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Churches help Habitat for Humanity build homes for needy

January 20, 2008

FREDERICK, Md. - Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County continues to enjoy strong support from some area churches which recently gave nearly $6,000 to help Habitat's affordable housing mission.

This support includes regular contributions, donations of individuals who took part in alternative giving fairs the churches sponsored and church members who volunteer to help build affordable housing for Frederick County families in need.

Brook Hill United Methodist Church of Frederick continued its tradition of financial support of Habitat. Endowment Committee Chairperson Anita Ebinger recently gave Habitat a check for $2,500. Brook Hill's support of Habitat began in 2003 when it had initiated the involvement of other Frederick County United Methodist churches in building a Habitat home in Brunswick, Md. In 2005 Brook Hill made a $5,000 donation when the Methodist congregations built their second Habitat home in Emmitsburg, Md.

During 2007, Frederick Church of the Brethren continued its quarterly donation of $1,500 in addition to allowing free use of a meeting room for monthly board meetings.

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Churches across the county provide ongoing support. Habitat has received a donation from the Harmony Church of the Brethren in Myersville, Md., as a pledge of its support for the first Habitat home to be built in Middletown, Md. In addition, to provide homes to hardworking Frederick County families in need, Monocacy Valley Church of Frederick, St. Ignatius Church of Urbana and Walkersville United Methodist Church all made donations.

End-of-the-year church-sponsored alternative giving fairs provided opportunities for people to contribute to Habitat. Three Frederick churches - Faith United Church of Christ, Grace United Church of Christ and Evangelical Church of Christ- co-sponsored one fair and the Reformed Church of Christ of Middletown hosted another.

Besides financial support, area churches continue to provide volunteers to help with construction.

According to Kim Riddle, Habitat board member and volunteer coordinator, "these volunteers play a crucial role in helping Habitat make homes affordable. Their donated, quality work on the homes saves labor costs and this allows Habitat to sell its homes at prices families in need can afford."

Riddle works closely with Habitat staff to recruit volunteers for construction and other activities such as staffing the Habitat booth at local events. Using an extensive e-mail network, Riddle sends out requests for volunteers to report on set days to a specific location. "The system is working well," Riddle said, "because we normally get the right kind and numbers of volunteers needed for that activity that day."

Since its start in 1993, Habitat of Frederick has built or renovated 25 homes: 18 in Frederick City and seven throughout the county for 27 adults and 71 children. This year, Habitat plans to build or renovate 11 more homes: six in Frederick City, one in Brunswick and two each in Emmitsburg and Middletown, providing affordable living space for approximately 40 more adults and children.

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