National Avenue Christian Church (NACC) in Springfield yesterday presented a $25,000 check to The Rainbow Network, initiating the construction phase of a project that will provide safe, secure homes for 25 poverty-stricken families in the Nicaraguan village of Hilapo Dos.
The milestone gift is the latest in a 10-year partnership between the congregation, which also sponsors the village of Hilapo Dos, in our San Ramon network. This specific donation is the product of an intense fundraising effort by the church to secure contributions totaling $100,000 – $4,000 for each of the 25 homes being built. With this initial payment, construction will begin within two weeks, with completion expected in March 2013. Last month, church members traveled to Nicaragua to dedicate the land for the project, and excitement has been extremely high ever since. The project has its own Facebook site and has received some great media attention by local outlets.
“This project has offered a chance for everyone to serve, to get involved, to change the lives a person half a world away,” says Senior Pastor Laura Vail Fregin. “From youth group fundraisers, to major gifts from core members, even an online donation program – we all have the same end-goal, and are all working together to help these families have hope for the future. It’s a joy to see our faith community’s passion for justice being put into action.”
The homes are simple; 400 square feet of cement block walls, with corrugated metal roofs, concrete floors and two doors and two windows. While eight months may seem like a long time to construct such basic houses, that extended timeline allows for an important aspect of the overall Rainbow Network program, according to Founder & President Keith Jaspers.
“The majority of the work on these houses is done by the future homeowners,” he says. “They still must earn their meager income and keep up with the strenuous demands of day-to-day life during construction. But when finished, these are homes they built with their own hands. That sense of personal ownership and investment becomes the stepping stone to their independence.”
For more on NACC’s fundraising efforts, visit www.nationalavenuecc.com.