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by Peter C. Kurth

As an architect who believes strongly in giving back to the community, I often contribute my time and services to Habitat for Humanity. For more than 30 years, the nonprofit organization has worked internationally to provide shelter for families in need through the innovative concept of partnership housing. With the support of volunteers and donors, Habitat for Humanity collaborates with low-income families to build simple and serviceable housing; in turn, Habitat homeowners make affordable monthly mortgage payments to a revolving fund that allows the organization to build more new houses.

Habitat for Humanity traces its roots to the 1960s and one couple’s desire to help. In search of a new direction, Millard and Linda Fuller sold their possessions and moved to a Christian community outside of Americus, Georgia, where they developed the idea for a new housing ministry. To address the issue of inadequate housing on a nonprofit and no-interest basis, the ministry would need to rely on the generosity of volunteers as well as the contributions of the partner families themselves. With this insight, the Fullers and their children moved to Africa in 1973 to test their housing project in the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo. After seeing their project flourish, the Fullers came back to the United States in 1976 to establish Habitat for Humanity International.

With high-profile supporters such as former President Jimmy Carter, who leads a weeklong project on behalf of the organization every year, Habitat for Humanity continues to partner with families worldwide to provide decent and affordable shelter. Habitat for Humanity has built more than 350,000 houses for 1.75 million people since its inception, and I am proud to donate my abilities to support the organization’s critical mission.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity and how to contribute, please visit www.habitat.org.