The Publication of Habitat for Humanity International | March 2007
Hope on the Horizon

Adding It Up
Jimmy Carter Work Projects: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Building Real Houses Virtually

Spotlight: The Charitable Gift Annuity


Notes from the


Coming Home



Area Offices

Archive Issues

Adding It Up
A few good ideas plus hard work yield big dividends for Habitat.

by Shala Carlson and Rebekah Daniel

Driving Force
Making Change
Personal Investment
Peaking Interest
Ironman Impact
Habitat Hotel
To make a difference, an idea is all you truly need. A good idea has a way of morphing into an important activity, some kind of mighty action that can change the course of a day or a life-or the world.

In its three decades-plus of mission-minded homebuilding, Habitat for Humanity has been blessed with committed volunteers around the globe, individuals who cheerfully pick up hammers, work with partner families and find ways to spread the Habitat word throughout their communities. These good workers also spend a lot of their time having good ideas, creative thoughts about how they can muster financial support for Habitat's goal of eliminating poverty housing around the world.

Habitat volunteer fundraisers literally have found that first spark of inspiration all over the map, from the silence of a South Carolina church pew to an impromptu construction site in the rocky terrain of Afghanistan. Affiliates abound with stories of inspired ideas put into action, efforts large and small that help finance new futures.

On the surface, these enterprising individuals are simply raising money for a good cause, but what they are really raising are walls and roofs and expectations. Race car drivers, triathletes, elementary school students--each ventures forth from the same starting point: a fundamental conviction that everyone deserves a decent place to live. And that's the kind of idea that can happen anywhere, to anyone.

"The work of Habitat is built upon the participation of hundreds of thousands of volunteers and donors," says Mark Crozet, Habitat's senior vice president of development. "And while it is usually the big gifts that receive all the press and fanfare, it is the individual contributions every day, and every weekend, that enable the miracle of Habitat's individual, family and community transformations to take place.

"Innovative and creative ideas help to generate media focus and individual interest," he continues, "and will also spur others to take a step toward helping achieve our goals by stimulating the 'I could have done that' or 'what a great way to help someone' kinds of thoughts."

These are the stories of a handful of ordinary Habitat supporters who have had extraordinary ideas and seen incredible results. Each of these innovative undertakings shares one of the very best ideas of all, the underlying notion that one person--with thought, love and commitment--can truly make a difference.

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