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Letter: Volunteers sought for Habitat project

Habitat for Humanity of Southwestern Minnesota is a nonprofit, Christian housing ministry that seeks to reduce poverty housing in our area and to make simple, decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Since 2002, Habitat for Humanity of Southwestern Minnesota has built or renovated 8 houses in the Nobles, Pipestone and Rock county area.

Habitat for Humanity provides a hand up to families in need by building housing in partnership with them. Sometimes people have the misperception that Habitat houses are given to the new homeowner as a gift. On the contrary, each "partner family" makes a small down-payment and then invests hundreds of hours of their own labor, which we call sweat equity, into building Habitat houses. When their house is complete, the partner family purchases it. The benefit to the partner family is that the cost of the home is lower due to the investment of volunteer hours by community members and the mortgage has no interest. Mortgage payments from partner families are deposited into a fund to support the building of future Habitat houses in the area.

Each year, Habitat seeks financial support each year through private donations, business sponsorships and grants. In these challenging economic times, we are especially grateful for all financial contributions made. This year we have been fortunate enough to receive a substantial grant from Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity, an alliance between Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Habitat for Humanity International. We are thrilled to partner with them for the second time because they make both a financial and a local volunteer commitment to ensure the success of the project.

Currently we are building a home in Worthington, Minnesota. The house is located on the corner of Eighth Avenue and 11th Street. Progress on the house is going very smoothly due to the work and donations made many area businesses, churches and individuals. We are grateful for the support of everyone who has already contributed their time, talent and resources to the 2009 project.

Work on the 2009 home will continue into the fall, so we continue to seek volunteers to assist with the project. Volunteers must be 16 years of age. Currently on weekday evenings volunteers are sanding and staining woodwork. On Saturdays, volunteers are working on construction at the building site. If you, or a group that you are involved with, are interested in volunteering, please contact me by calling (507) 343-5470.