Habitat, Dogfish aim to beautify Milton homes

A Brush with Kindness will take place April 8
February 19, 2013

Dogfish Head and Sussex County Habitat for Humanity are teaming up to make Milton a little bit brighter.

Dogfish will donate about 150 of its employees from the brewery and Rehoboth brewpub to take part in A Brush with Kindness Monday, April 8. The day-long campaign will send brewery employees to several locations around Milton to perform minor repair work on homes. Some volunteers will be bused to Georgetown to work on a Habitat home in progress. The effort replaces the Framing Frenzy campaign, where Dogfish and Habitat teamed up to frame walls to be used in Habitat homes.

“We figured we'd make better use of everybody's time by doing these projects,” said Anthony Ghezzi, project coordinator Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, a Christian housing organization. “Now we can get out and put people to work and that day they can see and the community can see the results.”

In addition to shutting down both the brewery and brewpub, Dogfish also donates $25 for each employee who takes part in the program.

The project is aimed at low-income homeowners in the Milton area. To be eligible, the applicant must own and occupy a home in the Milton area that could benefit from short-term exterior improvements, meet certain annual and monthly income requirements and be unable to afford necessary home improvements or unable to complete them, due to age, disability or circumstance. The family or homeowner must also be willing to work with Habitat.

“Habitat doesn't believe in a handout, we believe in a hand-up, so we work and partner with our families,” said Tom Protack, Habitat's community engagement director.

He said the volunteers' time is donated, but Habitat asks that homeowners take out a good-faith loan to pay back the cost of the materials over a set period of time. He said the organization takes the same approach when building homes for families.

“We don't give away our homes; we sell our homes to our homeowners and give them a 30-year mortgage, interest free,” he said.

Protack said work will be limited to projects that will take one day to complete, such as power washing, landscaping or window repair. Larger projects, such as roof replacement, are probably too time consuming, he said.

To help the projects move forward smoothly, Habitat has asked Milton officials to waive any fees associated with the work. Town council will likely take action on the request at its March meeting.

Habitat for Humanity is a Christian housing organization whose mission is seeking to put God's love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. The group has been in operation in Sussex County for 21 years and has completed nearly 80 homes.

For more information on A Brush with Kindness, call Anthony Ghezzi at 302-855-1153, ext. 216, or email at Applications are available at the Habitat for Humanity office in Georgetown, Milton Town Hall or through mail by calling the number above. Deadline to submit an application is Friday, March 1.

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