Herald-Sun: Habitat Village’s playhouses for sale for a cause

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For more information about making a bid on a playhouse, visit www.durhamhabitat.org.

Visitors who stroll through the Triangle Christmas Tree Challenge on the lawn near DPAC also will see five playhouses at the Durham Performing Arts Center’s Habitat Village. Visitors also can make a bid on the houses on eBay, with the funds going to benefit the East Durham Children’s Initiative.

“That’s a real roof,” on the houses, said Derwin Dubose, director of programs and communications for Habitat for Humanity of Durham. Habitat has teamed with NetApp, a California-based data storage company with an office in Research Triangle Park, to build the playhouses. NetApp did a similar fundraiser for Habitat in its home base of Sunnyvale, Calif., last year, Dubose said. This year is the first time the village and auction have been tried in Durham, he said.

Habitat of Durham hopes to make the playhouse project an annual affair, which will run concurrently with American Tobacco’s Christmas Tree Challenge, Dubose said.

NetApp employees from California and RTP were trained in building the playhouses at the Durham Habitat. NetApp also contributed $25,000 to Habitat to get the playhouse project going, Dubose said.

Habitat in turn looked for another non-profit that could benefit from the playhouses, in this case East Durham Children’s Initiative. That nonprofit group serves children who live in a 120-block area of east Durham with after-school programs, literacy programs and other services.

“We wanted to make sure we got a benefit as well as some of our partners,” Dubose said.

Habitat for Humanity uses primarily volunteer labor to build homes at no profit for families in need around the world. Homeowners who partner with Habitat pay a down payment and a monthly mortgage. They also must volunteer time building their homes, as well as the homes of other Habitat recipients.

Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Durham has built 285 homes in Durham, and

repaired about 150 houses. The Durham Habitat organization also has a program in Honduras. For every home built in Durham, one is built in Honduras.

Altogether, since 1985, 632 families have been served.

Habitat Success Stories

"Five years ago, a tree fell on my house and caused all but one room to leak. I used all my funds, so I called Habitat for Humanity, which helped me build a new roof. I've never experienced anything like this in my life, and I just want to thank everyone at Habitat. God bless you!" - Rita