Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives! A Livable Home For Christmas?

Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives!
A Livable Home For Christmas?
By William L. Bulla

One of the holiday songs we hear around Christmas begins, "I'll be home for Christmas." This lovely song goes on to speak of snow and mistletoe and presents under the tree. And it ends with the phrase, "If only in my dreams."
That last line of the lyrics is so true of many families. Families that may not be able to get home for Christmas because of jobs, being in the service, or numerous other reasons. But they can be nostalgic! They can dream about past Christmas-times at home with family and friends. Warm homes aglow with Christmas lights. And the aroma of Christmas greens mixed with the delightful odors created in the kitchen. Yes, they can remember those days!
But what about those families without a home! Families living in substandard conditions here in our community. Many live in decaying buildings...rotting floor boards, leaking roofs, no running water, no heat, terrible surroundings and overcrowded conditions. Or they are renting at too high a price, and cannot afford other basic necessities such as heat, nutritious food, or gas to get to work. These are the families unable to sing this Christmas song. Many may have the snow, but not the mistletoe or presents under the tree. They really have no warm, livable home for Christmas.
Habitat for Humanity of Washington County touches lives! It helps families to achieve decent, affordable housing. Habitat for Humanity wants to help these families and many others as soon as possible, but we can't do this without your help. In these tough times we ask you to give what you can to help provide a decent, affordable place to live for local families.
Habitat for Humanity of Washington County offers security, affordability, and the peace and hope of a better life for low-income families in the community. Habitat is not a giveaway program.
Habitat provides a program where families seeking to own a home can work alongside volunteers to build that home. Partner families pay back a no-profit, no-interest mortgage loan with affordable monthly payments and put in hundreds of hours of "sweat equity" working on their home and the homes of others.
The majority of family members whose lives improve through Habitat's housing are children. For them, a decent place to live makes all the difference in the world
Habitat also nurtures partner families to become self-sufficient, successful homeowners by requiring budgeting classes and teaching home maintenance skills, along with other skills needed for self-sufficiency.
Moreover, Habitat is a family, a support system for partner families before and after they move into their own home.
The homes are built with donated materials or with materials purchased with donated funds. Funding is essential! It is all through donations of a caring public. Homes require sponsors! It takes money to buy land...to construct houses! Individuals, companies or organizations may sponsor a home. Or they may be willing to donate land or materials! Or perhaps make a cash donation!
There has never been a greater need for your help than now. Grant funding is down. Businesses are suffering and have cut back their support.
Donations now will make it possible for homes to be built, and provide shelter for families so next year they will be able to sing "I'll be home for Christmas." And it will be a reality, not "If only in their dreams."
Every gift you send will make a difference! And for that Habitat thanks you! Mail contributions to Habitat for Humanity of Washington County, 100 Charles St., Hagerstown, MD 21740. For more information call 301-791-9009.

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