Glad to see Habitat for Humanity nominated so fast--& not at all surprised, because it seems such a perfect fit with my understanding of Foolishness & with David Gardner's five tenets.(Full disclosure: I, too, have no affiliation with Habitat except that I have in the past donated time & written about their efforts for a newspaper.)HABITAT EDUCATES: The people who get its houses learn something about capitalism. All the ones I've seen moved from dependency (on welfare, on charity, on local government) closer to independence, now having a mortgage & owning their own home. Surely that's Foolish. In the process, they learned that effort gets reward, that they'll get help by helping themselves, since they were required to put in hours of sweat equity helping to build their own home (& that taught them some pride, too). Habitat's volunteers are educated--many learn construction skills such as framing a wall or hanging sheetrock.HABITAT AMUSES: I've been a volunteer. There's nothing more amusing than giving some effort to the community & seeing a concrete result. & there's little more amusing than seeing the changes in people who move into Habitat homes.HABITAT ENRICHES: The Habitat developments in my community have transformed previously blighted areas with new landscaping and new homes. The people who live in those homes take care of them. Long after a particular development is finished, one can drive back in & see how nice it continues to look. ... Habitat's homes enriich the people who live in them, the community, the volunteers who help to build them.HABITAT EXPECTS: It expects its beneficiaries to contribute sweat equity and to pay a mortgage off. It doesn't give anything away.HABITAT'S FINANCES ARE TRANSPARENTHABITAT IS A SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION: Habitat helps its families long-term by easing them from dependency to independence, from public housing to their own houses that they helped build and eventually will have paid for. It encourages people to make the same type of moves that the Fool encourages, if at a more basic level.HABITAT SERVES THE PUBLIC AT LARGE: In my community alone, Habitat has built 210 homes and has another 20 under construction--that's in just one county in one state. On a local scale, that's epic in grandeur. The national impact is, too.In short (ha, ha--I know it's a long post, but it's really, really worth it) ... Habitat is a truly awesome fit with the Fool, as far as I understand the Fool, and would be a great choice to be one of its charities.
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