Blog

By David Snell,
Fuller Center President

Every now and again someone comes along with enough vision, energy, charisma, focus and faith to make a significant difference in the lives of many. Just such a man was born 80 years ago in a humble mill town in west Alabama. Today, January 3, we celebrate the birth of Millard Fuller, a man who spent his life dreaming big and in the process lifted millions out of poverty housing.

Millard didn’t set out to make decent housing a matter of conscience and action around the world. He set out to make a million dollars by the time he was 30 — and he did. In the process, he learned the hard lesson that money and happiness don’t always travel together as his family fell apart and his wife, Linda, left him. Things looked up, though, when they decided to try again, only this time they would get rid of their wealth and let God take a hand at guiding their lives — and what a ride He took them on!

When Millard met Clarence Jordan at Koinonia Farm, his fate was probably sealed. The two of them formed a perfect team of philosophy and action or, as it turned out, philosophy in action. Clarence’s notion that what the poor needed was capital rather than charity and what the rich needed was a just and wise way of divesting themselves of their overabundance struck a mighty chord with Millard. Before long the notion was being tested with housebuilding projects at the Farm and in Americus. Millard and Linda took the idea to Zaire and everywhere it was tried it succeeded.

By Chris Johnson,
Director of Communications

The holidays have been great this year, and the Christmas spirit is alive and well in the hearts of Fuller Center supporters and volunteers. Now, we are ready to charge ahead into the year 2015, which will be The Fuller Center's 10th anniversary (hence the 10th Anniversary logo pictured at right). But while we're focused on the future, here's a quick look back at some of the news in December.

As the year comes to an end many of us find ourselves looking back and reflecting on where we’ve been, where we’ve come, and everything that has happened since our last yearly reflection. Well, the Fuller Center Bike Adventure is no different. We also like to take a moment to stop and look back on the year and everything that has occurred. And what a year 2014 has been! Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of this year of adventure:
 

By Chris Johnson,
Director of Communications

November is supposed to be a month for thankfulness and gratitude, and it certainly was that for The Fuller Center. Not only are we thankful for some remarkable work being done in the field by our covenant partners in the U.S. and overseas, but we also continue to be blessed with generous gifts that ensure more and more families will be extended a helping hand.

Among those gifts in November was a $1 million donation by longtime friends and frequent volunteers Doug and Jill Miller. Many thanks to President Jimmy Carter for inviting the Millers and Fuller Center President David Snell and his wife, Sheilla, over to his home in Plains for the presentation.

Doug has worked hard all his life to achieve a great level of success and gladly shares his blessings — however, he insists on sharing it in ways that don't just help people temporarily but in the long run. He prefers our hand-up approach of partnering with families who are willing to work for a better life moreso than mere handouts that often have the opposite effect that was intended.

To read more about the Millers, their appreciation for hard work and their generous gift, please click here. And to see just some of the other big events from the month of November, see below:

By Chris Johnson,
Director of Communications

It's finally starting to feel a little bit like fall here in Georgia. This is often a time when our covenant partners hammer out plans for the next year and ramp up the end-of-year fundraising efforts to make those plans a reality.

But that doesn't mean the hammers have stopped swinging. In fact, one of the biggest events this month was last week's completion of The Fuller Center's 56-home Lambi Village in Haiti. Lambi was a great plan — building an entire community where families were full partners in the building process and not the recipients of the kind of well-meaning handouts that have unintentionally crippled the Haitian people.

With apologies to George Peppard's character Hannibal on TV's "The A-Team" (my favorite show back in 8th grade), I love it when a plan comes together. If you didn't get that, congratulations, you haven't watched too much bad TV. Haiti has seen plenty of plans made and plans fizzle, often before they even got off the ground. But Lambi stands as a testament to The Fuller Center's determination to follow through on plans and to help people help themselves.

Click here for the complete report on last week's dedication of Lambi Village.

Now, here's a sampling of other happenings in October. Click the links for full details: