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By Cindi Galabota
Special to The SUN
September 8 marked a day of volunteerism and a difference in the lives of three homeowners in the Four Corners region.
Work began Saturday morning, Sept. 8, at sites in Pagosa Springs, Durango and Cortez. Volunteers, supervised by Habitat for Humanity staff, completed exterior home restoration projects for low-income homeowners. Keith Payden, a Thrivent financial representative, organized the workday, along with local Habitat for Humanity affiliates.
This day of community improvement and community building is a result of a partnership between Habitat for Humanity International and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Called “Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity,” this partnership has resulted in more than 2,700 Habitat homes across the country and around the world since 2005. Thanks to its 2.5 million members who own financial products with the organization, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is able to contribute to the improvement of communities like Pagosa Springs. Thrivent Financial is providing a grant of $2,500 to each Habitat affiliate to offset administrative costs and materials needed for the projects.
HfHAC’s new Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN) Home Repair Program was begun in 2011 with the hopes of making a greater impact on more low-income members of our community. NHN is an interior/exterior home preservation program that offers a variety of services such as painting, carpentry, landscaping, weatherization and other repair services for homeowners in need. NHN helps low-income homeowners impacted by age, disability and family circumstances reclaim their homes with pride and dignity. The program serves as a direct companion to HfHAC’s core building services, enabling us to serve more families and increase opportunities for volunteers and sponsors. Partners of completed home repair projects enter an agreement to pay back the project costs at no interest through a 5- to 7-year loan.
Not only were Thrivent and Habitat excited about this new way to serve communities, but volunteers were able to see the project through completion in just one day, renewing their community, and renewing the lives of people in their community.
“This was a great combined effort between Habitat for Humanity, Thrivent Financial and the Lutheran community,” noted Payden. “It was wonderful to see the partnership of all the organizations involved, making positive change in these three communities.”