Global Village volunteers sweep in to help

ELEELE — Kauai Habitat for Humanity homeowner Cherrae Fabro is looking forward to Christmas.

“If everything goes the way it is, we should be moving in by Christmas,” Fabro said. “Everybody will be moving in about the same time because that’s when this increment of homes will be completed. I love it. I love everything about this.”

Devon Hudson, a contractor and volunteer supervisor for Kauai Habitat for Humanity, said there are 13 homes under construction. Combined with the ongoing work on a roundabout and sidewalks, there is a bustle of activity in the Kauai Habitat Eleele Iluna community.

“This is the most affordable homes in Hawaii,” Hudson said. “We did 12 homes, and an additional two homes in the first increment. Currently, we are working on 13 houses. We are fortunate to get the help of Global Village volunteers who come through every two or three months. This group has 11 people and will be helping until June 21.”

Gladys Jacinto was a local volunteer, putting in sweat equity for her daughter who is a Kauai Habitat homeowner.

“She’s working, so I come to help her out with the hours,” Jacinto said. “When I retired, at my age, I never thought I’d be building houses. But the kids are so fortunate to be able to have a home.”

Jacinto was working alongside Fabro and Global Village volunteers Sue Travis and Linda Smith of California, being joined by Americorps volunteer Kaitlin Paiton of Maine.

Marcia Gasper of Allentown, Pennsylvania, said for some of the group, this is the first time they’ve been to Hawaii.

“This is also the first time I’ve been with the Global Village program to build houses, too,” she said. “I think everyone in this group knows John Budway, the team leader.”

Budway has led a number of Global Village teams in South America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and the United States over the past 16 years.

David Bieker of Kauai Habitat said June is National Homeownership Month, a time to recognize the many benefits of homeownership to families and communities around the nation.

“Owning a home remains a cornerstone of the American Dream, and builds a pathway out of poverty while strengthening the economy,” Bieker said. “Not only does homeownership have significant financial benefits, it also leads to better health, educational achievements and security for families and communities alike.”

He said Budway’s group helping at the Eleele Iluna community is part of National Homeownership Month.

“Volunteer groups such as Global Village are essential in keeping construction costs down, and homes affordable for families whose income is between 30 to 80 percent of the median Kauai income,” Bieker said. “Their presence make a tremendous impact on making the dream of homeownership a reality for these 13 families.”

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