Kindness helps low-income families become homeowners

The OlympianSeptember 30, 2013 

Future homeowner Jason McLeod has been impressed with the materials' quality used in his Habitat for Humanity Shepherds Grove Cottages' home he'll live in with his wife Amanda. The South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity recently announced plans to build 33 homes on a 5-acre site in the Lacey area.

STEVE BLOOM; STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

YAY: Habitat housing

Habitat for Humanity is one of the 20th century’s greatest inventions. It provides quality homes for low-income families through a nonprofit organization based on volunteerism. The South Puget Sound Habitat branch recently announced plans to build 33 homes on a 5-acre site in the Lacey area. That means 33 families at risk of slipping into homelessness now will have housing security. What a wonderful gift from local businesses who donate materials and from volunteers who build the homes alongside eventual occupants.

BOO: Thurston job growth

Thurston County has added only 100 jobs since 2012, according to the latest report. The news is another indication that job losses in government and public-funded education have outsized negative effects on our regional employment picture. It’s clear that our future will depend on job growth in sectors other than public service, but so far, at least, that’s a no-show.

YAY: Help a nonprofit

Earlier this summer, a Big Brothers Big Sisters nonprofit north of Seattle closed its doors due to a lack of financial support. That robbed boys and girls from having positive adult role models in their lives. People can support the South Sound chapter by purchasing passes to the waterpark at Great Wolf Lodge during the next few weeks, or signing up for the nonprofit’s Oct. 5 Big Auction at Great Wolf. Or both.

YAY: Sid Otton

Talk about positive role models. How about Tumwater High School football coach Sid Otton. He achieved his 350th win Friday night, another milestone in his 46 years of coaching – 40 of them at Tumwater. He’s led the team to five state championships and three undefeated seasons, racking up a 73.3 winning percentage. Otton coached his two sons in the 1980s and this year is coaching two of his grandsons. Go T-Birds!

BOO: Whose yacht is it?

Please pause a moment before breaking out the champagne to celebrate Oracle Team USA’s victory in the 34th America’s Cup sailing race. Did Americans actually win this race? Granted, the high-tech catamaran — Question: When a boat levitates above the water, is it really sailing? — was financed by the American software company, Oracle.

But what about the crew? There was only one American among several dozen New Zealanders and Australians. Even the captain of the American vessel was an Aussie. In other words, America’s billionaire hired a better Down Under crew than the Down Under billionaire. Great sport.

BOO: Sullying Dr. Seuss

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, did a disservice to Dr. Seuss fans everywhere by reading one of the famous children’s author’s stories as part of his extended floor speech intended to thwart funding of the Affordable Care Act. It’s a shameful attention-grabbing attempt to promote himself.

HUH? Averting a fall

While federal Republicans drive the nation toward yet another fiscal cliff of its own invention, Congress found time to approve a bill to avert a national helium shortage. Perhaps they plan on filling enough balloons to float the national economy?

YAY: A modern pope

Pope Francis’ speeches that reveal his non-judgmental views aren’t the only way he’s winning over Catholics and non-Catholics alike. He’s doing it on Twitter, too. Francis tweets almost every day, and recently posed for a selfie with young people outside the Vatican because, he said, “You have in your heart a promise of hope.” He also has been reducing the amount of time his followers will have to spend in purgatory after death for their sins. Start following Pope Francis now.

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