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Ridgewater Foundation to award $5,000 Habitat grant

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WILLMAR -- The Ridgewater College Foundation has announced that it will grant a $5,000 donation to Habitat for Humanity of West Central Minnesota.

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The donation supports the foundation's belief in supporting projects that benefit students as well as the community, according to a news release from the foundation. The grant will be used in support of the current building project and future partnerships with Ridgewater's carpentry program.

Ridgewater's carpentry and electrician students have been helping with the Habitat homes for several years.

In the beginning, students worked as subcontractors -- framing walls, doing wiring and other odd jobs.

Last year was the first year the college's carpentry students took on the project and acted as the general contractor. That project was completed at 841 Northwood Court in Willmar and is the home of the Albert and Angie Martinez family. This year's project will be the second one in which the carpentry program has acted as general contractor.

The partnership benefits both parties, the release said.

It provides Ridgewater students with hands-on experience in a real building project, and Habitat receives donated labor and expertise. About 20 carpentry students and 22 electrician students are involved in the current building project.

According to the release, this may be the first partnership between a college and a Habitat chapter. After the success with Ridgewater, however, other colleges and Habitat chapters are now joining forces, too.

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