Thank you for the front page article about the Firelands Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I would like to clarify your statement that "that money is used to help build homes for needy families." It is often misunderstood that Habitat homes are donated when in reality they are sold at cost with a no interest mortgage. Partner families go through a lengthy process where they must prove they can afford the home, participate in financial mentoring, and work hundreds of "sweat equity" hours before their own home construction begins.
Money generated through donations and the ReStore supports the many facets of Habitat. What may seem like a few volunteers getting together and hammering nails is really a very complex organization. It is a nonprofit construction company, there is the family selection process, land acquisition, administration of all of the home mortgages, volunteer coordination, fund raising, grant applications, and more.
Firelands Habitat has also enjoyed some very positive improvements recently. A new construction coordinator and committee have designed a streamlined and efficient build process. New worksite procedures have led to a much more fulfilling experience for volunteers. New bylaws have been written and a new interactive website is being created. This was all done with the goals of a greater build capacity and to make participating in the mission more enjoyable for all involved.
In these tight economic times, funding is scarce for Habitat, too. Along with cash contributions, we always welcome donations of building materials, buildable land, and your valued time. Your readers can visit firelandshabitat.org to find out how they can help and have a great time doing so.
Roger J. Parker, Vice President
Firelands Habitat for Humanity