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JOE HARDY CHALLENGES AREA RESIDENTS TO DONATE; 84 LUMBER STORES TO MATCH GIFTS TO HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

 EIGHTY FOUR, Pa., May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Joe Hardy, president and founder of 84 Lumber Company, has offered to match all donations to Habitat for Humanity made at a Pittsburgh-area 84 Lumber store in May, June or July, it was announced today.
 A long-time supporter of the Habitat program, Hardy said he believes in the organization's slogan, "a hand up, not a handout." The home building program is designed for "the working poor," and requires that all home buyers work for 300 hours on their home as well as on other Habitat projects. Habitat homes sell for around $30,000 and are financed with no-interest loans.
 Hardy met last year with Habitat's most famous volunteer, former President Jimmy Carter, who presided with Hardy at the dedication of a Habitat home built with materials donated by 84 Lumber. "This is the kind of program that makes sense for our nation," said Hardy. "Habitat lends a hand to those who, despite hard work, have been unable to accumulate enough money for a down payment."
 Hardy said the loan default rate for Habitat homeowners is less than 1 percent, both locally and nationally, a figure that is just a fraction of the national default rate. "The people who get these homes are solid, hardworking people who take pride in ownership. The homes Habitat builds are basic, well-constructed homes -- and that is consistent with 84 Lumber's reputation as a `no-frills' operation," Hardy said.
 Funds collected in the Pittsburgh area will go towards Habitat's renovation projects in Braddock, Pa. Al Schubert, executive director of the Pittsburgh-area Habitat chapter, is delighted with Hardy's offer to match contributions, and urges area residents to support the fundraising effort. "There are so many families waiting and so much work to be done. This challenge from Joe Hardy and 84 Lumber could make it possible to make the dream of owning a home come true for several more families," he said.
 Habitat also welcomes volunteers at its worksites, according to Schubert. Volunteers work under the direction of skilled professionals, and thus do not need specific home-building skills.
 For more details about the 84 matching challenge or to learn more about volunteering for Habitat, call 412-242-3655.
 84 Lumber is the nation's largest privately owned building materials company, with more than 370 stores in 31 states.
 -0- 5/28/93
 /CONTACT: Judy Donohue of 84 Lumber, 412-941-8497/


CO: 84 Lumber Company; Habitat for Humanity ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

CD-MP -- PG002 -- 3303 05/28/93 09:56 EDT
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Date:May 28, 1993
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