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Habitat for Humanity 500 now virtual ride

By Staff | Jul 12, 2020

The house pictured above at 419 East Second St. was sold by the city of Blue Earth and the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority to Habitat for Humanity for $1.

This year the annual Habitat for Humanity 500 is going to be held virtually.

The annual fundraiser event for Habitat for Humanity involves people from around the state gathering in northern Minnesota and riding their bicycles 500 miles (or less) to raise money for all the local chapters.

This year, with COVID-19 safety practices in place, there will not be a big gathering of people all in one place.

“We are having it where everyone rides in their own location, either by themselves or in small groups,” says Staci Thompson, executive director of the Habitat for Humanity of Faribault and Martin Counties. “We have people signing up to ride from now until September.”

So far the local riders are Thompson herself, Dave Kittleson of Blue Earth, Pastor Cory Germain of Fairmont (and formerly of Winnebago), and Jim Wood of Blue Earth, who is the board president for the local Habitat chapter.

“We are going to ride on our own,” Thompson explains. “We can do it over time, and ride together sometimes, or alone. We can even ride on a bike in the fitness center, if it is too hot outside.”

Kittleson has plans to do all of the 500 mile ride by going around Faribault County and hitting every town in the county. He plans to do it all this week, starting on Monday, July 13.

The riders are all looking for donations for Habitat. People can visit the riders’ websites or they can send checks to the Habitat for Humanity local office at P.O. Box 3, Blue Earth, MN 56013.

“Last year our local chapter raised $21,126 on the Habitat 500 ride,” Thompson says. “Hopefully we can do something like that again this year. We do need to raise some money for our new project.”

That new project is to totally remodel a house in Blue Earth for a local family.

The house, at 419 East Second St., was sold to Habitat for Humanity for $1 by the city of Blue Earth and the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA).

“We don’t actually have ownership yet,” Thompson explains. “When the city sells property it is by an ordinance and it takes 30 days to take effect.”

She adds that the house is going to need a lot of work.

“The first thing is we will get it sided this fall, in fact we may get it done in a month. We also will have to do some yard cleanup right away, as it is a mess.”

The house has a fairly good roof and basement, she says. And some work has already been done by the previous owners in gutting the inside.

“We are going to need lots and lots of Sheetrock for the inside,” she says. “And once again we are going to need a lot of volunteers to help with the work. Anyone interested in making any kind of a donation or who would volunteer to help work can call me at the Habitat office at 526-2500.”

A family has already been selected for the house. Ashley Fuller and her children had been selected previously for a house proposed to be built on a lot Habitat for Humanity has owned for years.

That project, however, never came to fruition due to lack of funds. So now, they will be the family involved with the house on Fourth Street.

The last house by Habitat in Blue Earth was four years ago, in 2016, when a house was moved to a lot in town and remodeled.

As with all Habitat for Humanity projects, the selected family pays a mortgage (at 0 percent interest) to Habitat for Humanity, needs to have a $1,000 down payment, be employed with a steady income, and agree to doing 250 hours of sweat equity.