We’re all familiar with the saying “pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” In America, it’s part of our DNA. “You can do whatever you put your mind to,” and we expect ourselves and others to do it. I understand the rhetoric of this mindset, and I partly agree with it. There is value in empowering yourself and others to pursue their goals and to determine their lot in life – it has proven effective for millions. On the other side of it, however, are 690 million people worldwide who, every night, go to bed with an empty stomach (World Vision). Considering this staggering number, it is hard to believe that 690 million people across the world are simply lacking the gumption to feed themselves and their families. If that were the case then all of the humanitarian efforts to feed the hungry are completely missing the mark. We don’t need to give them food, what they really need is some grit and determination! It sounds silly when you say it like this. We’re not talking about hunger this week, but the example serves its purpose. Real people need real help that goes far beyond a pep talk.
This week we’re featuring Palouse Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity is a global organization whose vision is for everyone in the world to have a decent place to live. They exist in 70 countries worldwide and are present in all 50 US States. Palouse Habitat for Humanity was established in 1992. Since their founding, they have built homes in Albion, Colfax, Pullman, Moscow, Genesee, Palouse, Uniontown and Potlatch. Palouse Habitat has taken on the mission of eliminating poverty housing on the Palouse. Through a well-organized volunteer system, they help families in need build simple, energy efficient homes. The homeowners are selected according to need, the ability to make an affordable mortgage payment, and willingness to partner in the home build. Homeowners are empowered to take ownership in the process by putting in 300-400 hours of work, building “sweat equity” as they partner with volunteers to build their home. Additionally, they contribute part of the closing costs, undergo a course in financial education, and ultimately receive an affordable mortgage from Palouse Habitat to purchase the home. As Palouse Habitat puts it, “it’s a hand up, not a hand out.”
Palouse Habitat offers help to people who need it, who want it, and who are willing to work for it. The beauty of their mission lies in how well they hold the tension between giving someone a hand out and not helping at all. They generously give time, resources, energy, and education to people who really need it. They allow these people the dignity and joy of building their own home. They give them the boots and teach them how to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
Palouse Habitat is in the midst of this work right now as they build two homes in Uniontown, WA for the Leasburg family and the Hansen Family. The three paragraphs below are from a recent Palouse Habitat News Release and they give a summary of each family’s circumstances.
“Breanne and Kelcey are parents to three-year-old Alora. Breanne grew up in Pullman, and Kelcey is originally from Colville WA. The family is very much looking forward to a home where they can all sit down to a meal together. ‘Our current home doesn’t have enough space for even a small kitchen table so we are bunched up together on the couch.’ Breanne is a cook at the local hospital and being able to have the space to make home-cooked meals and eat with room for everyone is very important to her. ‘We appreciate this blessing and will do everything as a family to take care of this home.’”
“Kyle Hansen is a single father with sole custody of his six-year-old son Kyas. ‘I had to move a lot as a kid, and I wanted something different for Kyas – for him to have a room that would always be his room, to have a safe yard to play in, to have a school where he could make friends to grow up with. And, to have a place where, once he is grown, that he can always come back to if he ever needs to.’”
Habitat hopes to begin construction on the Hansen home this spring. The home is projected to cost over $160,000 due to the rising cost of building materials. Palouse Habitat hopes to raise these funds during its annual fundraiser event, Beans ‘n’ Jeans…”
This week, Palouse Habitat is currently doing their annual fundraiser Beans ‘n’ Jeans of which Good Deeds Mortgage is the event sponsor. Beans ‘n’ Jeans is an online auction and the most important fundraiser of the year for Palouse Habitat. They rely on the funds raised by this event to build each Habitat home. The auction features many one-of-a-kind works of art, and a variety of other items. You can support Palouse Habitat by purchasing from their auction as well as by making a donation to “Raise the Roof.” The auction ends tomorrow, Saturday the 17th, so make sure to act fast if you want to help Habitat build these two homes.
We hope that you will consider partnering with Palouse Habitat by donating to their cause.