Join ‘house party’ for Habitat for Humanity
No one deserved a house-warming party more than Neina Orrillo.
A single mom, Orrillo and her daughter moved into their house in Kamas in December 2007. She logged hundreds of hours on the construction site while enrolled in nursing school.
the end of the year, the Orrillos will be one of a five families in Heber and Kamas to live in affordable housing thanks to Habitat for Humanity, the nonprofit organization that builds homes for families in need.
Now, it’s time for Park City to join the party, says Julie Bernhard, Habitat’s executive director in Wasatch and Summit Counties. The organization plans to break ground on two homes located on the upper corner of Marsac and Ontario Avenues in the summer of 2009. The homes will be the first Habitat houses in Park City, touchstones in the affordable housing movement, Bernhard said.
The city donated the land for the so-called Pechnik project that volunteers will turn into two 1,200 square foot homes. When completed, the homes will boast three bedrooms and two bathrooms with attached garages, according to plans provided by the organization.
The goal of the project is to remove low-income families from inadequate housing and give them the chance to own a piece of the American dream, one brick at a time.
"Habitat doesn’t just help the families that move in," Bernhard said. "It has an impact on 300 volunteers that work on the project. It takes a village to build a home."
Habitat for Humanity plans to host its second annual Apres Film Party Wednesday, Jan. 21, at 608 Main Street in Park City. The event features Ides of Soul, Rich Wyman and Lisa Needman. Admission is $75 and 100 percent of the proceeds from the party go to purchase building materials and the cost of construction.
Brad Thompson knows first-hand what it means to lend a hand. The Coldwell Banker real estate agent has volunteered on Habitat crews in Kamas and Heber.
He has also found ways to give back as the head of the board of directors for the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Community Foundation, Bernhard said. Coldwell Bank will hand over a $5,000 check to Habitat during the Apres Film party. Bernhard hopes to raise $25,000 at the party for the Pechnik Project, something she said would take an abundance of support from friends and neighbors. "2009 is going to be our toughest year yet, but it’s also going to be our most aggressive year," she said. She added that the party is a good way for locals to enjoy Sundance without the long lines and hassles.
Thompson, a volunteer deejay on KPCW radio station, said he began volunteering with Habitat in 2006 to help families. He got more than he bargained for. "There’s a bonding experience for the eight to 14 people who work on Habitat projects together," he said. "It enriches your life in a special way."
The economy has put a premium on service since many Summit County residents aren’t able to contribute as much financially to nonprofits.
Just the facts
Habitat for Humanity’s Second Annual Apres Film Party Wednesday, Jan. 21, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 608 Main St. Live music. Tickets are $75.
“If you cannot love your neighbor as yourself, no matter who they are, start by looking in the mirror and see what changes need to be made from within.”