Habitat for Humanity Celebrates 20 Years of Building Dreams

January 22, 2015–This year, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fredericksburg celebrates its 20th anniversary of providing decent, affordable, safe housing to those in need in our community.

“We are proud to have built homes for 15 local families in the past two decades,” said Habitat Vice President Kelly Musselman. “We have a lot of things to celebrate this year, including the completion of House #15 next month and the move in of our newest homeowners, the Perez family, this spring.”

Habitat’s Winter Texan volunteer group, the Care-A-Vanners, arrives the beginning of February to finish work on House #15, located at 306 W. Park Street. Dick Aide from Fox Lake, Wisconsin, heads up the Care-A-Vanners, who come from as far away as Canada, for their month long stay. They will join local volunteer builders overseen by Habitat construction supervisor Wayne Murphy.

“What a wonderful day it will be for the Perez family- to have a place of their own to be proud to call home,” said Musselman. She noted the new dwelling would not have been possible without the financial support of the local community through individual, business, club, and church donations as well as area foundation grants.

“We are especially grateful for the special donation of the lot for House #15 by a long time Fredericksburg family,” she adds. “By being a part of Habitat’s good work, they and others, have helped make a house a home for another deserving family in our community.”

Habitat can’t hang up its hammer yet, though. House #16, on the lot adjacent to #15, will break ground this spring as well. Just as it takes a lot of hands to build a Habitat home, it takes a lot of heart to help fund it. The first Habitat home was constructed in 1995 for $25,000. Twenty years later, that price has almost quadrupled. Construction costs for House #16 run about $90,000 for materials (as noted, most labor is donated).

As part of their “Raise the Roof” campaign, Habitat is asking for donors to sponsor a part of Home #16, whether a window or door, sink or tub, cabinets or flooring. Donations can range from $25 for a gallon of paint, $350 for a water heater, to $1000 for insulation. About half the funds for the home have been raised to date and Habitat seeks to raise the remaining half this year through the fund drive.

Donations of any amount are welcome and are tax-deductible. All donations go toward building costs of the home. Habitat for Humanity is privately funded and receives no government monies.

A typical Habitat home is 1100 square feet, 3 bedroom, 1 and 1/2 baths with central heat and air. There is no garage or carport, but a small storage shed is included. Whirlpool Corporation donates a refrigerator and stove for each home built. The Vereins Quilt Guild of Fredericksburg also donates a handmade quilt to each new homeowner.

Future homeowners must meet strict criteria to become eligible for a Habitat home and must put in 300 hours of “sweat equity”- actual labor on their new home, whether painting the walls or installing insulation. Homes are not “given away”, just like any other homeowner, Habitat families must make a down payment and a monthly mortgage payment, which includes insurance and taxes. Full equity is not realized until the mortgage is paid off within 20 to 25 years.

“With the help of our community and its caring citizens, Habitat for Humanity provides a head start with a hand up, not a hand out, to families in need,” said Musselman. “We appreciate all the support, interest, and help we have received over the past twenty years and want people to know that they do make a difference in other’s lives.”

The current Habitat board includes Larry Berkman, President, Kelly Musselman, Vice-President, Pricilla Murphy, Secretary, June Phillips, Treasurer, Tommy Newman, Cynthia Berkman, Brent Geistweidt, Karen Kemp, Cindy Maple, and Judy Hoopman.

Habitat’s board notes that available, affordable land will remain a challenge for the organization. As area land prices continue to climb, Habitat welcomes any individual or business that may be interested in donating or discounting land for future Habitat homes.

To make a donation, volunteer, or for further information call (830) 990-8585 or visit www.fbghabitat.org. Donations for the “Raise the Roof” campaign may be mailed to Habitat for Humanity 102 E. San Antonio Str. Suite B Box 5 Fredericksburg TX 78624.



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