The Madison Daily Leader posted a story online last night about our local habitat for Humanity chapter sponsoring two great programs: the Brush with Kindness project, which provides affordable paint and clean-up services for homeowners; and Shelterfest, this summer's fundraising concert featuring Tonic Sol-fa.
The story mentions a couple of websites where folks can get more information. Alas, no hyperlinks. You know how I feel about hyperlinks. So permit me to act as the HTML-adjunct to the paper and demonstrate how easy and useful hyperlinks are.
Here's the complete story. All I'm changing is adding hyperlinks where appropriate. Compare with the original, then tell me which is more useful:
Local Habitat group offers Brush With Kindness
By ELISA SAND, Staff Reporter 03/19/2010
East Central Habitat for Humanity is launching a new local Habitat program -- Brush with Kindness.
The new housing repair program is aimed at providing painting, yard cleaning and cosmetic repair services to low income homeowners in need.
Through the program, Habitat for Humanity volunteers use donated materials on the selected homes.
Barb Johnson, executive director for the East Central Habitat for Humanity affiliate said the local board of directors hopes to select three local families who will benefit from the program.
Applications are now available and can be accessed through the organization's Web site (www.habitateastcentral.org) or by calling the office 427-9906 to have an application mailed.
Johnson said all applications are due by May 1.
"At that point in time, they'll go and look at people's homes, they'll bring some to the board of director's meeting anonymously and then the board will select, from that report, who they feel would benefit the most from the program."
Johnson said the goal of this program is not to assist a family in making their home more marketable.
"We're not going to help people flip their houses," she said.
Homeowners selected are asked to sign a commitment that states they plan to live in their home for the next two years.
Homeowners are only asked to pay a $100 administrative fee up front. But, Johnson said, the cost for the project is taken into account.
Half the cost is forgiven after the first year, she said, and the other half is forgiven after the second year.
Local donations have already been made in support of the project. Johnson said so far the Sioux Valley Energy roundup program has awarded $1,000 toward ladders and scaffolding and the Madison Community Hospital has donated $500 for safety equipment.
"Helping people repair and maintain their homes fits in seamlessly with Habitat's core mission of making decent, affordable housing available to low-income families," Johnson said.
The Brush With Kindness program is being done this year in addition to continued fund-raising efforts toward the construction of another Habitat house.
Johnson said the next partner family has been selected. The recipient is a single, widowed mom with two children. The goal is to build, again, in the Williams addition.
The construction timeline has not been set at this time, however. Johnson said the local group continues to await news on grant applications that will fund the project.
"The biggest one we won't find out until June," she said.
As for fund-raisers, Johnson said, Shelterfest is once again in the planning, this year on July 30 at Trojan Field. It will be held indoors at the DSU Fieldhouse in case of poor weather.
Habitat Board Member Erin Heidelberger, who is leading up the organization for Shelterfest said the event will begin at 6:15 p.m. with the Su Fu Du drum line, which will open for Tonic Sol-fa a Minnesota-based acapella group that performs pop-inspired music.
Tickets will be $15 each and children 5 and under are free.
"All proceeds will go to East Central Habitat for Humanity," Heidelberger said.
Tickets will be available soon on the Tonic Sol-fa Web site. A link to that web site is available at www.shelterfest.com.
Tickets will also be locally available beginning in May. Heidelberger said right now board members are working on securing concessions for the event and sponsors.
©Madison Daily Leader 2010
Notice, the original story makes reference to two specific websites where people can get more information. Give people a link, they can click right to it. It's just a matter of seconds, but online, seconds matter, and users are much more likely to click a link than retype it or even copy and paste it.
By the way, it took me less than five minutes to scan this article, identify the link-worthy nouns, Google the websites, and insert the links. Five minutes, and we quintuple the informational and functional value of the article. Cool!