Habitat For Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties was just coming off the elation of earning a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification for a home it built on Marsac Avenue when it received some more good news.

It was chosen to be one of 15 local-level affiliates to participate and promote Habitat for Humanity International's Cars for Homes National Build Week, which will take place across North America from Nov. 12 until Nov. 18.

"Cars for Homes is a national recycling program that encourages people to donate their old vehicles cars, trucks, vans, boats, snowmobiles, you name it whether they are running or not," said Lisa Schneider, executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties. "Habitat will pick up the vehicles and, depending if they are in working order, will be recycled or auctioned off."

The revenue will be returned to the service area from where the donation was made.

"So, in our case, the money made out of the donations from Summit or Wasatch Counties will be given back to us," Schneider said. "We will use those dollars to support our affordable-housing program."

Cars for Homes is a good way for people to donate to Habitat for Humanity without having to write a check.

"In some cases people may have an old vehicle that has been sitting around and not know what to do with it," Schneider said. "Cars for Homes is a way for them to make a contribution to a local nonprofit, and it is also tax deductible."

While Cars for Homes, which the local organization has participated in for four years, is a year-round program, the National Build Week isn't.

So, it is an honor for the Summit and Wasatch-county affiliate to be asked to be a part of the event.

"During this time, Habitat for Humanity Summit and Wasatch Counties will host volunteer work teams and raise awareness about our various programs," Schneider said. "It is also a way that tries to build awareness around the Cars for Homes program."

National Build Week started out as a grant proposal to Habitat for Humanity International to apply for challenge-grant funds, Schneider said.

"One of the key criteria of choosing who would be participating in National Build Week was that the local affiliates had to be building green homes and had a focus on sustainability, recycling and reusing products," she explained.

In September, one of the houses that the local organization built on Marsac Avenue was given a LEED platinum certification award, presented by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The certification recognizes that a building or neighborhood is environmentally friendly, and a Platinum Certification is the highest level any building can receive from the organization, Schneider said.

"We were selected and are receiving a grant from Habitat for Humanity International for that," she said.

In addition, the local affiliate has partnered with area businesses to help with National Build Week.

"Wells Fargo, Montage Deer Valley, Thrivent Financial and Crandall Ford pledge their support with a total of $25,000 to the National Build Week," Schneider said. "We are also having Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church bring out their volunteers to help us with the building of a second green home on Marsac Avenue during that week."

Also, Crandall Ford will host a Random Acts of Fusion at its dealership, 2175 Rasmussen Road, on Nov. 15 to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties.

"It's been great for us to tie in the Cars for Homes recycling program, which will help us reinvest those dollars into affordable housing, as a way for us to highlight the way we're building healthy and energy efficient homes," Schneider said. "It was a leap of faith for us to build green at the level that we chose, but when we took that leap, we immediately began looking at programs that would highlight what we're doing, but also bring us some financial support."

In recent months, there has been a shift in how much people are concerned about building practices in their community, she said.

"What this says about Habitat, both locally and on the international level, is that we need to build homes that are sustainable and that are healthy for the community and energy efficient for the homeowners," Schneider said. "Cars for Homes National Build Week is a great way to underscore that commitment, and we are thrilled to have been selected for the National Build Week."

For more information about Habitat for Humanity Cars for Homes National Build Week, visit www.habitat-utah.org/2012/11/cars-for-homes-national-build-week/.