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Habitat For Humanity Of Kanawha, Putnam Counties Celebrates 25 Years

Reported by: Send eMail Kera Mashek
Reported: Jul. 4, 2014 12:54 PM EDT
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Habitat For Humanity
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Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam Counties is celebrating 25 years of building homes for families in need.

The home rehabilitations and new builds could not be possible without the support of countless volunteers.

But finding volunteers, especially during the summer, can be challenging. That is why Habitat is issuing a special new challenge to businesses to get involved.

"People need a decent place to live and the volunteer work is wonderful. You contribute to the community," said Ron Claar, Habitat for Humanity volunteer.

Claar has been helping Habitat for Humanity since he retired in 1998 and has never looked back. He is one of the volunteers now putting the finishing touches on a Habitat house in Charleston, and Claar said the feeling he gets from helping families realize the American dream of home ownership never gets old.

"When you go to a dedication and you see kids running up and down the halls screaming about the bedrooms, ‘This one's mine!’ And the parents stand in the corner with tears streaming down their faces and look around and say, ‘This is the most wonderful thing to ever happen. It makes all the work and the sweat and the frustration worthwhile," Claar said.

Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam Counties hopes testimonies such as this one will help encourage more people to volunteer their time with the organization, especially businesses. The group recently launched a new program called TGIF, aimed at getting companies to have a group of workers spend a Friday out of the office, working instead at a Habitat job site.

Shawn Means, executive director with Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam Counties, said employers are very positive about the program.

"I've had bosses tell me their workers are better on a Monday because they were at a job on Friday. It just brings something out in them. They see each other in a different context, and it's just a really great thing," Means said.

TGIF businesses are asked to donate $1,000 to $10,000 to help offset the cost of construction materials and the building site supervisor, but Habitat and the volunteers say the experience everyone takes away is worth every penny.

"Volunteer, people. You'll enjoy it. You'll get a lot more out of it than you put into it," Claar said.

For more information about getting a business involved with Habitat's TGIF program, call (304) 720-0141 or email info@hfhkp.org.



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