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Habitat for Humanity Official Urges Rotary Members to Get Involved

May 12, 2006 – If you swing a hammer for a Habit for Humanity house, don't let your involvement stop there, Habitat Community Relations Director Clive Rainey told Rotary Club of St. John members gathered Friday at the Westin Resort and Villas.
"Be a mentor," Rainey said.
Rainey, who is based Americus, Ga., urged Rotary members to get to know the people who will live in the Habitat's houses.
Rainey said there will be Habitat recipients with no father in the household. He said that was a good opportunity for volunteers to make a difference in someone's life by providing guidance and care.
Rainey had lots of stories to tell about his 29 years with the nonprofit agency, including one about a little boy that had no teeth. He said the boy indicated his father knocked out his teeth.
"He said 'Thank you for my new home so my daddy can never hurt me again,'" Rainey said.
He also told story about a woman in a neighborhood developed by Habitat that didn't maintain her house. He said that despite the best efforts of various Habitat for Humanity committees set up to deal with such situations, the house continued to deteriorate. However, he said that when a group of neighbors volunteered to help with repairs, the situation turned around.
Rainey said that Habitat International is active in 100 countries and has built 250,000 houses. "Every 24 minutes a house is completed," he said.
Rainey said that Habitat for Humanity is a Christian-based organization but provided homes and welcomed involvement from people of all faiths and no religious affiliation.
"We think that everybody needs a place to live," he said.
Local Habitat director Adrian Bishop said 50 people applied for the territory's first Habitat house, to be built starting this summer on St. Thomas. He said screening reduced the number to six families, with the first household to be chosen shortly.
He said applicants must be able to pay the interest-free mortgage, insurance and property taxes and provide 350 hours in "sweat equity."
Rainey said he's in the Virgin Islands to raise awareness for Habitat for Humanity's program
Bishop said a fund-raiser at Coral World on St. Thomas raised $55,000.
"We've received encouragement from a number of parts of the community," he said.
To reach the local Habitat for Humanity office, call 714-5678.

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