Archive for  October 31st 2018

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OSKALOOSA, Iowa-When Jake and Gwen Ferguson built a new house, they realized the old house on their place, still had some use left. Instead, they gave the house to Habitat for Humanity of Mahaska County.

“We were trying to look for anyway that we can still get some use out of the place, for somebody, we got a hold of habitat and they were open to the idea,” said Jake Ferguson. “We thought that the old house still had a good life left in it for somebody, so this way somebody will get to raise their family in it.”

Habitat for Humanity took the donation, but needed to move the structure 15 miles, to a site at 1201 1st Ave. West. Habitat of Mahaska purchased two lots at that location from the City. One lot has a home going up. The other has a foundation dug for the donated house.

“We are in the process of selecting a family now, “ said Tiffany Anderson of Habitat for Humanity of Mahaska County. “We are hoping to announce that family next month.”

The group hopes to have a family residing in the moved home, by Christmas.

“We have four applicants in the running for this home,” said Anderson. “Their income has to be between 30 and 60 per cent of the median income for Oskaloosa.”

The new owner will be required to put seat equity into this house. Even thought it is already built, there is work needing to be done.


MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — Mother nature can quickly bring humility.  “There isn’t one of us that isn’t one disaster away from going down on our knees,” said Pam Strobbe, board president for the House of Compassion.

The EF-3 tornado made Marshalltown buckle in July and continues to dig into the community heading towards November.  “You have families now where money they’ve saved for Christmas is now being put into building a home,” said House of Compassion director March Running.

The House of Compassion typically assists homeless and low-income families year round with daily necessities, warm meals and showers.  The tornado added another layer of need within the community.  Running said, “Either their homes were damaged or they lost their jobs because main street was devastated and businesses have closed.”

A year ago they assisted 149 families in their annual Holiday Adopt-a-Family program but after the tornado they expect over 900 additional individuals and families this season.  “This may be the first time they’ve ever been in need and it’s on no part of their own. Mother nature got involved,” said Running.

Continual work on the Marshall County Courthouse proves the tornado’s path did not discriminate and neither does the House of Compassion.  Despite there being many working families that may have never needed help before they hope the come forward.  Strobbe said, “Don’t deny someone in your family a hot meal, a warm shower.  Please come in we will help as much as we can.  Don’t let pride get in your way.”

The tornado’s strength can still be seen but it will be the power of the community’s strength that can overcome.  Running said,  “We want to make sure they have what they need to have the merriest Christmas they can possibly have with their families.”

Any family in need of assistance that has been impacted by the tornado can sign up at the House of Compassion from Wednesday October 31 until November 3rd.  If you would like to adopt-a-family, contact the organization at (641) 752-5999.