Group wants to build homes again

FAIRMONT – Habitat for Humanity of Martin and Faribault Counties did not build a house last summer, and it doesn’t plan to build one this summer either.

It is not for a lack of need, but a lack of funds.

“To build a new house is very, very expensive,” said board member Eric Johnson.

The non-profit group is trying to set aside enough money to start a project, for which a family already has been chosen.

A fundraising effort will take place Saturday in Fairmont, with the Celebrity Server Dinner. It is the fifth year Habitat has held the event, in which local “celebrities” serve meals to guests, working hard to earn donations.

Since its inception, the area Habitat chapter has built nine homes in the two counties.

The board wants to see between 25 percent and 30 percent of the cost of the project saved before another home can be started.

While the organization is working on raising the money, it risks losing the interest of volunteers, who are crucial to the mission. Johnson said one plan is to implement a national Habitat project called “A Brush of Kindness” in order to keep volunteers engaged. The program focusses on helping low-income families with the upkeep of the exterior of their homes, through painting, weather-stripping or minor repairs.

“It is for critical repairs for families that would qualify,” Johnson said.

He said the group doesn’t have any projects lined up for this summer, but is working on finding some. People interested in getting help or volunteering to help may call (507) 235-9790.

Habitat also works with people planning get-aways, helping them find volunteer opportunities with the organization all over the world.

For those looking for a bit of vacation closer to home, Saturday’s dinner features a Hawaiian theme. Tickets are $25 per person, and can be purchased at Hy-Vee and Fareway.

The dinner will be held at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Fairmont.