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Brambleton Mormon Youth Group Raises $13,000 for Loudoun Habitat

By Alexis Davies, Patch.com

858 days ago   Article ID# 1516021
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Loudoun Habitat for Humanity

ASHBURN, VIRGINIA (Patch.com) - The youth group from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Brambleton Congregation raised $13,000 for Loudoun Habitat for Humanity during an auction earlier this month to help with the construction of a home in western Loudoun.

The home is the third of five planned in the Erin Petersen subdivision in the village of St. Louis west of Middleburg.

Loudoun Habitat provides affordable housing for people in need and its work “is based on Christian principles,” according to its website. Partnerships with local businesses, churches and faith organizations, government, and individuals help the Habitat accomplish its mission. Since incorporating in 1993, Loudoun Habitat has built 20 homes in the county.

Habitat calls the home a “Matthew 25 build,” based on the bible verse that says when service is given to those in need, the service is being done for God.

Members of the church presented Loudoun Habitat Executive Director Jeff Dee with the money March 22 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meeting house in Ashburn.

Dee said usually when a group partners with Habitat the goal is to raise a good portion of the money prior to beginning construction; then fundraising continues during the build. Dee estimated the Matthew 25 build to cost $80,000 to $100,000 and said a little more than $20,000 has been raised.

A common misconception is that people get Habitat homes for free.

“It’s not accurate. People have to meet three key criteria’s: a legitimate housing need; willingness to partner, which means they have to put in sweat equity; and the ability to pay a mortgage," he said. "The mortgage depends on the circumstances of the family, but Habitat for Humanity can never charge more than 30 percent of a partner family’s annual income. It’s a hand up, not a hand out.”

The auction was a collaboration of the youth group members initially set into action by Jonathan Linton, president of the Brambleton young men’s group. With a goal of collecting $4,000, the auction’s $13,000 in proceeds far surpassed expectations.

“It was really neat to see all of the participation from the youth,” Linton said. “We had babysitting, artwork, luxury car rentals, Nationals tickets, baked goods. I think we brought in about $850 from desserts alone.”

Linton, a professional artist, donated an original oil painting for the auction.

Madeline Cheney, a 15-year-old Briar Woods student, wanted to offer something other than babysitting, so she Googled hotels in the area and approached one about donating a night stay. The St. Regis Hotel in DC went a little further, donating a weekend getaway that resulted in a bidding war.

“The weekend getaway sold for around $500, I think,” Cheney said. “Other items were going for over $1,000, but I was still a little surprised when I heard the total amount the auction brought in.”

Dale Neuffer, the liaison between the church and Loudoun Habitat, said other projects help raised additional contributions beyond the auction’s $13,000.

“A group of young women put up a Christmas tree in December with homemade ornaments that had donation slips on them,” Neuffer explained. “The ornaments said things like, ‘$25 for a bundle of shingles,’ or ‘$3 for a bag of nails.’ That project brought in close to $3,000 for the Matthew 25 build.”

Construction on the Matthew 25 build begins in May and project leaders anticipate completion in October, with the majority of the work being done on Fridays and Saturdays. Dedicated of the home will follow in November, after which the family can move in. Anyone over the age of 16 can help with construction. No special skills are required. Those under 16 can help in other ways.

Copyright 2014 Patch.com   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 858 days ago   Article ID# 1516021

Loudoun Habitat for Humanity    Visit Website

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