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Wednesday: The power of volunteerism

Carter Work Project 2012: Wednesday’s theme

According to the United Way, in 2008, 61.8 million Americans (26.4 percent of the population) contributed 8 billion hours of volunteer service worth an estimated US$162 billion.

Habitat for Humanity estimates that it mobilizes more than 1 million people annually. Volunteers move our mission forward across the globe, leaving a lasting impact on the people they encounter and the communities in which they work.

The transformation occurs not only in the lives of those who live in the homes, but also in the hearts of those who help build them.

Although volunteerism is a key component of Habitat for Humanity’s work, it should be noted that we have limited the use of volunteers in Haiti since the earthquake. This is because of the massive need for local jobs; some estimates cite the unemployment rate at more than 70 percent.

With that in mind, Habitat has provided more than 700 Haitians with job opportunities through its main office and Habitat Resource Centers in Haiti, including employment for more than 200 Haitians to prepare the Santo site and build foundations.