Charity and opportunity

A couple of years ago, we ran a two-part interview with Millard Fuller, the founder of Habitat for Humanity. Response from our readers was immediate and positive. Some became directly involved in their own communities, helping to build homes for people in need of decent shelter. The other day in the mail I received an appeal from this same nonprofit organization, written on the letterhead of two of its most prominent supporters, former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn.

The letter described some of Habitat for Humanity's recent work, constructing houses and "transforming people's lives in more than 1,200 communities in the United States and in more than 700 locations in over 40 other countries—one house and one family at a time." Rosalynn Carter spoke of the organization as "faith-based" and "love-centered," working literally "side-by-side with future homeowners."

The mailing also told the story of Irene, a Sioux woman, and her six children, who had been put on a government waiting list for affordable housing. But because they were placed behind 163 other applicants, they first had to move into the small house of Irene's own mother, where twenty-one other people were already living. That's when Habitat for Humanity for joined with Irene to build a home for her family, and they now have a clean, modest place to live. The family is making significant progress, and Irene is enrolled in computer classes to help her move forward in her job.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

December 2, 1996

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.