Wells Fargo gives Habitat for Humanity $79,000 donation

Money will help fund youth program

BAKERSFIELD - Habitat for Humanity-Golden Empire is getting a financial boost geared towards helping young people in our community.

The $79,000 donation will give students a clear picture for a future in home building.

Janette Sandoval works hard to give back to the community.

"I love to volunteer. It's what we do and it just makes us feel good," she said.

Sandoval volunteers for Habitat and is learning about demolishing and remodeling homes for low-income families.

"We actually ripped out carpet.  We cleaned out, throughout trash.  We're doing a lot of everything," she adds.

Through the generous donation from Wells Fargo, Habitat is helping improve neighborhoods hit-hard by the economy through its ‘Leading the Way Home’ program.

"It gives a low-income family the opportunity to buy a home.  They get in with little or no money down.  Their payments are generally under $600 a month to buy a new home and they get the security of having a house and being part of the community," said Dennis Wallace, executive director for Habitat for Humanity Golden Empire.

Habitat plans to also use the money for its Youthbuild Program, providing classroom and practical training in construction for at-risk youth with construction for that home to begin in late spring.

"We just purchased this home about a month ago so we're doing the demolition and what needs to be done and get it ready to put back together," said Wallace.

The organization has five houses volunteers are working to improve.  One in Wasco and Tehachapi, two in Delano and one in Bakersfield.

"For me it feels wonderful. I love being able to help the community and give my time to help people who may be less fortunate or need some help so volunteerism is very important to me," said Catie Holsonbake, who works for Wells Fargo.

Volunteers will work every weekend until the home is ready for a family to be moved in.

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