As you probably know, I'm a long-time volunteer and supporter of Habitat for Humanity. Habitat East Bay (HEB) is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, which is working to eliminate poverty housing world-wide, one house at a time. Habitat houses are simple, decent, and affordable to low-income families around the world. Part of how HEB supports Habitat world-wide is by tithing -- at least 10% of the funds raised support Habitat's mission in other countries. Currently HEB is supporting affiliates in Afghanistan, Tanzania and El Salvador.
There are a variety of ways to support Habitat East Bay, centered around volunteering and/or donating. Coming up is a unique way to do both -- HEB's annual Earth Day build-a-thon. It's a four day event, HEB's biggest fundraiser and building event of the year. In four days we'll be framing 7 houses, from the foundation up to the roof. Like a walk-a-thon, participants raise funds, in this case to help pay for the lumber and nails used in framing the houses. It's a somewhat crazy event, but a lot of fun. If you're interested in participating, read more about it on HEB's build-a-thon page.
If you don't feel up to participating in the build-a-thon, you can sponsor me! I'm trying to raise $250 for each of the 4 days, and I'm halfway there. Donations to HEB are tax deductible as allowed by law, and donations of any size are welcomed. If you'd rather not have some eaten up by credit card fees, et al, you can write a check to Habitat for Humanity East Bay and I'll deliver it personally.
You can also donate or volunteer during the rest of the year, when there's no fundraising requirement. The building pace is a lot more laid back, and it's a great opportunity to learn some handy skills. I've been at it a while, but I learned enough and gained enough confidence to design and build a small addition to our house. No guarantee you'll come away ready for that, but you will learn some handy skills, work with some great people, and help build affordable housing for a family here in Oakland. And if construction isn't your thing, help is needed in the office and on various committees, too. Support Habitat for Humanity, and make Oakland, the East Bay and the world a little better.