A few years ago at Christmas the kids were talking about everything they wanted; computers, ipods, phones, clothes, etc. It was out of control. Hubby and I decided that the girls needed a good dose of reality and they needed to see how fortunate they are and hopefully learn to have some compassion for others. Then hubby and I looked at each other and realized we were just as bad as the kids. When we wanted something we went out and bought it, and we were doing nothing to give back to the community.
We talked about different charities we could get involved with but there was really nothing that spoke to both of us. Shortly after that I noticed that our community was starting a new chapter of Habitat for Humanity. That was one that spoke to us both.
This weekend I attended a Habitat for Humanity International conference in Champaign, Illinois. It was so great to see so many people focused on a common goal: helping the deserving poor find adequate housing. It was motivating, energizing, and yes, even fun. I thought I'd share a few things with you that you might not know about HFH.
DID YOU KNOW:
- that adequate housing is a basic human right? In 1948 the United Nations defined housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living.
- that HFH doesn't "give houses to the homeless?" HFH families pay a mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc.
- that having a Habitat house in your neighborhood does NOT decrease the value of your home? In fact studies show it is the opposite.
- that there is no county in the US that a person can work 40 hours a week at a minimum wage job and afford even a one-bedroom apartment at the local fair-market rent?
- that an average HFH family makes too much money to qualify for government housing, but not enough money to purchase a house on their own?
- that joining your local HFH affiliate is a fun way to meet new people while feeling good about giving back to the community?
- that not all HFH volunteers have to know how to use power tools? There is about a bazillion things you can do: help with fundraisers, chair committees, pound the pavement, get a group of friends together and have a build day, make lunch for the construction people, etc
- that you can get a pink hardhat and a raspberry tool belt?
- that you can make life-long friends, have fun, do something worthwhile?
- that you can change the lives of others?