Large charitable contributions usually go to a University or for scientific research, so it is rare that gift like this goes to a social charity, especially remarkable in this economy.
From this Associated Press article that we found at Public Opinion Online, we learn more about the giver and what the money will be used for.
The donation comes from J. Ronald Terwilliger of Atlanta, a former chief executive of housing developer Trammell Crow Residential Co. and a longtime member of Habitat's board of directors.
Terwilliger said through his work with Habitat and in the private sector he's witnessed the depths of poverty, seeing people living in cardboard shacks and unspeakable filth, as well as the struggle for middle-class families to find affordable housing.
"People need a decent, safe, clean residence where they can get a good night's sleep and families can be together," he said. "If they have that as an anchor, they have a way to send their kids off to school regularly and a better chance those children will be healthy."
The donation comes at a difficult time for the Americus, Ga.-based organization, which like other nonprofit groups has struggled with increasing demand and slowing donations amid the economic downturn.
"This is a chance to have a really deep impact," said Jonathan Reckford, Habitat's chief executive. "It's an unprecedented commitment that sets a new bar for what's possible, and it encourages other people to give."
Habitat will use $30 million to fund an endowment that will make yearly grants to help build more houses.
The remaining $70 million will set up a micro-finance fund to help low-income families around the world repair and improve their housing.