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Hammer & Nails

October 2000 - February 2001

House #12 Dedicated

Habitat home #12 in Hood County was dedicated on December 17, 2000. This is the home of Lucio, Beatriz, Frank, David, Inez and Trini Gamez. Because of the family's special circumstances, this home was chosen as a special Christmas Outreach Project by Good Shepherd Episcopal Church and St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church. Organizations (including the ECW at Good Shepherd,l the Knights of Columbus and the St. Frances Ladies Guild and Renew Group of St. Frances Cabrini) and members of these two churches were joined by many more Habitat volunteers and supporters in a "show of love", as they provided furniture and other household items for the Gamez family's new home. Due to complications, as of January 10, the septic system was still under construction. We hope that by the time you receive your newsletter, it will be complete and the family will be enjoying all the comforts of their beautiful new home.

Thanks to Fr. Edward Kresowaty of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Fr. Juan Rivero of St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church and the many individuals who participated in the home dedication and "shower".

A list of volunteers and businesses which participated in the building of House #12 is included on the Contributors page of this Web site.

House #13 Construction Underway

The slab was poured over the holidays for House #13, the home of Steve and Linda Wilson. Pre-build was scheduled for January 10, but the rain prevented any real progress that day. We are hoping for a few rainless days soon, so that we can frame the house and begin working in the "dry". Then, we will be glad to have some more rain to make up for the last few years of drought.

The 13th House will again be in Rancho Brazos at 3309 Tumbleweed Dr., near the other Habitat homes. As in the past, we will build on Wednesday and Saturday of each week, beginning around 9:00 a.m. If you are not familiar with the Rancho Brazos development, you can reach it from Granbury by taking Highway 4 toward Acton. From High 4, turn right on Davis Road, left on Sundown Trail, then right on Tumbleweed Drive. You will recognize the Habitat homes by their neat, new appearance, and the building activity across the street from them.

Howard Hayre will be Construction Coordinator for House #13; Wednesday Crew Chiefs are Tom Christopherson and Stan Wied; Saturday Crew Chiefs are Ray Fishencord, Ronald Barrrett, and Sue Ellen Fry; Bill Jackson will be a back-up, in case others are unavailable.

Community Bank Matching Funds Campaign

For the fifth year in a row, Community Bank is matching contributions to Habitat for Humanity. This matching campaign began November 15, 2000 and is scheduled to end on January 31, 2001. In past years, the program generated the funds for two Habitat homes each year-one from contributors in the area, and one from Community Bank.

To donate, we request you send it directly to Habitat, and we will make sure it gets to Community Bank. The goal is to again raise enough to fund construction of at least two homes.

Because this matching campaign began November 15, we have already received many donations from both new and previous supporters. If you were not aware of the program, or just haven't found time to send in your donations, now is the time!

For your convenience, a contribution form is available on the Contribute page of this Web site. Just print the form, fill it out and mail it with your check to Habitat for Humanity Hood County (the address is provided on the form). Although, if you prefer, you may take your contribution directly to Community Bank.

Thank you for your support in the past. God willing, we will continue to move toward Habitat's goal of eliminating poverty housing throughout the world.

Lipan Update

If you've been receiving this Hammer and Nails newsletter for a while, you are probably aware that we spent many months looking for land and construction volunteers for a house we were planning to build in Lipan, Texas

At that time, a family from Lipan had been selected to partner with us in the building of a Habitat home. It is our preference not to require a family to relocate from one town to another, if other options are available, as it might require changes in jobs or schools. We received an enthusiastic response from a number of churches and individuals in Lipan about helping to build a Habitat home there. We were still exploring possibilities for acquiring land in Lipan when the selected family withdraw their request. We are pleased that the family's circumstances have improved greatly and that they now have adequate housing.

We appreciate the expression of interest form the Lipan community. Perhaps we will have a family from Lipan again at some point in the future. Until then, remember that we are still building homes in Hood County, and we could use your assistance in building in Rancho Brazos.

