It matters

It matters

Cumberland Times-News

Efforts to establish an Allegany County chapter of the Habitat for Humanity remind us of a parable we usually see referred to as “It matters to this one.”

As the story goes, an old man walking along the seashore came across a boy picking up starfish and throwing them back to sea. The old man asked the boy “What does it matter, son? There are thousands more you will never save.” As the boy picked up another starfish and tossed it into the sea, he responded: “Well, it matters to this one.”

And so it will go if the Habitat for Humanity effort is successful here. With an estimated 300 homeless living in Allegany County, the local chapter would only to be able to help a few — perhaps only one family a year. But it certainly would matter to that one family.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing effort that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homeless from the world. The organization invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need.

Locally, a 13-member steering committee charged with bringing Habitat for Humanity to the county has earned its official status as a “prospective affiliate.” This allows the group, headed by local real estate agent Kathy Miller, to solicit tax-deductible donations as Allegany County Habitat for Humanity. Should the organization not gain permanent status within 12 months, the donations would be distributed to another affiliate.

Shauna McQuade, steering committee member and chairwoman for the public relations committee, said “with 300 people homeless daily in Allegany County and the economy suffering in general, we need to give people hope that good things are on the horizon.”

Already support has been given by the Historical Highlands Association of Realtors, Fink Heating and Cooling of Ellerslie, and an anonymous donor who contributed $500.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Allegany County Habitat for Humanity or joining one of the 12 committees may call Miller at (301) 707-6356.

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