David L. Michael: Volunteers fuel Habitat for Humanity’s efforts
Were you aware that approximately 1.6 billion people currently live in dangerous, unsafe and unhealthy housing conditions throughout the world?
It’s OK to be shocked by this number; in fact, you should be. Traditionally shelter has been listed as a minimal basic human need along with water and clothing. However, in this environment, people struggle simply to survive. To many, Habitat for Humanity’s housing program offers a beacon of hope.
Seeking to put God’s love into action, Huntington WV Area Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Our vision is to partner with qualified families in need and provide them with an opportunity for safe, decent, affordable housing. Modeled on Biblical principles, Habitat homes are sold to families at no profit and no interest.
Habitat’s solution to the issue of substandard housing is popular with people from many different backgrounds. This is the heart of Habitat — inviting individuals from communities to find common ground through using a hammer and sharing a goal, building relationships as well as houses.
In celebration of National Volunteer Week (April 6-13), I wanted to address the impact of a volunteer’s time to our affiliate. Huntington WV Area Habitat for Humanity utilizes nearly 2,500 hours of volunteer time to complete each Habitat house. Scheduled to complete seven new houses this year, this is the equivalent of 17,500 volunteer hours dedicated to just house building alone. Our Board of Directors and committee members are volunteers. We even utilize volunteers in our Habitat ReStore and affiliate offices.
This year we will need approximately 22,500 hours of volunteer time to meet the goal of completing seven new houses. The dollar equivalent of that time is approximately $422,000! Volunteers allow us to extend our budget beyond what we could ever imagine to afford. We are particularly blessed with a phenomenal group of regular volunteers. I would like to say a special thank you to Bill Peck, Bill Sturm, Charles Shaver, Dale Smotherman, Daryl Kinch, Dave Karickhoff, David Specht, Ed Linville, John Crowder, Marty Edelen, Mike Moore, Richard “Sug” McLeod, Tim Muth, Thomas Murphy, Tom Napier and Walter Mattson for their tireless work and dedication as we work to end substandard housing in our community.
If you have ever volunteered with Huntington WV Area Habitat for Humanity in any capacity, THANK YOU for giving us one of your most precious resources — your time. You truly “Help Build It!”
David L. Michael is executive director and chief executive officer of CEO of Huntington WV Area Habitat for Humanity.
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