Christmas Eve 2012: Hector and Maria bow their heads to pray, thanking God for the fine meal they are about to share with their children and grandchildren, and the warm home in which they live. After giving thanks, they eat together having lively conversation while Christmas music plays in the background. Five of the grandchildren are there and they listen with rapt attention to stories of Hector's service in the U.S. Air Force. After dinner they try to guess what their gifts will be as Maria coaxes everyone to enjoy a slice of homemade pie and they read the story of the birth of Christ.
This may sound like a typical Christmas Eve in Atlanta's northwest suburbs of Cobb, Douglas and Paulding counties, but for this family it is very special; this is the first Christmas in their Habitat Home. Hector Santiago is a disabled veteran who could not afford to buy his own home until this year. He and Maria have lived in Cobb County for 35 years, have already raised four children and now have seven grandchildren. They had previously rented various neglected, overpriced homes which prevented them from saving money for things like retirement let alone Christmas gifts.
Hector isn't alone in his financial struggles. Unfortunately, over 15 percent of disabled veterans are living in poverty, and a startling 33 percent of homeless males are veterans. We at NW Metro Atlanta Habitat for Humanity believe that we must provide a 'hand-up' to those who gave so much for us.
With your help, NW Metro Atlanta Habitat will build more homes for deserving families like the Santiago's and other families from all walks of life. Now that the Santiago's are homeowners, they save money on utilities because their home is 30 percent more energy efficient than the average house and their mortgage is considerably lower than the rent they paid for so many years.
In addition to changing lives, NW Metro Atlanta Habitat's home building mission boosts the local economy. Independent studies show that the economic impact of 100 new Habitat homes built in this tri-county service area over the past 25 years grew the local economy by $26 million. To date, NW Metro Atlanta Habitat has built or renovated 352 homes and still holds the mortgage on 279 of them!
If you would like to become part of the movement to end substandard housing in Cobb, Douglas and Paulding counties, you can donate to NW Metro Atlanta Habitat for Humanity by clicking this link below. You can also specify that you are donating in someone’s honor- the perfect gift for someone who has everything!
To give to NW Metro Atlanta Habitat and help build homes for hard-working families in Cobb, Douglas and Paulding Counties, click here: https://gagivesday.org/c/GGD/a/nwmetroatlantahabitat/Donate