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Interfaith Coalition, Habitat to build home

January 14, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

The Interfaith Coalition of Washington County and the county chapter of Habitat for Humanity said Tuesday they will combine efforts to build a home for a needy county resident in 2004.

Sherry Brown Cooper, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Washington County, said Tuesday during a presentation at the Kepler Theater at Hagerstown Community College that the groups are seeking people from county-based religious groups to support the area's first interfaith house-building initiative.

"I feel it can be a vehicle for all faiths and traditions to come together using the commonality of the hammer to do good deeds," Brown Cooper said.

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She said the first planning meeting for the Interfaith Habitat program will be at 7 p.m. on Jan. 29 at Hagerstown Church of the Brethren.

Brown Cooper said $55,000 in cash and/or goods and services has to be raised to complete the home, although not all is due up front. She said the group hopes to begin the project this spring and finish it in about six months.

Speakers Tuesday included Don Stevenson, Pastor of Christ Reformed Church; Ed Poling, Pastor of the Hagers-town Church of the Brethren; and Syed Qadir, of the Islamic Society of Western Maryland.

Qadir, a member of the Habitat For Humanity board of directors, said the smiles he has seen from new homeowners are worth "a million dollars."

"It is the greatest moment when I see a family come in and formally receive the key to their house," he said.

Poling said the idea for the project came from Interfaith Coalition Task Force member Bob Maginnis, Editorial Page editor of The Herald-Mail Co.

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