As I reflect upon what it means to be an American, the one word that seems to settle well with me is “fairness.” For me that means making ethical choices while treating everyone fairly knowing that some will agree and disagree with the choices. Being able to make those choices is what differentiates us from many other countries. And that makes me so happy and proud!
At Macomb County Habitat for Humanity, we build and rehab homes for anyone who QUALIFIES. It’s important to us to treat everyone the same. That means fairly treating candidates who are legal immigrants and who wear headgear that is not familiar to us; it means fairly treating families that want to cross borders – such as Oakland or Wayne Counties, to live in Macomb County; and it means fairly treating men, women, and children who may have a non-traditional religious preference – or no religious preference at all.
Not only are we free to treat everyone the same, but we must – in order to follow the law.
And even if there were no law, we at Macomb Habitat would be fair. For us, freedom is how we act even when we are confused, fearful or unfamiliar with a group, a look, or a way of being.
We see freedom as free to come to our doors to try and better oneself. We view it as a freedom to have orientations that simply don’t look like ours – knowing that respect will be given at every turn.
We see Christ in all we serve. If someone is turned away, it is not because we couldn’t understand the language or we disagreed with a person’s political choices.
It would be because their income didn’t fall in the HUD-determined grid or because they were unwilling to volunteer 250 hours of sweat equity as their way of truly contributing to the effort.
Though it’s only four letters in length, “fair” is a big word for us at Macomb Habitat. It represents who we are and how we want to be. Its colors are red, white and blue and fairness stands up to the very core of our constitution and the flag we salute.
This July as we reexamine what makes us proud and sets us apart, we embrace our ability to treat everyone who comes to our doors, fairly. If you don’t like the price we give you in our ReStores, then know that we aren’t going to reduce it for you and not for another. If you want to enroll in our Brush With Kindness Program, understand that if you are over a certain income range, we are going to say no to you and all who exceed that bar, – because we only serve low-income people! And if you want to participate in our Home Ownership Program, we aren’t going to ask one person to invest $2,000 while everyone else invests $1,000.
Fair is fair, and we will hang our stars and stripes on that premise.
So get out there, light those sparklers all week long, and have a wonderful July!
With every best wish,