Interested in making a difference and helping a family with a hand up, not a handout?

Pulaski County’s local chapter of Habitat for Humanity is seeking volunteers and individuals willing to sit on their board, as well as volunteer for committees.

Habitat for Humanity is a charitable organization that helps homeowners build or remodel homes that they will pay an affordable mortgage on, as well as participate in the building of the home.

According to Habitat for Humanity’s website, “As part of their willingness to partner, Habitat’s home buyers invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, calledsweat equity, working alongside volunteers and other Habitat homeowners.”

Bill Catts, the habitat construction chairman in Pulaski County, said the board is trying to get into full operation after coming from three members to a full board. Catts explained that as they move forward, he would like to see more people get involved with the various committees and see the community become more aware of what goes on behind the scenes.

“Many people think of the construction,” said Catts. “But there’s more to it than that. You can’t build the house without the support.”

Catts also said moving forward, what they really need is more people coming forward to take part in these committees. For an active and effective Habitat chapter, according to a press release sent by Catts, there are several committees that are essential.

Habitat for Humanity’s Public Relations and Church Relations Committees work to develop awareness and community support, while the Family Selection and Support Committee selects a family and provides financial counseling and assistance in developing a budget. Finally the Construction Committee oversees all aspects of the building process.

Anyone interested in serving on any of these committees can attend the board meeting on July 10, or any meeting to introduce themselves and learn more about the process of lending a hand up to those in need.

“The point is help those people who may have fallen through the cracks,” said Catts. Committee members work to help what Catts described as “the working poor.” These people are those who don’t have the income to adequately support a household, but make too much to apply for benefits.

More than just building a home, Catts said the committees focus on teaching the new homeowners how to maintain it financially, helping them learn how to take care of the real priorities. Individuals or families who are given a new home by the organization are still required to make affordable payments, and put in certain amount of “sweat equity” hours according to Catts. Every step of the process is there to help them learn how to continue helping themselves. The organization describes what they do as a “hand up” rather than a hand out.

The time commitment expected of volunteers varies depending on what committee they join, and how far along the chapter is in a project, but volunteers can expect to be doing work that greatly benefits those in need.

Those wishing to volunteer with the Pulaski County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity are encouraged to attend their board meeting on Monday, July 10.

For further information on getting involved with the Pulaski County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity and the work each committee performs, interested residents can contact 573-774-5963 or h4hpulaskicomo@gmail.com