Affordable housing is just what it sounds like - shelter…that is affordable for the people living in it.
-In 2001, 95 million Americans faced housing cost burdens or lived in inadequate conditions. This is a problem that is increasing over time, and fast. In 1991 a typical low income family devoted 38% of household income to housing, and by 2001 the costs jumped to 48%. A 10% increase in only 10 years? - NOT COOL.
Affordable houses ((the houses we are building and funding)) are often built by non-profit organizations ((Habitat for Humanity//Rebuilding Together//BlitzBuild)). They are simple, decent houses built with the help of the homeowner//family, sold to them at NO profit, and financed with affordable NO-interest loans. In addition to down, monthly payments, partner families have to invest their own “sweat equity” ((elbow grease)) into building their house and the houses of others. So you give a little, you get a little - you give a lot, you get a lot.
You may ask, why should I care??
So 95million Americans faced housing cost burdens in 2001….but that was before hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans. You heard it - 95 MILLION BEFORE KATRINA! » Scary, huh?!
We all know how expensive it is to pay rent or a mortgage. What if you couldn’t get those checks in the mail with your current job hours? What if working 40 hours a week wasn’t enough and you had children? Parents have to spend more time working and less time being parents for their children. It’s been proven that having active adult role-models in children’s’ lives can reduce behavioral problems drastically. See the problem?
Some of these families live in housing without running water, adequate heat, or even reliable electricity. Imagine trying to focus on school or learning in that type of environment.
A friend once told me that…
"People are only able to achieve great things by a lot of hard work, and a little bit of luck. The support they receive is a the part of that luck and defines how much hard work it will take to achieve their goals."
I hope you can understand and agree with that.
Affordable housing organizations use a lot of hard work and luck to try and help everyone in our society meet their basic needs. They require the hard work of the recipients through “sweat equity,” and requiring them to pay for their houses instead of getting them for free. We all know that when you buy//build//work for something yourself you appreciate it much more. And the luck comes from support of people like YOU and ME - people who donate time and money to this cause. The sooner everyone in our society has their basic needs met, the more productive our society can be and the sooner we can start tackling problems that are even more complicated and harder to fix; like healthcare, energy issues, and environmental problems.
Now for a brief summary -
-Why do I support affordable housing groups?
-Why I’m riding a bike 3,500 miles across the country to raise money for their cause?
-Why am I donating over $200.00 of my own money and even more time?
Because affordable homes help meet peoples basic needs. They give people a chance to work hard and reach their dreams. A chance that I’ve been lucky enough to have my entire life.
The real question is, how can I possibly say “NO” to giving back to a community that has given me so much?
Thought I’d let you know a little bit about what I’ll be doing this summer!
"Bike & Build - Pedaling for Affordable Housing!"
Bike & Build raises funds for affordable housing projects. - Over eight seasons, Bike & Build has contributed $2,780,000 to housing groups to fund projects planned and executed by young adults; this includes more than $490,000 donated from the summer of 2010. Bike & Build hopes to donate at about this contribution level for the summer of 2011. »that’s meee!!
- Through pre-arranged gifts, Bike & Build funds affordable housing projects executed by our participants in communities where our events begin. Through our grant program, our organization identifies and supports exciting projects involving young people all throughout the nation. Bike & Build also supports local affordable housing organizations along each route through on the road donations.
Bike & Build garners media and community attention for the affordable housing cause.
- Bike & Build’s expansive national footprint allows our organization to promote the need for and importance of affordable housing in 47 states, 1 province, and hundreds of communities nationwide.
- Through print, TV media, radio, town-hall style meetings, and informal grassroots interaction, Bike & Build participants bring our organization’s message to thousands of people from all walks of life.
Bike & Build fosters leadership and lifelong philanthropic service in our participants.
- Bike & Build’s programming introduces young adults to the affordable housing cause, engages them in a unique and interesting way, and creates a prolonged and intimate connection.
- By funding building projects involving students and young adults, Bike & Build creates incremental service opportunities among young adults, empowering this crucial demographic.
-Bike and Build
As you can probably guess, I am going to need a whole lot of support in order to
A.) achieve my fundraiser goal, and
B.)physically//mentally make it from North Carolina to San Diego via bicycle
Stay tuned to find out about how YOU can help ME help OTHERS
The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur. The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur’s cage with kind words and loving thoughts. I like this Dinosaur thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny. He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now. I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur, thought the Dinosaur. She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice. She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur. But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. He is also overly fond of things. Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things? But her mind skips from here to there so quickly thought the Dinosaur. She is also uncommonly keen on shopping. Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping? I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. For they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual. I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping, thought the Dinosaur. For she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises. Besides, I am not unkeen on shopping either. Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old. Look at them. Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs. And that, my friends, is how it is with love. Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together. For the sun is warm. And the world is a beautiful place.
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”—Maya Angelou