Thinking About Tomorrow


DURHAM - The Herald Sun - By Larry Bumgardner 

(PHOTO) Nancy and Larry Bumgardner sponsored a Habitat home they built in partnership with the Capers family last year. Their gift of sponsorship will keep giving for generations.

As I get older with children having children who are entering college, I am coming to grips with the fact that my days are numbered.  There are so many things that I have done or people I’ve met that are hazy now.  But some things and some people stand out that I remember with great pleasure. Who knows why certain events or certain people gain such significance in your life?  For whatever mysterious reason, they come to have meant a lot to you and have helped to define your life and shape who you are as a person.  It’s just a fact.  

In like manner, we may each have had some significant impact on the life of another acquaintance without any idea that it happened unless they were to someday approach you and tell you.  I remember an uncle, a High School English teacher, a college professor, a Sunday School teacher, a fellow Habitat for Humanity volunteer, and an inmate I met as part of a prison ministry.  There are more, I’m sure, but I never shared their significance to me with them...they never knew unless they somehow sensed it in our dealings with each other. 

It is clear to me, though, that my relationship to Habitat for Humanity is one of those life-defining things.  I once met the founder, Millard Fuller, and was impressed with his insistence that this thing could work: We could work together as a community to solve problems related to inadequate housing without making homeowners feel they were being given handouts, because they weren’t.  We could help build strong neighborhoods to everyone’s benefit and we could help restore a sense of fairness in a sometimes unjust world.  I thought it was a great idea and a lot of other people did, too.  

As a result, I’ve been involved as a volunteer, a donor, a board member, and a speaker to help share the word with others.  I remember making an appeal to a group of bankers who swore this could never work and claimed we’d never get low income homeowners to repay their loans.  I now am seeing the 340th home built in Durham.  We’ve come a long way and this has truly been a rewarding work.  I’m no longer in the thick of things with Habitat.  I turned that over long ago to more energetic and innovative leaders, but I support even more the work they are now doing.  

I have been thinking some lately about what to do with my resources when my wife and I have passed.  If we don’t spend the last dime, I’d like a good chunk of what’s left to go to Durham Habitat to help continue our work.  I’d thought about this several years ago, but never made any concrete moves to do anything about it.   I think it is important to give this some thought while the thought process is still working.  

 One aspect of giving to Habitat that strikes me as especially attractive is it really is a gift for the ages:  That money is used to buy materials and services for home building and the loan repayment by the homeowners is pooled to help build the next house.  In that way, you are helping many families far into the future.

I can’t think of a finer legacy than that.  

If this idea rings a bell with you, I’m sure the good folks at Habitat can help you get started.  There is probably some legal work to be done, but if it isn’t done, what you’ve been thinking about doing just won’t happen.  It's a great chance to do a good thing for you and for others.   

I hope you’ll consider joining me as a member of the Durham Habitat Legacy Society.       

Durham Habitat and the King’s Daughter’s Inn are hosting a Habitat Legacy Society gathering next Sunday, July 31st at 2pm.  If you’ve included Habitat in your estate planning, or would like to learn more about leaving your own legacy, please call or email Roxanne (919-698-3910 or

Khaliel’s future is brighter because of the partnership that enabled his mom’s investment in their Habitat home.
The Durham Habitat community includes so many good people who come together to build homes, hope and community. 

The Anthony family built their home in partnership with Pay It Forward friends. Pay it Forward is a common theme at Habitat as homeowners’ mortgage payments pay it forward by enabling more Habitat homes to be built in Durham.


 A new Habitat homeowner young man is excited about his bedroom window that opens, and his yard with grass in it.  His mom is excited about a safe place where he can do homework and dream big dreams.


Habitat Success Stories

Alicia partnered with the Catholic Coalition to build a Habitat home in Southwest Central Durham. Alicia enjoyed putting more than 250 hours of sweat equity into her home, saying "I know every beam in my house."