YAKIMA, Wash. — At a fundraising party Thursday night, Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity celebrated the year’s success and raised about $30,000 for next year’s houses, executive director Steve Luten said.
“We need to raise money, sure, but we also want people to come and see the fruit of their labor and the impact on the community,” Luten said. “There’s so much to celebrate.”
About 160 people attended the event, which featured food, drinks, and a live and silent auction. The top item was a gourmet African dinner featuring peanut soup, a tower of sliced waterhog salami and many other dishes, which sold for $1,750.
The Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1984 and its volunteers have built 154 homes for families in need across the Valley. Families served by the group are required to put in 500 hours of work alongside the volunteers.
This is the fourth year that Habitat held this event, and Luten said the amount raised was comparable to previous years. What stood out, he said, was a speech given by a young man who grew up in the first house Habitat built in Yakima, after living for several years in an orchard shack. Now he’s a college graduate with a good job.
“He just told about how having a house integrated his family into the community,” Luten said. “That opened doors for him and his brother.”
Habitat built six homes in the Yakima Valley this year, and plans to build another six next year.