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Habitat’s Fuller was true leader

February 10, 2009
The Daily Mining Gazette

With stories of greed among millionaires all too common these days, it may be good to recognize that some wealthy Americans don't buy into that philosophy. One of them, Millard Fuller, died last week in Georgia.

Fuller was just 30 years old when he became a millionaire. But in his early 40s, he decided there had to be more to life than simply making money. In 1976, Fuller and his wife, Linda, co-founded Habitat for Humanity.

The organization is one of the most wonderful, truly beneficial charities ever conceived. Habitat chapters help low-income people achieve the American dream by building their own homes.

Habitat volunteers help with labor and materials - but those for whom homes are constructed must provide substantial amounts of labor themselves. The program truly is "a hand up, not a hand-out."

It has been estimated that since the Fullers founded Habitat, the program has helped to provide shelter for 1.5 million people. We suspect it has helped them in other ways, too, including giving them new respect for themselves and what they can accomplish in life.

Fuller and his wife poured hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money - as well as years of work - into Habitat. Their story is both inspiring and, we hope, humbling to those who have money but - at least compared to the Fullers - little to show for it.



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