Editorial: Habitat keeps building homes

This is the worst construction economy in Island County since the early ‘80s, but at least one contractor is going strong, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time.

Habitat for Humanity of Island County, thanks to our many caring volunteers and generous land donors, has been building houses at a rapid rate for several years. House number 27 will be dedicated today, April 16, at 3 p.m. at 1398 NW Lofton Loop in Oak Harbor. House 28 is under construction and volunteers are being lined up to start building houses 29 and 30 to help two more Oak Harbor families.

Meanwhile, Island County Habitat for Island County is getting ready for its annual Women Build Day to take place May 7 on two Habitat houses in the Crosby Common development.

Helping with the project is Lowe’s, the large building supply chain. They’re looking for women to help build in May 7, setting the date to fall close to Mother’s Day due to the large number of families with children in need of adequate housing. Government statistics state that more than 12 million children, or one in six, live in poverty housing in the U.S.

Habitat for Humanity International has been building homes for people throughout the world since it was founded in 1976 with an assist from former President Jimmy Carter. Since then it has repaired or built 400,000 homes worldwide.

Island County’s chapter was founded in 1998 and has faithfully been building several homes each year throughout Whidbey Island. It keeps going on donations of time, labor and skills, and proceeds from its used furniture store in Oak Harbor. Most volunteer organizations aren’t so demanding and it’s remarkable that Habitat for Humanity of Island County has managed to grow stronger each year, particularly during the tough times of the most recent recession.

National Women Build Week, now in its fourth year, is an excellent idea to broaden the volunteer pool and show women that they can help build their own homes through Habitat for Humanity. It’s a worthy effort, making Mother’s Day more than just roses and dinners out for many families: It can mean a new home or helping someone else get their new home.

To volunteer or donate to the local May 7 work day, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., please call 679-9444, email rdm.hfhic@frontier.com or visit www.islandcountyhabitat.org.


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