JACKSON — Nina Redding, executive director of the metro Jackson Habitat for Humanity, hopes the “Egg Us On” fund-raising project will become an annual event. This year 2,500 ceramic Easter eggs are being sold to raise $42,000 to build a Habitat house.
Renowned Mississippi artist and Habitat supporter Gail Pittman was honored to be able to design the special edition Easter egg to help with the ministry.
“I really particularly liked the concept of the egg because it’s a new beginning and Easter is a new beginning,” Pittman said.
Redding said Victor P. Smith Sr., an independent oil producer and real estate developer and Habitat Board member, came up with the idea.
“What started out as one thing has ended up something far better,” Smith said.
Smith said he had brought up the idea of selling real eggs, but because of the liability involved the idea soon evolved into having a special edition egg designed by Pittman.
“It started out as one vision and ended up that God gave us a better vision, I think.”
Smith said he hopes to double the original order of 2,500 eggs next year. Both Smith and Redding are firm believers in Habitat for Humanity’s mission.
“There are so many people in substandard housing,” Redding said. “We assume they have good housing, and they do not. I believe living in substandard housing blocks a family’s vision of what they could be, of what they could do. I believe we’re all neighbors and we’re supposed to serve and love our neighbors by meeting their needs.”
Redding said by buying an egg, many families will be helped because after the house is built, the family who moves in will make house payments on it, and those house payments will help to build another house.
Smith said, “We just have a real deficit in our housing here, and as you can see by what Habitat has done in midtown, it’s transforming an area.”
He added that many different fund raising ideas are needed to meet their goals of building houses.
“We’ve been building 25 (houses) a year. First it was $28,000 to build a house; now it’s $42,000. We believe every person deserves a simple, decent place to live.”
Debbe Amacker Tillman, president of Amacker Inc., is helping to coordinate the media response for Egg Us On.
“It (Habitat for Humanity) seems to be the kind of charitable entity that everybody wants to support, and we’ve been delighted with the media response,” she said. “Everyone’s been very generous to make it a fantastic promotion. We just feel very blessed that this has happened.”
Billboards will be promoting the project at no cost to Habitat, as will television, radio and newspapers.
“It’s just a real widespread media sponsorship,” Redding said.
The promotions seem to be working already, as many people have already called to place orders for the eggs.
Habitat for Humanity is asking that $25 be donated for an egg. Eggs are available by calling 353-EGGS or the Habitat office or by coming to Northpark Mall, Highland Village or Metrocenter Mall April 6-7. A house will be built shortly after Easter with the money raised.
Contact MBJ staff writer Elizabeth Kirkland at email@example.com or (601) 364-1042.