Volunteers needed for Habitat projects

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Village Church of Rancho Santa Fe needs a helping hand from 100 volunteers willing to pitch in with two Habitat for Humanity projects on Nov. 4. The church is partnering with other Presbyterian churches in San Diego County and working alongside professional contractors for one of the projects.

According to Pastor Jan Farley, 20 volunteers will take part in a homebuilding project, and roughly 80 will assemble and paint playhouses. Volunteers over the age of 12 are allowed at the construction sites.

Thomas Szampruch, who serves as the development coordinator for Habitat for Humanity, said the Village Church would be at two different home sites.

“One (group) will be working on four new townhomes homes in Logan Heights along with one neighborhood revitalization project,” he said. “They will also be preparing an area for five new houses in El Cajon as well as working on one revitalization project.”

Szampruch wants people to know that the “Neighborhood Revitalization Project” was established by Habitat for Humanity so that it could reach farther than just building homes. Providing repairs to existing homes in neighborhoods where new homes are being constructed is another level of care and service they want to offer.   

Repairs can range from roofs and windows, to reframing or even landscaping.

“We don’t just go into a neighborhood and plop down houses,” Szampruch said. “We go into a neighborhood and see how we can help invest in the whole neighborhood.”   

Farley said Habitat for Humanity is the only nonprofit organization that offers homeownership opportunities. 

“In the world of mission and community service, ‘sustainability’ is very important to the Village Church and Habitat excels on all levels in sustainability,” she said.

As for the playhouse project, after completion, four will go straight away to Habitat for Humanity so that they can be given to families or nonprofit child care organizations. Playhouse assembly does not require the use of tools, so younger children are encouraged to help out.

“A simple playhouse can be very effective in fostering a child’s development and creativity,” she said.

Farley said it takes about four hours to assemble a playhouse.

While four are being given to Habitat for Humanity, the Village Church is keeping the other playhouses for its auction at the Alternative Christmas Market on Nov. 19. Farley calls it a created fundraiser in where the proceeds go back to Habitat for Humanity.

Farley said Nov. 4 is a day to bring families and surrounding communities together.

When a family unifies in service work, Farley said, it helps shape children.

“Who we are as a family is a family that gives back to the community,” Farley said. “For me, doing something with your family tells you who you are as a family.”

To learn more about the Habitat for Humanity Nov. 4 projects, call the Village Church Preschool office at (858) 756-2441 or email Holli Crawford at hollic@villagechurch.org.

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