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Habitat Home for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival.  Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general.  While perhaps religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday.


Last Saturday I was privileged to attend the dedication ceremony of the first ever Habitat for Humanity home (note that I used the word “home”, not house) built here in Spearfish. 

I witnessed the ongoing vision of one man’s dream, spreading around the world.  Millard Fuller’s personal mission statement was “to eliminate poverty housing on the planet earth.”  He knew that was impossible, but he also knew that unless he set out to conquer the impossible, nothing would get done. 

(Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976. On November 13, 2008, Habitat for Humanity raised the walls on its 300,000th house in Collier County, Florida. The next day, work began on the 300,001st house in Zacapa, Guatemala).

While at the dedication, I witnessed burly contractors crying as they were overcome by the blessing they were receiving from having given of themselves to provide “decent, affordable housing” to a family who was equally blessed by these builders, and the rest of our community who came together in this labor of love. 

The family is thankful to have a new home; the people who came together to build the home are thankful to have had the opportunity to give of themselves; and all of us can be thankful that Millard and Linda Fuller were willing to follow a call to do something “impossible?”

We all live “in relationship to/with one another”, and each of us can, and does make a difference in the lives of the people around us.

So, in this season of thanksgiving, I encourage you to be thankful for who you are….to be thankful for where you are in your life journey, and, I challenge you to commit a random act of kindness*before the end of the day Thursday.

* A random act of kindness is selfless act performed by a person or pr persons wishing to either assist of cheer up an individual or in some cases an animal.  There will generally be no reason other than to make people smile or be happier.

Jerry Dunn