Helping Hands

Wood County residents proved this year that despite tough economic times for everyone, they are still willing and able to help those in need. At the end of a six-month campaign, Wood County Habitat for Humanity had $12,000 more than its target of $100,000. Generosity like that will “lead to quality homes for many local and deserving residents,” according to campaign chairman Michael Tucker.

As a community-level affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, the local organization is responsible for its own fundraising, building site selection, partner family selection and support, house construction and mortgage servicing. At the same time, local affiliates are asked by the parent organization to send a percentage of their contributions to fund the building of houses in other countries. That means dollars are even more precious, and the help received from local residents will do good across the globe.

Habitat for Humanity’s model is appealing to many in West Virginia because it helps folks help themselves. Lower-income families living in substandard housing have the opportunity to improve their situation by first working “sweat equity” hours for months, helping in the construction or renovation of other homes, at the organization’s office, or in some other way. In turn, donations from the community will allow for renovations or new construction to provide a quality home for those same families.

Donations of any size do good. For example, Habitat for Humanity explains on its website that a $10 gift could help buy a box of nails, while a $2,000 gift might pay for flooring. Every little bit adds up to put a roof over someone’s head.

“It was really great to see how the community supported Habitat and is willing to donate what they can to the cause,” said development coordinator Lisa Collins.

Great, yes, but perhaps no surprise from a community so focused on taking care of those less fortunate.

Collins was quite right when she said “Really, the community was fantastic this year in helping us help others.”