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Published: Wednesday, 10/6/2004

Monroe County: Habitat chapter gets a seasoned pro to be director

BY KARAMAGI RUJUMBA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

MONROE - After an illustrious career in different jobs in Monroe County, Sally Pritchett has settled into what she says will most likely be her last job - resource development director of the county's Habitat for Humanity chapter.

Born and raised in Monroe, Mrs. Pritchett graduated from Monroe High School and has worked in varying jobs including La- Z- Boy Furniture, opening her own home improvement business 'Decor by Daleys' and then working for the Monroe County Opportunity Program an agency that provides assistance to low-income families where she was the executive director for almost 20 years.

These days, Mrs. Pritchett spends her days in boardrooms of area companies pitching fund-raising ideas to them as she seeks funds for the Habitat programs.

"I'm still involved in social services, but I'm now more involved in providing affordable housing to people who need it," said Mrs. Pritchet, a mother of four who has seven grandchildren.

"I want to be able to bring in development resources to assist Habitat as it continues to grow so that we can house more people in this community," she said.

In her new position, Mrs. Pritchett hopes to create a more visible Habitat in the community by developing partnerships with companies and the community.

"You can't get the true meaning of what we do unless you join. It is such a heart-warming experience to meet first-time homeowners when the houses are completed," she said.

One of the new initiatives Mrs. Pritchett intends on pursuing is a development committee that will help Habitat not only expand as an organization into the community but to make sure that it can meet its budgetary requirements - almost $500,000 every year. Habitat hopes to raise between $10,000 and $15,000 in the next few months to meet its budget, she said.

Mrs. Pritchett, who has served on the Habitat board for the last two years, recalls being drawn to the organization a couple of years ago when she was at a house opening ceremony in Blissfield.

"I remember seeing the families that had never owned a house as they realized their dream. It was a very moving experience to see the looks on their faces," said Mrs. Pritchett.

She is in the process of planning a Dec. 2 'Home Sweet Home Fundraiser' at the Monroe Holiday Inn Express.

The event, which will feature sweets and a silent auction, is intended to let the community know about the projects that Habitat will undertake next year.

The Monroe Habitat is gearing itself for next year's big event, the Jimmy Carter Project, which will see the former president spend a week in Michigan helping families build homes they will own.

During the week-long project scheduled for June, the Monroe Habitat will build five houses.

"We hope that Jimmy Carter's publicity will help us raise even more funds as we try to pull this community together," said Mrs. Pritchett.

Contact Karamagi Rujumba at:

krujumba@theblade.com or

419-724-6064



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