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Parade of Homes to benefit Taos Habitat for Humanity affiliate

Parade of Homes to benefit Taos Habitat for Humanity affiliate
By Teresa Dovalpage

For The Taos News

Habitat for Humanity of Taos partnered with the Taos County Association of Realtors to organize a Parade of Homes featuring 10 beautiful, distinctive homes located throughout Taos.

The parade will showcase a variety of architectural styles, from an artistic, oneof- a-kind 12-acre estate bordering the forest to a 15,000-square-foot villa in Arroyo Seco with a commercial- grade kitchen and an indoor pool.

All the homes are for sale, except for the 19th home built by Habitat.

“The Realtors have been helping us with an Office Build Day every second Saturday of the month,” said Taos Habitat Executive Director Cynthia Arvidson. “But we do need more help to finish our office on Salazar Road so we came up with the idea for this event.” The tour will take place Saturday (July 11), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $15. All proceeds will benefit Taos Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat volunteers will be at each house ready to offer information about the organization’s work, distribute literature and collect donations.

A culinary component has been added to the Parade of Homes. Food will welcome visitors as they visit the houses, which will be filled with the aromas of local cuisine.

“Throughout the tour, people can enjoy wonderful culinary delights from Taos’ finest restaurants or prepared by the Realtors themselves,” Arvidson said.

At the Taos Habitat house, the food will be provided by La Cocina.

Realtor Lisa Davis plans to offer a salsa bar.

Realtor Joel Schantz has partnered with Medley to cater the three homes he has on the tour.

“Whether you are interested in finding a new house, want to get ideas for your current home or have a passion for interior design, this is the tour for you,” Arvidson said.

What’s new at Taos Habitat “We just dedicated out 29th house and broke ground on the 30th house last week,” Arvidson said. “We are still trying to get funding for the office in Salazar, but we don’t want to get into debt, so we are looking at grants and other possibilities.”

Arvidson comments on the ripple effect that becoming homeowners have on families in particular and society in general.

“Homeowners’ children are more likely to go to college and get more involved with the community,” she said. “At Habitat, we offer new homeowners counseling on personal finances, first-time home buying, budgeting and home maintenance. When they receive the key to their first home (which isn’t free, as they still have to pay a 30-year mortgage, it’s just interest-free) they are more responsible members of our community, ready to become advocates and help improve the life of other families.”

She also points out that the volunteers who come in from out of state to work at Habitat homes benefit the Taos economy as well.

“They eat in local restaurants, stay in local lodgings, visit the Pueblo, and go rafting and llama trekking,” Arvidson said. “Many of them come back later as tourists and all this benefits our community as a whole.”

Visiting the ReStore and donating to it are both great ways to help the local Habitat. The store is also looking for working appliances, which are the number-one sellers at the ReStore.

“Our ReStore is an unknown gem,” Arvidson said. “Many people don’t realize how many items we have there or how much the store helps fund our mission. We rely heavily on these sales. I always want to remind people that we are not funded by Habitat International — we raise 100 percent of our funds.”

People can donate to the organization, but also volunteer with it in different manners.

“Here at Taos Habitat, we are very grateful for all the community support we have received,” Arvidson said. “We feel blessed to do what we do and we want to do more.”

Tickets for the tour are available at all the Taos Real Estate offices, The Taos News and Habitat for Humanity.

For information about Habitat for Humanity of Taos or to make a donation, contact Arvidson at (575) 7587827 or visit taoshabitat.org.

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is located at 16 State Road 522. It can be reached by calling (575) 776-2165.

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