Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Florida Affiliate: Building Homes Stamp by Stamp

Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Florida Affiliate: Building Homes Stamp by Stamp

Article excerpt

In 2006, the Florida Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (FAFCS) originated a program with the Habitat for Humanity Stamp Program of LakeSumter. This one-of-a-kind program has built two homes for Habitat for Humanity and is working on a third. Who could imagine used stamps would bring such opportunity to low-income families in Florida? Two senior citizens and a staff of volunteers from Habitat for Humanity have made this a full time project since its inception 15 years ago.

FAFCS has promoted the collection of stamps to develop awareness of the Affiliate and to increase membership. Many organizations have contributed (i.e., 4-H of Alachua County, Women's Clubs of High Springs & Gainesville, student organizations, Epsilon Sigma Phi (Extension professionals), Beta Sigma Phi (social cultural sorority), Red Hat chapters, FCCLAs, various churches, and real estate companies). More than 37 pounds of trimmed stamps have been prepared.

Emma, age 85, and Elnor, age 93, work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily with the stamp program, considering it their full time jobs. They have given community presentations to obtain stamps, traveled throughout the state to collect and sell the stamps, and trained others in cataloging and packing them. Stamps are readily identified for their worth, soaked, removed from the envelope and dried. Then the stamps are sold at auctions in New York, Florida, and California. In the first year of the program, they made $39; they are now making approximately $6,000 per year and have raised $18,000 of the $55,000 needed for the third home. …

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