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My name is McKenzie Stouffer, and I have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for over five years now. In my time serving Habitat, I have helped build nine homes in the Dallas and Austin areas. I first became involved in Habitat in high school when searching for volunteer opportunities within my community. I immediately fell in love with the welcoming atmosphere of the volunteers and with the ability to make a physical, tangible impact in my community. I served as President of Habitat for Humanity at Plano East Senior High School and now serve as the Treasurer of the University of Texas at Austin Habitat for Humanity Chapter. Hook ‘em Horns! The money for this fundraiser will be donated to Austin Habitat for Humanity to solve the Austin housing crisis. If we reach our donation goal of $10,000, State Farm has vouched to match our donation with a $10,000 grant.
Austin remains one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., which has led to an increase in housing costs and gentrification—a process in which higher-income households begin moving into lower-income areas or neighborhoods and increasing overall housing costs. Can you imagine living in the same house your entire life and suddenly your housing costs increase by 96% while your income does not? This is what is happening to families in the east Austin area. East Austin is where the expression, “Keep Austin Weird,” originated from. Gentrification is pushing away this city’s identification of “weird,” which is why you should donate to Habitat for Humanity. Not just to keep Austin weird, but to provide everyone with the ability to call their home, home.
I encourage you to donate to Habitat for Humanity because you are truly making a difference for someone who has worked very hard to earn their Habitat home. Each homeowner works at least 400 hours of sweat equity on their Habitat home in addition to volunteering within their community. Also, each Habitat homeowner does indeed pay for the entirety of their new home with the offering of an affordable mortgage.
I also encourage you to volunteer with your local Habitat for Humanity organization so you can visibly see the difference you are making in your community and in the lives of those you help!
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