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Harding Helps Out

by Michael Placko / Minnesota Wild
With a hammer in hand, Wild netminder Josh Harding took some time before training camp begins next month to give back to the community that has cheered him on throughout his five seasons in Minnesota. Along with Sprite and Cub Foods, Harding ditched his hockey gear for a tool belt and assisted with a Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity build on Wednesday.

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“They asked if I wanted to help out,” Harding said. “And of course for a cause like this you wouldn’t pass it up.”

Despite not having any experience with Habitat for Humanity, Harding was put to work painting doors, hanging mailboxes, really whatever was necessary to get the house together for a family of 11 currently living in two separate condos.

“They gave me easier jobs, but anything I can do to help out. I’m sure that they appreciate that and I definitely love doing itŠwe have a lot of supporters that help us out and whenever you can give back I think it’s huge for athletes to do that. Plus you get to meet a lot of great people and it’s a lot of fun out here.”

Dom Kennedy, a volunteer supervisor for Habitat for Humanity and former shop teacher, works closely with volunteers like Josh on a daily basis and sees how rewarding their work is not only for the family in need, but also on a personal level.

“That’s what it’s all about: having people have a good experience,” Kennedy said.

The home Harding worked on was not the only project in the area. Another house was being refurbished just down the block and when discussing all of the work being done Site Supervisor Betsy Reller proudly stated, “There is a very strong Habitat presence in this neighborhood. All the neighbors have been very welcoming.”

The site was just one of the 25 homes that will be a part of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. The renowned program started by the former president has built houses throughout the world during its 27 years of existence and comes to the Twin Cities for the first time Oct. 4-8. The
program is an extension of Habitat for Humanity’s already extensive work in the area and looks to serve as a catalyst for their efforts.
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