Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives! Expressions of Thanks!

Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives!
Expressions of Thanks!

"Yippee! Hee-haw! Yee-haw!" And all those other Western phrases that express excitement and joy! I'm referring to the excitement and joy from the recent "Home, Home on the Range" with Habitat Dinner Auction. It raised nearly enough money to build another Habitat home in Washington County.
"Even in a period of tough economy, we are so blessed and so thankful to many people for their help and generosity", said Sherry Brown Cooper, Executive Director of the local Habitat chapter.
And those excited utterances may also be used as expressions of "Thanks" to the many people that made the event successful. There were 450-people that attended the event and bid on items, plus many individuals and corporations that sponsored it. Then there were those individuals and companies that contributed items to be auctioned. And, let us not forget the staff and many volunteers who worked all year long to put the event together.
As a result of all these contributors of time, items and money, Habitat will have a local family in need adding its "Thank you" for a new home. But that will be several months away since that house has yet to be built. And by the time that family can move in, the list of those to be thanked will increase. And the recipient family of the home will get to know volunteers by name as that family will be required to work along side the volunteers building its home.
Some of you may ask, "What are Habitat houses like?" Well, they are simple homes. Habitat homes are modestly sized. They are large enough for the homeowner family's needs, but small enough to keep construction and maintenance costs to a minimum.
They are decent dwellings. Habitat uses good quality building materials. Trained staff and skilled volunteers supervise the house construction and educate the volunteers and partner families. The labor of volunteers and partner families, efficient building methods, and donations of money and materials make it possible for Habitat to offer affordable homes to low-income families.
Habitat does not build and give houses away! Habitat offers a hand-up, not a hand-out. In addition to putting in hundreds of hours of sweat equity, families purchase the homes with no profit, zero interest loans financed with affordable monthly payments. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments are use to build more Habitat houses.
Families are selected based on their level of need, willingness to partner with Habitat, and the ability to repay a no-profit, zero interest loan. In addition to a down payment, partner families invest up to 500 hours of their own labor -- sweat equity -- into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.
Yes, a new home will be built! Yes, a difference will be made in the life of a local family! A difference in the life of a child! But more homes are needed! There has never been a greater need for your help than now! Our economy is down! Funding is down! Habitat offers hope for the community! Habitat is the blessing people are seeking! Habitat has the power to change the world and create a better tomorrow for many people!
But Habitat needs your help to do this! Please consider giving a generous donation, knowing that YOU have made a difference. A difference in the life of a family! A difference in the life of a child! Remember, a firm foundation for a family, a strong community of support, is a place to call home!
Call the Habitat office at 301-791-9009 to make a contribution with your credit card, or mail it to Habitat for Humanity, 20 S. Prospect St., Hagerstown, MD 21740.

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