Raising $60,000 in seven days may seem like an impossible task for some, but it turned out to be a piece of cake for Habitat for Humanity of Hall County.
In May, Army Spc. Michael Walker’s family — wife Kim Walker and their four children — set off for Fort Stewart in south
Georgia to welcome home the soldier who’d just completed a year long deployment in Afghanistan.
Walker is a member of the Charlie Company, part of Georgia’s 48th Infantry Brigade, 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry.
As the Gainesville family was preparing for the return trip home, they received a life-changing phone call — their home had caught on fire and nearly all of their belongings were destroyed.
When local Habitat officials learned of the news, they knew they had to get involved. After the family’s application was approved, officials set about raising funds to build the Walkers a new home.
“I e-mailed (radio host Clark Howard’s executive producer) several times explaining the story about the Walker family. I asked him to speak at a prayer breakfast for us, but he came through in a much bigger way,” said Danny Sanderson, Hall County habitat CFO.
“(His executive producer) surprised me with letting us know that Clark was going to donate matching funds up to $30,000.”
Howard is a nationally syndicated radio and TV talk show host and consumer advocate.
With Howard’s challenge in mind, Sanderson’s team launched an electronic campaign via e-mail and the organization’s website.
Within 7 days, the team had raised $30,000. Added to Howard’s donation, that amount gave the nonprofit the $60,000 needed to get started on the Walkers’ new home.
Although they have enough money to begin, Sanderson says there are still a few details that the community can assist with.
“We are still accepting donations and will need volunteers to help with the build,” Sanderson said.
“We don’t have a date yet for the groundbreaking, but we should have that scheduled very soon.”