habitatLast year, the Knights of Columbus contributed more than 1.2 million hours of their time and $6.5 million dollars to Habitat for Humanity, helping to build or renovate houses for families in need.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, Christian organization founded in 1976 that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness one family at a time. The organization assists in providing quality-built, affordable homes to needy families by cooperatively involving the future homeowner with community volunteers and suppliers to build or renovate the home. To date, Habitat for Humanity has provided more than 4 million people with safe, personal shelter by completing 800,000 houses in more than 100 countries with a goal of a million homes around the world.

In addition to a down payment, recipients work alongside the construction crew and volunteers, and are then provided an affordable mortgage plan. The Knights of Columbus enthusiastically supports the mission of Habitat for Humanity, which not only helps people to become homeowners, but actively involves them in the houses’ preparation. This teaches valuable skills, develops confidence and provides experience.

There are many ways your council can help families in your community to secure quality housing:

  • Work with Hope Builders, a foundation of Habitat for Humanity. Your council could raise money and become a monthly donor, knowing that your donation will be put to good use right away.
  • Council members with a trade background or even those that just like to be active can volunteer their time and talents. Contact your local Habitat for Humanity affiliate or visit www.habitat.org for information on volunteer opportunities in your community.
  • Offering to feed the workers a hearty meal can be invaluable. Helping to build a house can certainly stir up an appetite!

If your council or assembly donates both $1,000 and 200 man hours to Habitat for Humanity, it will fulfill all four requirements for the community activities category of the Columbian Award (SP-7).

Councils, assemblies, and circles are encouraged to promote this program to their membership, inviting personal consideration as well as implementing this program as an ongoing chartable event.