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I would like to take this forum opportunity to thank The Billings Gazette and Sue Olp in particular for the in-depth coverage of Habitat for Humanity and our 20-year celebration as the Mid-Yellowstone Valley affiliate. Everyone associated with Habitat for Humanity, whether staff or volunteer, understands the very real need in our own community for decent, affordable housing for our low-income friends and neighbors who are living in substandard housing.

We appreciated the information shared in the article to dispel some of the myths: No, Habitat for Humanity doesn't give houses away; Yes, we sell the houses at no profit and utilize a zero percent interest loan, which keeps the house payments low and affordable; and, yes, we build with volunteer labor. Volunteers work alongside the homeowners-to-be, who put in either 350 (single adult) or 500 (two adults) hours of sweat equity before they purchase the home.

With over 25 percent of our construction funding coming from ReStore sales, we enjoy hearing from folks who stop in and tell us they "never knew we existed." We continue to educate the public about our store where "gently used" building supplies, home improvement supplies, furniture and appliances can be purchased for far below retail value. We obtain all our product from donations from the public who may be upgrading, remodeling or replacing cabinets, bathroom fixtures, doors, windows etc.

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Habitat for Humanity Mid-Yellowstone Valley appreciates everyone who pounds a nail, writes a check, shops or donates to the store or shares important information about how we make a difference right here in our own community.

Kathleen O'Neal, executive director

Billings

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