Sunday, March 01, 2009

What counts

Millard Fuller, a ci-founder of Habitat for Humanity, died Feb. 3, 2009.
He was a true hero.

One of his quotes, printed in the Feb. 11 - Feb. 17,2009 issue of Creative Loafing :

"It's not your blue blood, your pedigree or your college degree. It's what you do with your life that counts."

By the time Millard Fuller turned 29, he had earned his first million dollars as an entrepreneur and attorney. But as his finances flourished, his health and marriage crumbled. To save their marriage, the Fullers decided to begin anew. They sold all they owned, gave the money to the poor and in their searching, landed at Koinonia where they began soaking up the teachings of farmer, theologian and community founder Clarence Jordan.

In time, Jordan and Fuller launched a program of “partnership housing,” building simple houses in partnership with rural neighbors who were too poor to qualify for conventional home loans. The first house was dedicated in 1969 and others soon followed. In 1973, the Fullers took the concept of partnership housing to Africa. Within a few years, simple concrete-block homes were replacing unhealthy mud-and-thatch homes … and Millard Fuller had a bold idea: If partnership housing could improve lives in Georgia and Zaire, why not the rest of the world?

In 1976, the Fullers returned to the United States and launched Habitat for Humanity International. By the organization’s 25th anniversary, tens of thousands of people were volunteering with Habitat and more than 500,000 people were living in Habitat homes.

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