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New director comfortable in her Habitat

November 22, 2007|By ANDREW SHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN

Kathy Powderly didn't plan to take a job in the same building as her husband, but it worked out that way.

Powderly is the new director of development for Habitat for Humanity of Washington County.

Her husband, Kyle Powderly, is a pastor at Hagerstown Presbyterian Church on South Prospect Street ? where Habitat's offices are.

The Powderlys moved from Baltimore to Hagerstown at the beginning of the year when Kyle was named pastor.

Kathy Powderly said she was without a job for several months. The couple used money they had saved as a cushion until she found work.

When her husband told her about the Habitat job opening, she was interested right away. She said Habitat for Humanity is the type of organization she had in mind when she recently got into nonprofit work.

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"Habitat works on housing ? the needs of the entire family," she said. "You're not only addressing the root causes, but you're addressing the permanent solutions, as well."

For Habitat, which builds home for people with low incomes, Powderly helps raise money and attract volunteers. She has been working on grants, sending out solicitation letters and getting to know the community better.

Powderly said Habitat has built 26 homes in Washington County.

It plans to build another three next year. One will be another house built by a female crew, a project known as "Women Build."

Habitat also will soon launch its own Web site at www.habitat-wc.org.

In an e-mail, Powderly added that Habitat is planning to open a "ReStore" for new and used building materials and appliances.

Powderly grew up in Annapolis and studied English at Towson State University.

She said she took an accounting job at City Paper, a weekly publication in Baltimore, to get a chance to write. She ended up in classified sales.

Working in Baltimore for City Paper for 13 years, it was easy to notice the city's problems and to get frustrated, she said.

"They were more interested with the outcomes ... ," she said. "I wanted to address the root problems. I felt I needed to do something and be part of the solution."

Powderly switched to nonprofit work by taking a job with the YMCA of Central Maryland. As the urban initiatives philanthropy manager, she did, as she put it, "fundraising and friend raising."

After working on volunteer projects for Habitat, she thought about getting a job with the organization.

Along came the Washington County job, which Powderly started in August.

She said she was sure something good would turn up in Hagerstown.

"I knew there'd be something for me to be passionate about," she said.

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