Habitat’s first volunteer to speak at First Church

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Clive Rainey, right, will be speaking at First Congregational Church’s 10 a.m. service on Sunday, Nov. 3. The church is located at 219 North Granby Road, Granby. All are welcome to come and hear his message, and meet him after the service. Submitted photo

As part of his visit to Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity to celebrate its 30th year, and in recognition of Granby hosting Hartford Habitat’s first rural build in 2016, Clive Rainey, Habitat’s very first volunteer,will be speaking at First Congregational Church on Sunday morning Nov. 3.

Throughout his 35-year career, Rainey has been a key inspirational leader and advocate for building affordable housing in support of Habitat’s goal of eliminating substandard housing worldwide. Its efforts have helped make it one of the most recognized brands globally.

Among his innumerable contributions, one of Rainey’s first was introducing the concept of “sweat equity” in which families help build their new homes in lieu of making a down payment. Today, “sweat equity” is an essential part of every Habitat build in 80 countries. Rainey’s leadership landed him his first major assignment as Habitat’s Africa Director guiding its expansion into 12 countries across the continent. 

More recently as director of community relations, Rainey has taken Habitat’s message around the world speaking to audiences and inspiring countless others to pick up their hammers and get involved. Rainey’s unwavering commitment has helped Habitat for Humanity grow from an idea hatched on a small Georgia farm in 1976 to a household name. Worldwide, Habitat has helped more that 22 million people build or improve the place they call home.

Recently retired from Habitat, Rainey moved to Guatemala where Habitat Guatemala has built more that 35,000 homes. He continues to volunteer for Habitat and for a local ministry dedicated to rescuing children from the street and providing them with the necessities of life, including housing, clothing, food and educational opportunities.

—Don Shaw, Jr. is Board Director Emeritus, Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity, and a Granby resident.