Local organizers started their campaign to raise funds for the 10th Mansfield Habitat for Humanity last week.While the volunteers don’t know who will live in the house or even where it will be built yet, they know it’s going to cost $81,000. With early donations from local civic groups, churches and a fund-raiser, the group still has to raise more than $65,000. The funds have to be pledged by the first week of December and collected in early January in order for construction to begin in February or March, said Don Miller, executive pastor at First Baptist and head of the local fund-raising group.While many Habitat houses are built by a corporation, civic group or church, eight of Mansfield’s Habitat homes have been community efforts, Miller explained. The ninth was constructed by Catholic Charities on a lot donated by the city.“We have seven or eight churchs that provide funds, several civic groups and corporations that participate and individuals that give, some that give $5,” Miller said. “The biggest gift is usually under $10,000.“We’re kind of a model on how to do a community project,” he said. “Other communities have taken our example.”The local group took another approach to raise funds for their next house with the inaugural Mansfield Shootout, a clay-shooting tournament held Sept. 14.“In a positive way, this has developed into more than I can handle myself,” Miller said.The next house will be built over seven weekends with shifts for more than 300 volunteers, said Kapreta Johnson, sponsor relations manager for Trinity Habitat for Humanity. Donors are first in line when it comes time to sign up volunteers to work on the house, Miller explained. While some donors choose not to help construct the house, others send a lot of volunteers and some send only a few.“There may be three or four groups working a shift,” Miller said. “Baptists, Methodists and the Rotary Club can all be out there together and it’s a great experience.”Habitat for Humanity homeowners have to donate 250 hours of labor on their own houses or other Habitat homes and repay the cost of their houses with no-interest loans.
Amanda Rogers, 817-473-4451 Twitter: @AmandaRogersNM