We’ve all heard about the great work Habitat for Humanity does for communities around the world. But how much do you actually know about the organization?
For example, did you know that there’s a Habitat affiliate right here in Dorchester County? Since 1993, Dorchester Habitat for Humanity has been “Building Homes and Hope” with the help of an inspiring community of volunteers. Here are a few other facts and fictions you should know about our local Habitat for Humanity chapter.
True or False? Dorchester Habitat for Humanity receives funding from Habitat International
False! Want to donate your hard-earned dollars to the greater good and know precisely where they are going? Rest assured that Dorchester Habitat for Humanity is the perfect candidate. The organization does not receive funding from the international branch of Habitat; rather, it is kept afloat by the ongoing generous support and contributions of the local community.
True of False? You need construction experience to volunteer
False! Many people shy away from volunteering with Habitat for Humanity because they mistakenly believe that they will need some sort of construction training. This could not be farther from the truth! There is always a Construction Supervisor on-site to show you how to build from the ground up, no experience needed! There are also a number of tasks that volunteers can accomplish through Habitat, and not all involve hammers, nails and saws. The Habitat ReStore, for example, is operated completely by volunteers – no hard hat required.
True or False? Habitat homes benefit the entire community
True! While only one family moves into the new house, the entire neighborhood and community is made better with more roofs over more heads. We are all, after all, part of a larger whole, and Habitat for Humanity improves that whole.
As a non-profit organization, a portion of Habitat’s income comes from the mortgages that participating families pay. It’s a pretty magical process, with neighbors building community with neighbors. Our homeowners’ mortgage payments go into a revolving fund that is only used to build more affordable housing.
True or False? Habitat Gives Houses Away for Free
False! Habitat homes are not actually free! Here’s a brief rundown of how the Homeownership Program works:
First, eligible families apply for the program and are selected based on their need to get out of substandard living conditions, their ability to pay an affordable mortgage, at no-interest, back to Dorchester Habitat for Humanity, and their willingness to partner and build their own home. Completed homes are sold without profit as a goal, so families are given a low, affordable monthly payment much less than what they were paying in rent. This gives them the opportunity to save for emergencies, education and retirement.
A decent and affordable place to live removes barriers to opportunity, success and health that may have been part of a family’s life for years and/or generations.
True or False? Anyone can apply for a Habitat home, regardless of faith
True! In fact, all qualified applicants will receive consideration for assistance without regard to race, religion, sex, national origin or similar factors. Likewise, volunteers for Habitat are members of all faiths and backgrounds.
True or False? There are tons of ways to support Dorchester Habitat for Humanity
True! Dorchester Habitat is always looking for volunteers for the build site and also at the ReStore! Groups are welcome! You can also be a part of the Habitat Leadership Team by joining one of these committees: Special Event Planning, Grant Research, Marketing/Public Relations, or the Site Selection Team.
Donate your stuff! Whether you’re renovating your home, cleaning your garage, downsizing or decluttering, the ReStore truck will pick up and remove your home improvement items and building materials for free! Believe it or not, the ReStore is Dorchester Habitat’s biggest source of income! All contributions to Dorchester Habitat are tax-deductible!
Become a Carpenters’ Club member by pledging $25 or more towards each home built. Dorchester Habitat typically build four homes a year. Not interested in becoming a member? You can simply donate online at your convenience.
Attend or sponsor one of the many fundraising events throughout the year. Some of these include the Habitat Gala & Golf Classic, Lowcountry Boil, Tennis Classic, and much more! To learn more, visit DorchesterHabitat.org or call (843) 851-1414.