Habitat for Humanity Receives $100 Million

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Habitat for Humanity just received its largest gift ever, $100 million dollars.  At a time when non-profits are struggling because donations are down, this gift is very significant.  And in a time when the real estate market has seen its worst downward spiral in history, help for those who need housing has special meaning.

Who was the donor?  J. Ronald Terwilliger of Atlanta is the donor.  He is the former CEO of Trammell Crow Residential Company, a large real estate developer, and has been a member of the board of directors of Habitat for Humanity for a long time.

Terwilliger’s experience with Habitat exposed him to the needs of those without housing.  He shared that he has witnessed poverty and that he has seen people living in cardboard shacks, and he shared that even middle class people are struggling to find affordable housing.

“People need a decent, safe, clean residence where they can get a good night’s sleep and family can be together.  If they have that as an anchor, they have a way to send their kids off to school regularly and a better chance those children will be healthy,” Terwilliger said.

How will Habitat use the $100 million?  Thirty million will fund an endowment to make yearly grants to help build houses, and $70 million will be used to set up a micro-finance fund to help low income families around the world repair and improve their housing.

Will Habitat for Humanity in Sequim and Port Angeles see some of these funds?  Almost certainly, but as much as $100 million dollars is, there are still much greater needs than there are resources.  Clallam County’s Habitat is very active and most recently opened its ReStore in Port Angeles, which sells used furnititure and household items at very affordable prices.

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