Donating to Habitat by Electronic Transfer Funds

Several individuals currently donate monthly to Habitat by electronic transfer funds, from their bank account, directly into a Habitat account. We are delighted to receive funds in this manner, as it provides a dependable source of income that we can plan on--month after month. There's only one problem: while we can "see" the transfers being made each month (they appear as deposits in our accounts), we don't know who is sending the money, and we have not been including those individuals on the list of donors in our newsletter, nor have we been acknowledging the contributions. Apparently, various privacy laws in effect prohibit banks from giving out names of persons making such transfers, even to the organization receiving it. We think we have obtained the names of all of our "electronic donors", but we aren't absolutely certain.

If you are donating to habitat through electronic funds transfer, please check the list of names in the Hammer and Nails newsletter, and if your name is not listed, please call Sallye Vela at 817-279-0113 or e-mail her at svela@habitatofhoodcounty.org. It is important to us that we know who our donors are. And if you need a donation receipt for income tax purposes, you may call or e-mail.

Three New Families Selected

At the September 14, 2000 Board of Directors meeting, three additional families were selected. These will be the families for houses #14, #15 and #16. Some of these families have already begun working on site to earn their sweat equity. Habitat volunteers look forward to working with these new partner families

Habitat tries to select families at least three to six months before construction begins on their home, and tries not to make selections of families more than one year before construction on their home begins. We believe these time frames give the family time to earn their sweat equity, but not so long before that the family becomes discouraged by the length of time it takes. We also recognize that family situations change, and some families decide to seek other avenues for adequate shelter.

When additional families are needed, the community will be notified by the local newspaper, local churches, www.habitatofhoodcounty.org Web site and the Habitat for Humanity of Hood County newsletter so that interested and qualified families may submit applications.

New Chairperson for PR & Fund Raising Committee

The Public Relations and Fund Raising Committee has been "leaderless" for quite some time, but they now have a Chariperson--Noni Meaney. The Committee has been planning some exciting new projects to raise money for our building program. The committee has the task of raising sufficient funds to construct 3-4 houses each year. The Community Bank Matching Funds Campaign has been providing funds for two homes a year, but that still leaves a funding gap to be filled in from other sources.

If you would like to participate in the public relations or fund raising work of this committee, pleas call Noni at 817-573-5651. Thank you, Noni, for assuming this important responsibility!

Penny Drive Planned in GISD Schools

On January 10, 2001, members of the PR & Fund Raising Committee met with Granbury Independent School District Principals to discuss a proposed fund raising drive. If you are a teacher, or if you have children in GISD, watch for more information on the details of this event. The Penny Drive is currently scheduled for February, and will not only raise funds for Habitat, but will increase awareness of Habitat's mission among school children and their parents.

Habitat Now Has a College!

Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) and Sterling College (Sterling, KS) announced in early September the formation of a new partnership to train future generations of HFHI leaders. This venture designates Sterling College as the pilot "Habitat for Humanity College".

Beginning with the Fall 2001 academic year, up to 25 Habitat for Humanity Fellows will be named by Sterling College each year and full-tuition scholarships provided to each Fellow for four years. The students will enroll and complete a course of study developed with assistance from HFHI. Sterling and HFHI will together invite and encourage each Habitat Regional and National office and affiliate to nominate high school students or adult reentry students for the Fellowship Program.

Interested students or nominators are encouraged to contact Sterling College for more information at 800-346-1017, ext 466. The deadline for nominations for the 2001 school year is February 1, but recommendations of promising students for future classes are appropriate at any time.

Two Grants Approved for Habitat

Within the last few months, Habitat for Humanity of Hood County received approval for two grants--one from the Federal Home Loan Bank and one from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), through Habitat for Humanity International.

But wait! Habitat can't take grants from the government to build houses! That's right--but:

  1. The Federal Home Loan Bank grant money is not federal money. It actually comes from individual banks, and is not tax money. Heritage National Bank in Granbury is our sponsor for this grant. It provides a small subsidy for each house we build this year, up to four houses, and reduces the principal of the loan for each of the families of those houses. It is approximately the same amount we received for the first 12 homes. The next time you see Frank Kimmel or any of the other nice people at Heritage, please thank them for doing this for Habitat.
  2. The grant from HUD won't be used for construction of houses, but for infrastructure (to purchase some lots and install septic systems). It will not be used in building the actual house. That is acceptable under Habitat International's guidelines. It's not a huge sum of money, but every little bit helps. 25% of the grant amount has to be repaid to Habitat International; 75% is free.


St Frances Cabrini Fish Fry