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March 10th, 2010 by Temple City Tribune
By Susan Motander
The San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity turned keys over to four families on Saturday at the dedication of their new homes on Sherman Avenue in Monrovia. In giving the Invocation, Reverend Gregory Douglass of the Monrovia United Methodist Church, called the homes “A place to be a family.” Douglass had himself put in hundreds of hours on the project joking that the dedication was only the second time he had worn a tie to the location.
Sonja Yates, the executive director of the SGV Habitat for Humanity explained that these houses had been approximately 18 months in process and that part of that process was selecting the families who would live in them. Every family put in at least 500 hours of “sweat equity”: hours that they had worked on others homes and their own.
In addition to the presentation of the keys, the introduction of the families and the official ribbon cuttings on each residence, the dedication also acknowledged the contributions of the hundreds of volunteers who worked on the houses, the corporations which donated funds and materials as well as the companies whose workers donated thousands of hours on the homes. The list of those who had contributed went on for pages and pages in the program. More than 1200 construction volunteers put in more than 14,800 hours of work on these four homes alone.
Interestingly, in attendance were many owners of homes formerly built by SGV Habitat for Humanity who had worked on these homes as volunteers. Of the 43 homes this group has built since its founding in 1990, all are still owned by the original families and none have gone into foreclosure. The group is currently working on 11 more homes on Kenwood Street in Glendale and will still start on a renovation program of 5 homes in Temple City to be called “Brush with Kindness.”
In her remarks, Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz welcomed the new Monrovians to the community and also thanked all of those who had worked tirelessly on the project. She called the houses “the homes that love built.”
Those new Monrovians are Mario and Jeanine Del Grosso and their children Logan, Wyatt and Gwenneth, Antonio and Irma Nava and their children Daniela, Valeria and Anthony, Raymond and Sonia Quiroz and their children Raymond Jr., Carolina, Julian, Grace and Olga, and Marco and Sandra Naccarati and their sons Marcos and Daniel.