A donated miter saw sits on the back porch as Habitat For Humanity volunteer Jim Andringa lays down bark at a home on 23rd Street on Wednesday. Donations of new and used equipment are helping the volunteers after thousands of dollars of equipment was stolen from the group. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Habitat for Humanity ‘karma’ kicks in after theft of tools

EVERETT — One gut punch of a theft has led to many acts of kindness.

A week after volunteers discovered $3,000 worth of tools missing from a Habitat for Humanity of Snohomish County home construction project, donations have flooded in to more than make up for the loss.

Thirty-seven people contributed money totaling $3,610.

Many others gave tools, both new and used.

“It’s sort of Habitat karma,” said Chris Anderson, construction manager at an Everett site where a couple with three young children are expected to move by mid-December. “People really understand the importance of what we are doing and why we are doing it.”

A team of workers Wednesday was putting finishing touches on the new blue home on 23rd Street.

Outside, under drizzly gray skies, they shoveled beauty bark from wheelbarrows; inside, they peeled away tape and pulled back paper, exposing the shine of the living room floor. Everyone had their tasks to complete.

Habitat Snohomish is a volunteer-driven organization that provides permanent homes to local families who earn between 20 percent and 80 percent of the area’s median income and spend more than 30 percent of their gross income on housing.

The families are required to spend at least 500 hours in sweat equity, working on the home, at the Habitat for Humanity store or office and attending home maintenance and financial workshops. In the end, they’ll get a home with an affordable mortgage.

Anderson fielded calls from several people wanting to donate tools. On Sunday, he was at the construction site when a retired contractor stopped by, opened up the back of his SUV and pulled out a power miter box saw and other tools.

“It has been overwhelming generosity,” Anderson said.

Some extra or duplicate tools will be given to a Habitat for Humanity home improvement store to sell for future construction projects. Other tools will be used on a 30-home project called Twin Creeks Village. The first phase of the townhouse-style building project off 112th Street in Everett is scheduled to begin in July. It will be a fourplex.

“We are blessed to live in a community where people look out for each other,” said Guinn Rogers, executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Snohomish County. “These donors picked us up when we were down and they reminded us that others share our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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