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Comments from Don A. Sultzbach, Executive Director, Austin-Bailey Health and Wellness Foundation, from The Grantseeker's Guide to Winning Proposals:
In December of 2005, our Foundation received a $25,000 grant request from Habitat for Humanity of Greater Stark and Carroll Counties to fund one-half of one house to be constructed in 2006. Although acknowledging that Habitat is a very worthy organization with a positive mission, our board of trustees felt that this request did not tie in with our health and wellness mission. Thus, we declined the grant request.
In a follow-up discussion with Beth Tonsky, Habitat's development director, I was explaining again the reasoning behind the board's declining their request. In the course of that discussion, she mentioned that there are individuals who have severe physical limitations for whom they are building homes. She stated that the need for handicap necessities in these homes adds considerable cost, but enables them to live independently and with dignity.
The end result of that discussion was a suggestion that Habitat submit a request to Austin-Bailey that would cover the cost of handicap necessities in these homes. Habitat's subsequent $50,000 request included a very personal human element by offering a description and photo of the persons involved, and how these individuals are leading normal lives in spite of their severe physical limitations. The Foundation's board of trustees approved this $50,000 grant request in September of 2007 to cover the livability costs of four homes.