Consider donating to Habitat

There may be no place like home for the holidays, but for a couple of local families, home is taking on a new significance this season. Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley has wasted no time in making a difference in some Washington County lives, and over the weekend celebrated not only the dedication of a refurbished and repaired home outside Marietta for the Gandee family, but also a groundbreaking for construction of a home for the Curry family, in Barlow.

Habitat for Humanity is no handout program. It sells to families homes with a zero-percent interest loan, and those families are required to provide “sweat equity” hours working on their own homes and other projects in the area, and attend homebuyer education classes.

In fact, in the case of Eric and Heidi Gandee, “They knew the harder they worked the faster they could get into their home,” according to MOV Habitat Executive Director Alvin Phillips. “They were motivated to make a better life for their kids and themselves.”

Habitat for Humanity is able to provide that kind of fresh start for so many families because of local sponsors, volunteers and donors. This year’s fundraising campaign runs through Valentine’s Day.

But it also depends on families who understand their responsibilities in accepting that opportunity. Those interested in applying for Habitat homeownership may attend the next homeowner applicant meeting at 5 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Habitat Learning Center, 700 16th St., Vienna. More information on both becoming a donor and becoming a homeowner is available at habitatmov.com.

During the dedication of his new home, Eric Gandee said he had a feeling the home was where he and his wife would raise their family and “spend the rest of our days.” There is no pricetag for that kind of feeling.

But he prefaced that remark with something important, “To find all of these wonderful people who wanted to help us out in that process is absolutely amazing.”

There are plenty of demands on time and money during this season, but consider Habitat for Humanity as a worthy addition to that list, if you are able. Doing so will bring an opportunity to be part of something special. As future homeowner Carry Curry put it, “Working with Habitat is just one of many reasons our family has for giving thanks this holiday season.”

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