Anonymous donor funds local Habitat build in name of Pope Francis

CINCINNATI — Pope Francis’ call for Catholics worldwide to give more of themselves to the less fortunate is reverberating in the Tri-State.

To heed the pope’s call to service, an anonymous donor recently donated $60,000 to Habitat for Humanity Greater Cincinnati for a house-build here in town, a donation made, in part, in anticipation of the pope’s upcoming visit to the U.S. in October.

Sean Ater, one of the volunteers on the build, said Habitat’s mission is one that’s inspired by Pope Francis “and his love for the poor, and the way he wants us to be a poor church for the poor.”

The team of volunteers started as strangers to Ebony Bureau and her family, who will call the new house their home once it’s completed.

They say these volunteers’ work will change their lives.

“This means so much to me, for all the volunteers to come from all over Cincinnati,” Bureau said. “They don’t even know me, but they want to come and help me make this house a home.”

According to Ed Lee, Habitat for Humanity Greater Cincinnati’s president and CEO, the new home will not only change the Bureaus’ lives. It will help revitalize the community.

“This home will not only change the situation for the family,” Lee said, “but in the process we can change the community. We can create more home ownership.”

At its core, the home is a ripple effect of the pope’s message: The home is a hand up to a family, a value to its neighborhood, and a wealth of memories for those who helped build it.

“To us, it is overwhelming,” Bureau said. “Words cannot explain what this means for us.”

As for the anonymous donor, this home is not the only one they have backed financially: they have donated in several cities across the U.S., including Dayton, Ohio.

All of the homes are named after Pope Francis.

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