Habitat for Humanity
After a long day, the first thing you want to do is to go home. Home is the place you build memories, feel safe, and begin a stable future. However, what if you didn’t have a home? Just in America, half of a million people are homeless. Habitat for Humanity, a global and nonprofit organization, empowers and impacts our world by giving affordable shelter to those in need. They assist in our own communities, internationally, and in areas of war, natural disasters, and civil unrest. The organization gives people opportunities and a new-found sense of protection. Even in my own community, Habitat for Humanity has positively affected many families. My school and I, have donated money to this organization, because we know the affect it has on impoverished families. Habitat for Humanity’s mission statement is, “Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.”
Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller. The original idea behind the organization was called, “The Fund for Humanity.” Thanks to President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, awareness about the program grew. The Carters helped build various shelters and eventually, a partnership was created between the family and the organization. The “Carter Work Project” is a weeklong event that is held every year to build houses for those in need. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter continue to go to the event and help to spread the message of Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity brings an opportunity of safe, affordable housing to our own communities. Here in the United States, they work in all fifty states to eliminate fear and distress of families not able to afford housing. Children and parents get a sense of stability and a foundation for starting a new life. Homeowners help build their house with the help from volunteers. After the house is built, homeowners get an affordable mortgage. The Whirlpool Corporation, who has a plant located in my town in Hancock County, Ohio, has had a partnership with Habitat for Humanity for over 16 years. The company donates over 5 million products to the organization each year for new homes. Whirlpool Corporation also has fully funded builds that have taken place close to our own communities in areas of: Marion, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. The company’s own employees also participate in the builds and volunteer their time to help the organization in their communities every year.
Internationally, Habitat for Humanity works in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Pacific. Habitat for Humanity gives volunteers the opportunity to live in a different country and help build homes to give people a new start. The organization has helped in places overseas that need help giving their civilians a better life. For a special Global Village volunteer trip, 80 volunteers traveled to Myanmar, a country in Asia. The volunteers helped build houses made from bamboo. Although bamboo is not a natural resource in the United States, it can be used to build housing in Asian countries. Those who helped in Myanmar created a bond with the villagers. One villager named Thet Woi Htun, told the volunteers she will remember this time forever and graciously thanked them for all they had done. With the Global Villages Program, you can visit more than 40 countries and help aid in rebuilds.
The community and volunteers of Habitat for Humanity also aid in areas affected by war. In 2012, United States Vietnam War Veterans revisited Vietnam to build homes for people in need. The veterans got to rebuild these homes and give back, to help with the destruction from the war. Even though the war may seem like a distant memory, some 4.6 million households still live in poverty and struggle. Habitat for Humanity works to create a stable home and environment for the families in those households. The civil war in Lebanon has destroyed homes, lives, and the country’s society. The damage in Lebanon equals about 25 Billion USD and over a million people have been displaced. The country is also in debt that they have not been able to recover from. Unemployment has skyrocketed, and the country has a high cost of living. In 2011, Lebanon opened its doors to Syrian refuges, and there is no end in sight for the Syrian war. The number of millions of refuges has put a strain on the economy and infrastructure of Lebanon. Habitat for Humanity has started a housing microfinance program and a disaster response program in Lebanon. They also continue to help orphans, and those who are vulnerable, repairing homes for them to live in. Habitat for Humanity works to repair school buildings as well in areas affected by war, for children to continue to learn.
Civil unrest is another important problem that Habitat for Humanity works to assist. In Armenia, the poverty rate is currently at about 30%. Habitat for Humanity has many projects currently going on there to improve war affected communities, areas with civil unrest, and sanitation conditions. Sri Lanka has been struck by poverty, civil strife, and natural disasters. In 2009, a 26-year civil war ended, leaving the country in ruins and families scattered. There was not only devastation of buildings, but in many places, there was not safe water to drink and safe sanitation. Habitat for Humanity has been a partner with Sri Lanka for 23 years, helping rebuild after tsunamis, war, cyclones, and floods. The organization has also been passionate about getting clean drinking water to civilians. Many people in Sri Lanka have suffered from a chronic kidney disease after consuming inadequate drinking water. Habitat for Humanity has trained communities and schools in the region about the importance of good hygiene practices. They have also been able to give families clean water after a sanitation project. More than 24,600 families have also received help for building a home from Habitat for Humanity.
Many areas in our world get struck by natural disasters, and Habitat for Humanity gives help to them. When natural disasters strike, millions of people get displaced around the world. People become very vulnerable and lose basic needs. In our own country, natural disasters like hurricanes strike. When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in 2012, Habitat for Humanity was there to help. Since 1997, the organization has helped 230,000 families, including those who were left with devastation from Hurricane Sandy. Also, since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, Habitat for Humanity has built 8,500 homes that were affordable for those who were in need. The “Habitat Hammers Back” action plan has three stages. The first stage is the immediate response to the disaster. This includes removing debris, assessing damage, and collaborating with long-term recovery groups. The second stage is community stabilization. This stage includes providing guidance to those affected, determining funding, and beginning rebuilding plans. The third phase is long-term recovery. This is where the organization repairs the damaged houses, provides new affordable housing, and gets volunteers to help assist in repairs. Those who find themselves victims of natural disasters count on us to help volunteer and donate money or products for the rehabilitating.
In our world today, sometimes we neglect to remember that some people are not living in housing with viable living conditions. People may be opposed to donating to Habitat for Humanity and choose another charity, or donate to no charity at all. However, as evident in this paper, there are numerous reasons you should donate your time, money, or extra furniture to this organization. Habitat for Humanity empowers and impacts our world by giving affordable shelter to those in need. They help build affordable housing, and assist in areas of war, natural disasters, and civil unrest. Without Habitat for Humanity, millions of people would still be living in unimaginable conditions. Donate to the cause by donating money, visiting a Habitat ReStore near you, or by signing up to volunteer today.
Habitat for Humanity