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The Las Cruces Home Builders Association’s Casa for a Cause program, formerly known as the Anniversary House, is the perfect microcosm for all that is right with our community.
If you’re not familiar with Casa for a Cause, here’s how it works: local homebuilders build a house, reducing expenses as much as possible by seeking discounted or donated labor, equipment, materials and land. Then, when the house sells, the profits are divvied up among 20-30 local charitable organizations.
Here’s how it’s like Las Cruces.
First of all, building a house is hard work. And this year’s house was built during the hottest summer on record. Las Cruces works hard. Yes, there are a lot of white-collar jobs at the university and high-tech jobs at White Sands Missile Range and NASA. But at its heart, Las Cruces is a blue-collar community. Many early Las Cruces-area residents worked farms and ranches. Many still do. All you have to do is drive up and down the street to see the many blue-collar jobs and workers that keep our city running.
Secondly, connections and relationships make Las Cruces tick. When the builders (this year’s Casa for a Cause builder is French Brothers) start working to find good deals, they rely on friends, former colleagues and networking to make the connections. Some people say the phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” like it’s a bad thing. And if you give a job to someone solely because you know them, it is a bad thing. But when you talk to your friends, colleagues and family members to get information and advice on how to do something and who can help, that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s just smart. And that’s how things can get done in Las Cruces.
Third, Las Cruces cares. We care about our neighbors. We care about each other. Why else would Casa for a Cause exist in the first place? The many ways Doña Ana County residents go to great lengths to help each other is something we talk about all the time. The Casa for a Cause project culminates annually when the house is sold, and the LCHBA puts on a banquet to distribute the proceeds to the many nonprofits in the community. It’s a moving event, seeing all the love in action. And it is love.
However, the love can’t flow until the house is sold.
This year’s Casa for a Cause, as of this writing, remains unsold.
I’m not suggesting you go out and buy it. It is $399,015, so you’re not going to finance it by checking the couch cushions. But maybe you’ve been house-hunting anyway. Or someone in your family. Or friends. Maybe we can put those aforementioned Las Cruces networking skills to work.
Sooner or later the house will sell.
I hope, after it does, you’ll make plans to go to the celebration banquet.
Then I’ll challenge you to keep your eyes dry as you witness so many things that are great about our community.