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Published January 31, 2014, 11:33 AM

Nonprofit close to finishing house for Grand Forks family

Andria Garcia-Ruud couldn’t be more excited and grateful for her new home.

By: Charley Haley, Grand Forks Herald

Andria Garcia-Ruud couldn’t be more excited and grateful for her new home.

It’s the latest Red River Valley Habitat for Humanity project. Although the house still isn’t quite finished, it was opened to the public Thursday so volunteers, donors and others were able to see the home and visit with Garcia-Ruud.

“I am beyond excited,” Garcia-Ruud said. She’ll live in the house near University Park with her three children, Angelica, 13, Aidan, 10, and Alexander, 9. “We are thrilled. We are so grateful.”

Garcia-Ruud, 35, has seen her home built from the foundation up with the help of volunteers, starting in fall 2012.

Several individuals, businesses and groups contributed to Garcia-Ruud’s home, including the Grand Forks Air Force Base, Minnkota Power and the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, said Kyle Kosior, executive director of Red River Valley Habitat for Humanity.

There were 75 to 100 volunteers total for Garcia-Ruud’s house, Kosior said.

Construction cost of the 2,400-square-foot house was $108,000, according to Kosior.

Total donations to the project, including the lot, labor and materials, were $55,300. Habitat was also collecting donations at Thursday’s open house through a silent auction and art show by North Valley Arts Council.

Finishing touches

Garcia-Ruud said she’s not sure when she’ll be able to move in yet, because there are still some finishing touches left on the house.

But she said she thinks the project has been moving at a good speed, especially considering that it’s something so new for most of the people involved.

Habitat for Humanity is an international nonprofit group that builds homes for low-income families with the help of both volunteer professionals and those with no construction experience. The Red River Valley chapter has built 22 homes in Grand Forks and one home in East Grand Forks since starting in 1987, Kosior said.

Garcia-Ruud’s is Red River Valley Habitat’s 24th home and the first that has been built in a few years, Kosior said.

But the local nonprofit is picking up steam again, Kosior said, and is planning to build a duplex next to Garcia-Ruud’s home on North 24th Street in Grand Forks for its next project.

Garcia-Ruud said her favorite part of the whole Habitat for Humanity process has been experiencing the kindness of strangers.

“The true generosity of the human spirit — that exists,” she said.

She added that even though her house is almost finished, she wants people to continue supporting Habitat for Humanity so that the nonprofit group can continue to help families.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help finish Garcia-Ruud’s house can email Catherine Mahlen at catherine.mahlen@my.und.edu with the number of volunteers interested.

On the Web: For more information on this project or Red River Valley Habitat for Humanity, visit www.rrvhabitat.org.

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