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Imagine the Difference -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Imagine the Difference

By Jonathan Reckford


Photo by Ezra Millstein


In this issue of Habitat World, on our website and through a series of radio and television public service announcements, we have been asking the question “What Will You Build?” We know that our efforts are about more than building, repairing and renovating houses. Habitat for Humanity builds hope, community, educational opportunities, health benefits and so much more — now to an even greater degree.

Because of the support of readers like you, Habitat was able to serve 74,960 families around the world last year. In the days ahead, we will build on that inspirational number through your continued generosity and dedication.

Every day, I see the things that Habitat builds. Faith, for example. Countless volunteers, homeowners, donors and even bystanders have understood God in amazing new ways as compassionate people around the globe reach out to help neighbors. God continues to stir in my heart when I see the dreadful shelter conditions that some must endure. But I am also privileged to look into eyes that sparkle with hope and promise when families celebrate moving into a place they can call home.

Recently in Zambia, I witnessed just one example of Habitat’s incredible impact. Seventeen-year-old Dorcas suddenly found herself as head of her household after her father died and her mother left home one day and never returned. The crude shelter in which Dorcas lived with her siblings provided little protection against the harsh world they now faced alone.

For Dorcas, a Habitat home means having a safe place with doors she can lock. In the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children, Habitat is building security and reassurance.

I would also say that Habitat builds bridges. Not long ago, I visited a once-vibrant North Carolina community that had fallen into neglect and decay. To create a vision for revitalization, Habitat leaders met with residents. Soon, local officials recognized the importance of this area to the history — and future — of the entire community. Businesses and faith-based groups came forward with funding and volunteer labor. Neighborhood leaders and schools joined in. And so, in the Cherry Street community, Habitat is building a bridge between a historic past and tomorrow’s opportunities.

As you turn these pages, you will see compelling photographic evidence of the many things that Habitat builds, of how our combined efforts impact more and more families and futures. I thank you for your unceasing support and ask you to think seriously about how else you can help. What will you build?