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submitted by Louisa May

Helping handsHabitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast has its headquarters this year in Biloxi, Mississippi. During a week long event, from May 11 through May 16, 2008, Habitat for Humanity‘s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project volunteers will build ten new houses in Biloxi, twenty more in nearby Pascagoula, and repair or rehab thirty more.

Another work project organization, created in 1998, and affiliated with Habitat for Humanity nationwide since 2007, is the Brush with Kindness program. It’s a network of neighborhood revitalization groups made up of volunteers from businesses, churches, and community outreach associations. This spring, they will all be out in force sprucing up these Gulf Coast communities that are still struggling with rebuilding, over two and a half years since hard hit by Hurricane Katrina. Volunteers paint, repair and build, and many socially responsible businesses make their efforts possible.

Home Depot, Whirlpool, and Valspar are just a few of the companies that make major contributions to Habitat for Humanity. Valspar serves as the main paint sponsor for the Brush with Kindness program, sending out volunteers and “kindness packaged in a paint can” each year to the communities chosen. They’ve donated over 160,000 gallons of paint valued at over three million dollars.

When we look at the product choices available to us as consumers, particularly when we’re making high dollar purchases, it’s smart to look at more than just ”green” products. Socially responsible companies that sponsor projects such as these will impact the value and appearance of our neighborhoods in ways we don’t always think about. For more information on retailers and manufacturers, local and national, that partner with Habitat for Humanity, check the Habitat for Humanity or Brush with Kindness websites.

Take a look at our other Green articles for money saving tips that help the environment.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services related to your commercial housing investment, including tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.

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