith House was an opportunity for people to grow in their faith and express their faith, while showing the entire community just what true faith in God can do! Let me share some interesting facts about this 2008 Faith House, started this June and just dedicated at 1024 Lanvale Street in Hagerstown.
The Faith House is a Habitat house built almost entirely by the community of Faith. All churches and religious groups were invited to participate in this project and were encouraged to partner together for a common goal. This participation was through financial contributions and fundraising, volunteering, providing skilled services, donating building materials and supplies, providing meals for work groups, and lifting up the Faith House and Habitat in prayer.
Major sponsors, featured on a special sign in front of the Faith House, are Otterbein United Methodist Church, Hagerstown Church of the Brethren, and Maryland Affordable Housing Trust. Habitat thanks the many other churches and businesses that provided materials, food, labor and service for this project and helped make a dream become a reality for another Washington County family. And, Habitat salutes the many volunteers who provided essential skills and immeasurable hours of labor.
The happy new owner is Cassandra Burnett. She and her family of four children will move into their new home as soon as the occupancy permit is issued.
The year 2008 has increased the number of Habitat for Humanity homes in Washington County to twenty-eight. More homes are being planned for the year 2009. Perhaps some of you reading this column may want to be part of this powerful humanitarian program. If so, contact the Habitat office listed below.
Habitat for Humanity of Washington County provides decent, affordable housing to families in need in Washington County. Habitat is not a giveaway program. Partner families must pay back a no-profit, no-interest mortgage to Habitat with low monthly payments, and must contribute 500 hours of "sweat equity" working side-by-side with volunteers and staff. In addition to houses, families are provided skills to be successful, self-sufficient homeowners.
A couple members of the Women Build team said they want to get another house planned soon. These women are determined to learn and exercise new skills that make a difference in the lives of children and families.
It's a program that empowers women. Any women interested in becoming part of this exciting volunteer project may become part of it by contacting Habitat.
To participate in any phase of Habitat for Humanity's program, or for more information, call the Humanity office at 301-791-9009.

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

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