Habitat for Humanity Preparations

By: Michelle Dingcong
By: Michelle Dingcong

Final preparations are taking place for the Jimmy Carter Work Project in Valdosta this week, and in order to build 25 houses in this 14-acre land in just seven days, Habitat is making sure that there's no room to make mistakes.

“Everything has to be on site before we begin because if we make a mistake, chances are it's going to be multiplied 25 times and so there has been a lot of good planning by city and community, volunteers and staff,” says Will Ruttencutter, Director of Construction Services.

The foundation of the houses has already been laid out, and everything that volunteers need from tools to shelves are located in the container in front of the homes.

This will be Habitat's biggest operation ever, with thousands of volunteers participating from 13 different countries.

“Meals three times a day, first aide, security, all the different elements we need to be almost be a self contained spot and several of us will be here 24 hours a day,” says Ralph Jackson, Executive Director of V-LC Habitat.

Some call the event the “Super Bowl of Habitat.” And being that Valdosta is one of three cities to host the event this year, is a true honor for the community.

“Because we've done this around the world, in South Korea, South Africa, Philippines, next year we'll be in Mexico, but this is Valdosta, Georgia and we are at the same playing field and same level, it's exciting.”

The volunteers will start coming in Friday, and start building early Saturday morning all the way till next Friday.

President Carter is scheduled to be here in Valdosta on Wednesday to help build. So grab your hammer, ‘cause Jimmy is coming.

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Habitat for Humanity

  • Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian housing organization.

  • Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 100,000 houses in more than 60 countries, including some 30,000 houses across the United States.

  • Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner families.

  • Habitat houses are purchased by the homeowner families.

  • Three factors make Habitat houses affordable to low-income people worldwide:
    • Houses are sold at no profit, with no interest charged on the mortgage.
    • Homeowners and volunteers build the houses under trained supervision.
    • Individuals, corporations, faith groups, and others provide financial support.

  • Homeowner families are chosen:
    • according to their need
    • their ability to repay the no-profit, no-interest mortgage
    • their willingness to work in partnership with Habitat.

  • Habitat for Humanity does not discriminate according to race, religion or ethnic group.

  • Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, "sweat equity", into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.

  • A Habitat house could cost varies throughout the world, from as little as $800 in some developing countries to an average of $46,600 in the United States.

Source: http://www.habitat.org/ (The Habitat for Humanity International Web site)


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