This article first appeared in the Hobbs News-Sun.
There’s an old saying: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
The JF Maddox Foundation is working with Habitat for Humanity to propel the local nonprofit’s long-term success using a variation of this philosophy by helping fund Habitat’s new ReStore location in Hobbs. The Foundation is known for our grants, an investment that does not require a financial return; however, our support for the ReStore is in the form of a forgivable loan. How much is forgiven depends on the community’s support.
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Hobbs, which offers “gently used” furniture, appliances and more at a fraction of the price, uses the proceeds to build homes in the local community. The home improvement items they sell are available to the public. But they are far more than a place to find discounted home goods.
ReStores serve an important function for Habitat, providing another avenue for funding of its critical programs aimed at reducing housing instability by building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. With the addition of the ReStore, Habitat will have the chance to build on the promise it has made to Lea County and the surrounding areas to serve its people with reusable household items and building materials that may otherwise go to waste.
The ReStore is a huge asset to the families who call our community home and the people whose lives are changed by Habitat every day. Since its inception in Lea County, Habitat has worked with 51 partner families to fulfill their dreams of becoming housing stable, along with five more that are currently in progress. The addition of financial support through the ReStore means that there is even more potential to serve those who need a hand up – not a handout – in this community.
Through our investment, the Foundation also sought to enhance its giving by empowering Habitat to meet and exceed fundraising goals to set the organization up for long-term success. The loan is structured to be forgiven at $2:$1 rate. In other words, every dollar you give to Habitat reduces the loan amount by two dollars. This effectively doubles donations and helps the community participate in the kick-off of the ReStore project. If Habitat can raise $150,000 from the community, the loan will be completely forgiven.
Innovative grant making like this means our Foundation is better able to provide the necessary funds for organizations that are critical to meeting the needs of our community, while balancing our ability to build a supportive network around them. Habitat can leverage its existing gifts and donors through targeted fundraising and increase the impact their gifts make in the community.
We encourage you to visit the ReStore today at their brand-new location – 301 E. Navajo Rd. to shop or donate. Together, we can ensure a better future for our neighbors.
David Reed is a Senior Program Officer for the JF Maddox Foundation, a private family foundation focused on cultivating big-picture possibilities in Lea County, New Mexico. Through its investments, scholarship program, and leadership institute, the JF Maddox Foundation has transformed the Lea County community bringing about the changes that residents thrive on for generations.