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Habitat Volunteers on Building Blitz

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity kicked off its annual “Brush With Kindness” blitz. That means hundreds of volunteers will be painting, landscaping and cleaning up five homes in only four days.

“We were very happy because it saves us quite a bit of money,” said Stephen Canty, a homeowner who is benefiting from the program. “It’s at least 75 percent less than what we would have paid if we had to hire our own painters.”

In order to qualify for the exterior home face-lift, homeowners must fill out an application and meet certain income requirements.

If they are selected, a homeowner must pay for the “real costs” of the work, including any materials that aren’t donated and rented equipment. Homeowners can pay back that cost over three to five years.

“It’s not a hand out, it’s a hand up,” said Jeff Capps, executive director of Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity. “And this is a neat way for us to impact a neighborhood.”

That hand up is inspiring Canty to help other neighbors.

“We can help each other out, that’s what we do,” Canty said. “That’s the beauty of living on this block.”

He says he plans to help with other Habitat for Humanity projects in the future.

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