Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives! Once Upon A Time...
Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives!
Once Upon A Time...
Many of my earliest childhood memories include sitting on the lap of a parent or grandparent and listening to stories that began "Once upon a time." I know some of those old stories still exist, but I'm not sure people are still writing stories that begin that way. In any event, I am beginning this story with those often used words, "Once upon a time."
Once upon a time, there was a boy named Charlie. He lived in a run-down house with his mother, father and sister. Charlie overheard his parents talking about how difficult it was to meet the cost of the high rent each month. On some days there was a shortage of food, which upset his mother. Dad always seemed to be away from home because he had to work at two jobs to make ends meet. Charlie liked going to school, but the family moved to different houses causing him to have to change schools.
And those houses. Yuk! They were terrible. They had bugs and rats. In winter they were cold and damp. Charlie had heard his Mom and Dad often talk about their dream to own their own home. He often thought it would be nice to have a room of his own like some of his friends.
Then one day a miracle happened. He heard his Mom and Dad talking about a Habitat home. They applied for help to possibly get one of them. Over the next several months, Charlie had to look after his little sister because Mom and Dad spent many of their free hours volunteering on the building of a Habitat house.
Then came the day when Mom and Dad told him and his sister that they were going to have a new home and they would have their own rooms. It was a great day when they were able to move in.
Most of our "Once upon a time stories" end with "And they lived happily ever after." So I will end my story by saying Charlie and his family lived happily ever after.
Maybe this varies from those stories we knew as children. There are no fairies, dragons or princes in shining armor. But there are still miracles. Those miracles being performed by Habitat of Humanity of Washington County. This organization miraculously helps bring about change in many lives each year. It 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 Habitat for Humanity of Washington County is currently conducting its annual fundraising campaign. It needs funding to reach its goal of eliminating poverty housing. In Washington County, more than 11,000 people, half of which are children are living in poverty conditions.
Many of these households are single parent homes, with female heads of household. Donations to Habitat can help provide safe housing where children can grow and flourish. Without a decent place to live, people cannot be productive members of society, children cannot learn, and families cannot thrive. Your contribution can help "the other Charlies and their families" in our county live a happy life.
Contributions may be sent to Habitat for Humanity of Washington County, 20 South Prospect Street, Hagerstown, MD 21740. For more information call 301-791-9009.
William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.