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Habitat for Humanity announces summer fundraiser

By Lisa Tindell

The summer fundraiser to benefit Escambia County Habitat for Humanity is a win-win for everyone, according to Lisa Tindell, executive director for the organization.

“We are doing our second summer cash giveaway as our latest fundraiser,” Tindell said. “The drawing for the cash prizes will be held July 4.”

Tindell said prizes for the drawing will be $500 for first prize, $250 for second prize and $100 for third. All money raised during the sale of the tickets will be used to fund projects of the local Habitat affiliate in the coming months. Tickets are $10 each and are available from board members of the group and at the Habitat Restore on Douglas Avenue in Brewton.

“We are always in need of funding,” Tindell said. “We have so many requests for assistance that it is difficult to keep up. We hate to turn anyone away, but our funding is dependent upon donations, fundraisers and Restore sales.”

Tindell said the organization held ribbon cutting ceremonies on its latest home in April for a family in Atmore.

“We have placed 23 families in homes of their own since Habitat began in our county,” Tindell said. “In addition to homes for those 23 families, we have also provided critical repairs for more than a dozen families in this county. Our funding for each of these projects – whether it’s a new home or critical repairs to existing homes – comes from different sources. Because of that, we are constantly looking for ways to find the funding to help those in need in our county.”

Through the past 22 years, ECHFH has made its primary goal to provide safe, affordable housing for families with contributions and volunteer labor.

“We have seen a decline in volunteerism in the past several years,” Tindell said. “Because of that, we rely more heavily on contract labor that costs us more to reach the final construction of a home. With fewer volunteers, the cost of building or renovating a home increases our costs that are passed along to the new homeowner.”

Through the “Brush with Kindness” program, Tindell said critical repairs for those who are in desperate need of repairs is also taxing on the funds of the organization.

“The repair program, which we call ‘Brush with Kindness’ is typically done for those who at in the most desperate situations in their homes,” Tindell said. “We have worked to replace roofs, floors and even some walls in the past five years. The program began with a plan to help spruce up homes that just needed minor repairs. Most of the initial work done in the beginning stages of the program were simple painting, adding a hand-rail to porches and maybe putting new caulking around windows. With more and more of our county residents falling into retirement age, most of those we help are on fixed incomes and are simply unable to afford the cost of a new roof. That’s where we see our biggest need – critical repairs on  homes of low-income residents.”

Tindell said the group is currently looking for funding and are not taking any more applications at this time for either the home or the repair program.

“We have several families on our waiting lists for homes and for repairs,” Tindell said. “Unless we receive several generous donations or find funding, we have more than we can currently handle. We expect that we will open the application process sometime this fall for others interested in our programs.”

Tindell said she will be happy to provide qualification information to anyone looking to determine their eligibility for either program.

“Our programs are not a hand-out,” Tindell said. “This is a hand-up organization. Everyone who becomes a partner family with Habitat will be required to pay for the services through mortgage payments or repair payments. We don’t give away our services or homes, but we make it possible for those in need to have an alternative to traditional financing for homes and repairs.”

To learn more about Escambia County Habitat for Humanity, to purchase a ticket or to see how you can help, contact Tindell at 251-867-0095.