February 4, 2009

Lend a helping hand to Habitat for Humanity

Two Sundays ago I had the privilege of hearing Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity International, speak during a Sunday morning service at Silver Spring Presbyterian Church in Cumberland County. What an inspirational man.

Regretfully, he passed away yesterday morning at the age of 74. The legacy of this man will continue to live on in the form of the organization he created in 1976.

Habitat for Humanity changes the world one family at a time by bringing hope in the form of affordable, simple homes to those without sufficient housing. The homes are not free, but come with interest-free mortgages.

Millard formulated this mission in line with his strong faith in God, which led him from a life of material riches to one of material modesty and spiritual wealth. It was his hope to end poverty housing throughout the world. I would love for all of us to join in.

My favorite part of Habitat for Humanity is that volunteers help the families to build these homes. Some of the best moments of my life have been spent on Habitat construction sites in the Allison Hill area of Harrisburg. Driving through that neighborhood, it is absolutely awe inspiring to see how the Habitat houses stand out amongst some of the destruction and devastation of that portion of the city. The homes are transforming that neighborhood, as well as the lives of those who dwell within them.

I invite you to give your local Habitat for Humanity chapter a try. I
have met so many wonderful friends through my work with the organization. And there is something satisfying about a hard day's work helping to build a home for someone in need.

One of the best parts is that related skills are not required. Obviously, they're helpful, but I personally had no idea how what I was doing when I first volunteered. It can be a long day and you're likely to get a little dirty, but please believe me when I say you will be so glad you did it. You might even find yourself with a case of Habititis. :o)

Really not into the idea of getting dirty on site? There are many other ways you can help out at Habitat through various committees. Please see the volunteer links below. To make a general donation to Habitat for Humanity, click here

The affiliates also host fundraising events throughout the year. For example, if you live in the Harrisburg area, I invite you to attend the fifth annual art auction of Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Harrisburg Area. The event is scheduled for March 7 at the Hershey Country Club. I attended last year and plan to be there again this year – it makes for a lovely evening!

Below is some information to help get you started. If you don't see information for the affiliate near you, please visit this Web site to find one.

Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Harrisburg Area
(717) 545-7299

Cumberland Valley Habitat for Humanity
(717) 258-1830
E-mail (no Web site available)

Lancaster Area Habitat for Humanity
(717) 392-8836
How to volunteer
How to donate

York Habitat for Humanity
(717) 854-6168
How to volunteer
How to donate

Habitat for Humanity of Lebanon County Inc.
(717) 228-1490
How to volunteer
How to donate