Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives! Shake Those Winter Blahs!

Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives!
Shake Those Winter Blahs!

Winter blahs? Well Spring is here and I have a great cure for your problem. It will give you a chance to get outside and do great, exciting things. It is a great opportunity during our soft economy, because it won't cost you anything except your time. It is called volunteering with Habitat!
I hear so many people say, "Oh, I've always thought I would like to do something with Habitat." Well, now is the time! With the warmer days of spring and summer ahead of us, Habitat will be needing volunteers of all kinds. So shake off those winter blahs, and make some of your spare time available to Habitat for Humanity of Washington County.
Many hands help build a Habitat house! They do not all drive nails, saw lumber, Spackle or paint drywall. No, many of them are involved in other areas of helping. Some of them never get to the job site, but their efforts in other areas help Habitat build a house.
"Will you help us build a house?" That is the question being asked you today by Habitat for Humanity of Washington County.
It may be hard for some of you to imagine families living in substandard conditions here in our community. But it is true! Many live in decaying buildings...rotting floor boards, leaking roofs, no running water, no heat, terrible surroundings and overcrowded conditions. There is a critical housing problem in Maryland! Inexpensive housing is needed.
This is true of our county, also. Together, you and Habitat, can address this critical problem of crowded, unsafe, inadequate housing for those living below the poverty level. With the concern and generosity of people like you, together we can make it possible for these families to find new hope. Together we can make home ownership possible even in unstable times like our country is experiencing.
Habitat for Humanity works on the following principles:
* Homes are primarily funded by contributions of money and in-kind donations of materials, services and land.
* Homes are built primarily with volunteer labor and the "sweat equity" of the approved applicant for home ownership. The applicant's family must contribute 500 hours of labor with Habitat for Humanity before taking title to the home.
* Habitat sells the homes at no profit and offers a zero interest mortgage on the home. Payments from the homeowners are used to build more homes.
Let's work together in partnership to 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 a home they could not otherwise afford.
Habitat volunteers contribute more than muscle. Creativity, strategy, and technical skills are among the many invaluable traits volunteers bring to the organization. With a minimal staff, Habitat depends upon volunteers of all types. Everyone reading this has some special skill to offer. Time commitments vary; some volunteers can only spend a few hours a month working on projects. You can choose to volunteer as little, or as often, as you would like. Remember all volunteer hours you commit are a tremendous help that directly or indirectly result in construction of simple, decent, affordable homes for needy families.
So shake your winter blahs by getting involved with this exciting volunteer program. It's easy! Just call the Habitat office, 301-791-9009. Remember a volunteer is a person who believes that people can make a difference...and is willing to prove it!

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