Habitat for Humanity renovating two existing homes

Home recycling venture has energized community support

June 05, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. -- Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County (Pa.) recently branched into home recycling, and the move has sparked new enthusiasm among donors and volunteers.

Executive Director Mark Story said supporters have come out of the woodwork to assist the organization anew.

Habitat hopes to have a family in its first recycled house by Thanksgiving and work started on its second home later this year, Story said.

A Falls Church, Va., woman donated her 1800s family home on South Main Street in Chambersburg to Habitat in December, he said.

A few months ago, the New Franklin (Pa.) Ruritan Club donated a home next to its property on New Franklin Road to the organization, said Earl Garvin, a member of the Ruritan Club board.


Volunteers are lining up to help with the renovation projects, Story said.

To foster the energized community support, Story said Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County is pioneering an ambitious new fundraiser.

Habitat will raffle a backyard cottage that measures 8 feet by 9 feet this summer at the Franklin County Fair, he said.

Story said he is of the opinion that a fundraiser should directly support an organization's mission.

Raffling a "miniature" house to raise money that will help a family move into a new house is appropriate, he said.

"There is nothing wrong with a dinner auction," he said, referencing a fundraiser hosted by Habitat for the past 16 years. "But there is everything right about giving away this small house."

Paper keys to the house are available across the county for $10. The winner of the house will be announced Aug. 21.

Because the fundraiser has corporate sponsors and a corporate partner, Story said all of the money donated will go to the Habitat houses.

"Our goal is to raise $20,000 between the sponsors and the chances," he said.

Habitat has three homes under way for this summer that will all benefit from the raffle, Story said.

The project on South Main Street has been gutted and reconstruction is about to begin, he said.

Most of the original house was salvaged, including the old logs and beams.

With volunteers working three days a week, Story said it will soon start to look like a home again.

Built in 1952, the house on New Franklin Street was once owned by a member of the Ruritan, Garvin said.

Donating the house fit with the Ruritan's mission of service, Garvin said.

Recycling homes was not feasible for the organization until recently, Story said.

The two donated houses have a zero-cost basis, allowing Habitat to invest its money in renovation rather than acquisition, he said.

In addition to the New Franklin Street house, Story said Habitat is partnering with Cumberland Valley Habitat for Humanity to build a new home on Holly Court in Shippensburg, Pa.

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