Help a Soldier Win a Free Home for the Holidays

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The Hope Lives Foundation requests entries nationwide for 2007 home giveaway

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It sounds too good to be true. However, in this case, it's real. The Hope Lives Foundation, a non-profit organization based in North Huntingdon, will select a deserving member of the armed forces who is serving or has served in Iraq or Afghanistan to receive a newly refurbished, debt-free home - no strings attached - as a gift for the holidays.

Unbelievable? Not really. Just ask Kevin Martin. In 2005, the National Guard Sergeant was transporting supplies between Kuwait and Iraq when his sister entered him in the free home giveaway. After never having a home of his own, the divorced father of five, who volunteered to serve in Iraq to support his family, won a free home in McKeesport.

Home for the Holidays is the brainchild of real estate investing expert Jim Toner who founded The Hope Lives Foundation to provide temporary housing to displaced families in support of his local Salvation Army. Concerned for soldiers returning from the war, Toner expanded The Hope Lives Foundation to include the offer of the gift of a lifetime - a Home for the Holidays for a deserving veteran.

Now through Friday, Dec. 7, The Hope Lives Foundation is accepting entries from throughout the nation for this year's Home for the Holidays award. There is no fee to enter and nominations will be judged on the following criteria:

1. At least one family member must be serving or have served in the ongoing conflict in Iraq or Afghanistan.
2. The nomination entry should include information on any hardships the family is experiencing or has experienced due the deployment.
3. The home is being given away totally free of charge to the recipient who may reside in the home or sell it. However, he or she must be able to maintain the financial obligations such as real estate taxes associated with ownership or sale.
4. The family must be willing to participate in publicity.

Anyone who wants to enter a deserving veteran should call (412) 673-9800 or visit http://www.thehopelivesfoundation.org for an entry form. Entries should be mailed to: The Hope Lives Foundation, Home for the Holidays, 112 Arona Road, North Huntingdon, PA 15642. All entries must be received by Friday, Dec. 7, 2007.

Transcripts and news footage from the coverage of the 2005 home giveaway are available upon request.

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KATIE LENNON
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