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Bigelow Homes Coordinates $1.4 Million in Donations
For Release: 3/31/2009 9:59:45 AM
Patrick Cardinal Hayes, former Archbishop of New York, advised, "And if there be those whom you can help in a material way, do so in a quiet, friendly, neighborly way, as if it were the utmost common and everyday experience for you."
That just about sums up what Bigelow Homes has done for the disadvantaged.
In each of the last six years, the developer has spearheaded House for Hope projects that have raised nearly $1.4 million for others. Now they are close to breaking ground on the seventh home.
The program, under the guidance of HOPE International, involves building and selling a house to raise money that will fund loans to small businesses in underdeveloped countries.
By giving small (micro) loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries, the House for Hope projects allow disadvantaged people to combine their skills, talents, and worth ethic toward building a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities. These loans, typically around $200, are directed toward those who need funds to buy basic equipment or materials to get their small business off the ground.
Micro-lending is not a gift, but a win-win-win investment strategy in which the creditor earns interest, the recipient receives the capital, and the community benefits from the new business. Because the loans, historically, are repaid at least 95 percent of the time, the donations are used over and over again.
The homes wouldn't be possible without the generous contribution of time, energy, and products from many Chicago area businesses. Much of the labor is provided by employees of Bigelow's partner companies who spend weekend and after-work hours building the homes in the spirit of goodwill.
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Posted March 31, 2009