By: Kelly Smith, Marketing Director
We’re launching our newest neighborhood, Annafeld, with another Home for Hope to be completed this winter. The groundbreaking and trade partner kickoff event for this project that took place yesterday was a huge success with over 100 men and women who build our homes enjoying a BBQ lunch and offering their own contributions to the project.
This is the second home McCall Homes and our trade partners will build for HOPE International, the umbrella organization for Homes for Hope whose mission is “Building locally to fight poverty globally”. Builders across the country have partnered with their local suppliers, trades, and other donors to build and sell these Homes for Hope. All proceeds from the sales of the homes are donated to HOPE International, a network of Christ-centered organizations that finance micro-loans and savings programs to help empower men, women and families break the cycle of poverty and start or expand businesses. Other services of the organization include health care, literacy training, community empowerment initiatives and more in 16 impoverished countries around the world.
McCall Homes built their first Home for Hope in 2014, donating $169,000 from the proceeds to HOPE International. This contribution initially served over 1,000 families with micro-loans to finance their businesses. People who wouldn’t normally have access to funds were now able to kickstart their business in their own community. These small loans get repaid at an astonishing 98% repayment rate which allows initial donations to regenerate loans multiple times creating exponential opportunities for positive impact on more and more families. Local directors meet with business owners in what’s called a solidarity group every 2 weeks to discuss their finances and any issues or challenges within the group. Smaller loans are paid off giving way to larger loans as owners grow their businesses.
Greg McCall and his wife, Erin, visited the Dominican Republic in November 2013 to see first-hand how the program worked before committing to the project. The clients they met in the impoverished town of Hato Mayor shared their heartfelt stories of being able to provide for their families, educate their children, and have access to critical health care. Two of the women they met during their trip, Ramona and Teresa, served as memorable success stories to encourage them on their path for this project. Ramona started her own little store selling needed food and supplies to her community with only a $50 loan and now makes more than that amount in revenue every day. Teresa used her first $47 loan to buy a foot-action Singer sewing machine. This simple piece of equipment allowed her to expedite more and more orders. Her most recent loan for $475 is over 10 times larger than her first and she’ll be able to repay it over time due to the success of her sewing business and the support of her solidarity group.
From their trade partners to their homeowners and employees, McCall Homes mission is “Empowering people. Building community”. He explains why building a Home for Hope is so important. “Give your people an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves.”
Rather than donating clothes, food, or money, HOPE International offers an alternative to short-lived donations. Instead of a handout, it gives a hand up.
“It’s easy to just write a check and be done with it, but we needed something more than that,” Erin shares. “It wasn’t just going to be something that was a one-time thing. It was going to be something that would carry on for generations.”
Recipients of the organization’s micro-loans work hard to make repayments and start a new beginning for their families and communities. Over 900,000 entrepreneurs currently benefit from HOPE’s programs thanks to the generous partnerships with builders like McCall Homes and their trade partners.
Launching the new neighborhood with a project like this allows everyone on the team in the office and in the field to be part of something much bigger than themselves.
“At McCall Homes, we say we are community builders, we are here to build a place where lives will be changed; to do something more than just build a house. Homes for Hope EMPOWERS people – that’s our mission,”says Greg McCall, co-owner of McCall Homes. The new community “is going to be an inclusive, not exclusive neighborhood where people at any stage of life can live in a healthy, vibrant, safe community. We want that not only for people who live in Billings, Montana but in the most dire communities around the world as well.”