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It takes more, more than a hammer

More than a hammer and nails

To make a house a home

It takes a firm foundation built on faith and love

With a whole lot of guidance from up above

Show your neighbor what a friend is for

With an open heart and an open door

I think the Staple Singers first recorded the song in the early 1960s and a few others have covered it since then.  I had the privilege of hearing Pops and Mavis Staples sing it live in Memphis about 15 years ago and I’ve loved the song since then.  It’s funny how songs come to mind as you go about your daily tasks – this one comes back around for me all the time.

As Habitat for Humanity of Washington County tackles the final small tasks to finish Rebecca’s House, our 51st home built, I’m reminded of what it takes to put our mission into action.  It truly does take more than hammers and nails.  The physical foundation may be concrete and insulated concrete forms, but I think if you come to one of our house dedications you’ll immediately see that compassion and community are the underpinnings of it all.  It’s actually tangible.  You can feel it in the air.  Talk to one of our partner families who has poured their blood, sweat, and tears into getting their children out of unsafe housing and finally into a home with the help of the community and you’ll have no doubt.

It’s simple.  We couldn’t do what we do without the community here in Northwest Arkansas, and it’s that community that continues to help us turn hope into homes.  Whether it’s corporate sponsorships and grants from our many businesses that help us with homes, a $25 check from a senior citizen who simply believes in our mission, or a Sunday school class or just a neighbor who shows up on the construction site to pound a nail or sweep floors it doesn’t matter.  It takes community backing in many forms, and we’re all in this together.