Just seven short build days can change the face of a neighborhood and the future of a family.
That's how long it takes to build a Habitat for Humanity house. Week by week, the walls go up, the roof trusses go on, and the shingles follow. The walls and ceilings get insulated, windows are installed, and interiors finished. The paint goes on, the cabinets and countertops go in, and pretty soon it's time to clean up.
On the seventh day, all the volunteers and Habitat house leaders pack up and everybody goes home.
Yet nobody goes home quite like those homeowners who now have a place to call their own -- thanks to you.
Since 1996, you have partnered with Habitat and your listeners to build homes for families in need. This year marks your 50th house and we want to tell you how much your work means to us and to so many others.
Whether neighborhoods are struggling to get out from under drugs and poverty in metro areas, or whether they're in the heartland and have been destroyed by an act of God in Tornado Alley, you've been there to help lift people up and rebuild by creating affordable housing.
In many cases, families can grow, neighborhoods can turn a corner, and children can play where they previously felt unsafe. Now they have a safe place to call "home" -- thanks to you. We have seen the emotion on your face as a child shows you with great joy the first bedroom that is "all her own."
You have always said that Habitat homes are a hand-up, not a handout. Working class families who receive these homes put in hundreds of hours of sweat equity into their construction; attend homeowner education classes; and are required to make timely payments. With Habitat, you continue your tradition of teaching and empowering others to take care of their finances.
Your good deeds have given struggling families across the metro area a chance to achieve the American Dream. And elsewhere in America, you've helped hard-hit families and communities rebuild from the rubble of natural disasters.
You have changed the lives of so many for the better. And knowing you has changed our lives for the better too.
You are exceptional as an employer, as a consumer expert/advocate, and as a syndicated radio/TV host and author. But most of all, you are exceptional as a human being. Not everyone gets to know Clark Howard as well as we have… and we are so much better for it.
Thanks to you.
Christa, Clara, Kimberly, Joel, Deborah, Kate, Sarah, Theo, and Jason