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September 1, 2009

Dear Friends and Colleagues at Sanford,
I need you to pound a nail!
As many of you know, I have been very active with Habitat for Humanity for several years. Last fall, I completed a two-year term as president of the board of directors of the local affiliate of Habitat. At my final meeting as president, my dear husband Tony surprised me by agreeing to financially sponsor a Habitat home in my honor. He knows how passionate I am about the mission of Habitat for Humanity to offer the opportunity of home ownership to low-income working families (making between $16,550 - $42,780 for a family of four) when they simply do not earn enough to qualify for a conventional bank mortgage. These qualifying families help build their homes through "sweat equity"- approximately 300 hours spent building their home and the homes of other Habitat families- and need no other down payment. Habitat is the builder, the lender, and the moral support through the whole process.
Now, here is where you come in. Since Habitat homes are built by volunteers, I am turning to all my friends, former colleagues, relatives, acquaintances, neighbors, etc...to help us build this house. For those of you who have never been on a Habitat site, you are in for a treat. No experience is needed. You do not have to be handy. Everyone can help in some capacity. There will be a construction supervisor on hand to teach everyone at each building session.
The kick-off for this house will be on Saturday, September 26 at 12:00 noon. The house site is at 1103 Morehead Avenue and directions will be provided. Ella Roper, a 38 single mother and her three children will be the new owners of this home when we have finished building it in time for Christmas. Habitat typically builds on Thursdays through Saturdays in two shifts from 8:15-12:00 and 12:45-4:00. Work one shift or all day! I have enclosed a tentative schedule so you will know what construction is planned each week. Of course weather can change that schedule.
It will take about 2,000 volunteer hours to build this house and we will need groups of at least 10, each shift after the initial framing is done. If you volunteer as a group, it will be more enjoyable, and our Volunteer Coordinator, Patt Hatcher will schedule you in for as many shifts as you like. phatcher@durhamhabitat.org or 730-5859. Or feel free to contact me at tambrown@duke.edu or 419-6141 to schedule a time. We need volunteers!
My ulterior motive in this request is that you will become as passionate about Habitat and its mission as I am, and perhaps become more involved as a volunteer, advocate, contributor, committee member, etc... Tony and I are excited and honored to have this house built by the people we care about. We plan to build right along with you as often as we can.
Thank you in advance for joining us in helping to make home ownership a reality for Ella Roper and her family. I look forward to seeing you this fall at the Habitat site.

Teddie Brown

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