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Millard Fuller, co-founder of Habitat for Humanity, dies

Some of you may wonder why I’m linking to this story in a blog about direct marketing.  Fair question, to which  there are two answers.

First, because I’ve been a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia, since 1991.  Even this past Saturday, I was out on a work site in Fairfax County, Virginia, where I live.  You should check out Habitat for Humanity International as well as Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia.

Secondly, Millard was a direct marketer.  He and Morris Dees (a very liberal guy who helped George McGovern’s Presidential campaign back in 1972; as well as led the Southern Poverty Law Center), started Morris & Dees, as a direct marketing agency while they were still in college.

One story was that they began selling birthday cakes to the parents of their fellow students — by mail, of course.  Good story, whether it’s true or not.  They’d sell the cakes to the parents and then deliver the cakes to the dorm rooms.

Millard was a good guy — had his flaws, like all of us do — but you only have to talk to one or two owners of Habitat for Humanity homes to understand how this idea has changed so many lives.

Pretty remarkable.

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