Habitat for Humanity
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (Patch.com) - Pride Build—a new organization in the gay and lesbian community formed to raise money to build a Habitat for Humanity house for a deserving, low-income family—kicked off its first event Thursday evening with a fundraising reception at the home of Town of Somerset Mayor Jeffrey Slavin.
Several state delegates and Rep. Christopher Van Hollen, D-Md., attended the reception, which raised over $6,000 to build or rehabilitate a home for a low-income Montgomery County family.
“What a great partnership we have with Habitat for Humanity,” Van Hollen said. “(It) gives a new meaning to ‘building with pride.’ ”
With resources “very tight right now,” Van Hollen added, “this is the kind of collaboration that helps the community in so many ways.”
Habitat for Humanity was founded in Georgia in 1976 as a nonprofit organization that builds new homes or rehabilitates old ones for low-income families. The families are chosen through a careful screening process, and families must put in 200 to 500 “sweat equity” hours at the construction site. Families move in with 30-year, interest-free mortgages.
Only one Habitat for Humanity family has ever defaulted on its mortgage in Montgomery County, where the Habitat for Humanity program started in 1982, said John Paukstis, executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County.
“Everyone else owns their own homes,” he added.
Habitat for Humanity homes are built with volunteer labor, bringing various segments of the community together to build a good home for a family who otherwise might not have one.
“We’ve got to build a great home here,” said Elizabeth Birch, a member of the Pride Build steering committee, and a partner with Rose O’Donnell in building homes for New Orleans residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Birch urged reception attendees and the gay community to “build a better community wherever you go”—it helps the larger community as a whole, and it helps the gay community gain acceptance in the larger community.
“When the Pride Build Habitat for Humanity house is finished, the family that moves in will understand that the gay community built their home,” Birch said.
The more than $6,000 that were raised Thursday evening give a good start to building the next Habitat for Humanity house in Montgomery County. $30,000 is needed to begin construction, and an additional $30,000 will be needed to complete the project, which may be in Silver Spring, said Mike Meller, chairman of Pride Build.
A live auction at the reception helped Pride Build to surpass its goal of raising $5,000 at the reception. A three-day, two-night stay at the New Orleans Marriott Hotel netted $800 for the cause, and a seven-night stay at a timeshare resort in Orlando brought in $675.
More fundraising events will take place this summer to raise money for the Pride Build/Habitat for Humanity home, and when construction begins, volunteers will be needed to help build the house.
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Updated 1463 days ago Article ID# 1034794
Habitat for Humanity