Top 5 Things I Learned in Jacksonville

HFHI volunteer Rebekah Graydon has spent the past week in Jacksonville, swinging a hammer and talking with homeowners and volunteers about their Habitat experiences. Today, we asked her to share some of her own impressions of the JCWP build.

Anyone who has participated in a Habitat build knows the difficulty of expressing the experience. Rather than attempting the impossible -- a complete description of my experiences and the events of JCWP 2000 -- Ive collected a few of the things Ive learned this week. Not all these lessons were new, but all hit home in a special way.

Top 5 Things I learned in Jacksonville

5. Everyone has a story. Every volunteer, homeowner and sponsor has an incredible story to tell -- where they've been, where they're going, what they think of the journey so far. Every story is important, and it's been a joy to hear so many people tell their stories. I only wish I could share them all.

4. Love can give you blisters. This week, I have seen hundreds of people work themselves into a state of blistered fingers and sore muscles to show they care. I think it's because of this sacrifice that the "givers" come away as blessed and inspired as the "receivers."

3. No one knows it all, but everyone knows something. On a build site, teamwork is not only the best way to get something done; it's the only way to get anything done.

2. A map is essential. When you're traveling in an unfamiliar city, a map becomes your best friend. The same is true in life. Homeowners and volunteers alike have expressed how their faith has been a guiding force in achieving their goals.

1. You can do more than you think you can. This lesson actually came from a volunteer who was nailing shingles on her second roof of the day. She was right. This week, I have done construction jobs I never thought I could do. More than that, I can love more, work harder and serve more sincerely than I ever could have imagined.

--Rebekah Graydon

More JCWP Updates Today

N.Y.: Habitat's Work Mirrors Harlem's Overall Rejuvenation
Ga.: Vera Thomas Thankful for "Victory House"
Plus: Building On Faith Week Underway Worldwide

Full Index of JCWP 2000 Stories

Volunteer Opportunity Is A Gift, Says Actress Sarandon
Brooklyn Mother Comes "Full Circle"
Habitat's Work Mirrors Harlem's Overall Rejuvenation
Baynes Family To Become Habitat's 100,000th Homeowners
New York City Volunteers Build on Faith
Ga.: Carters Swing Hammers In Their Hometown
Volunteer Has Long History of Habitat Service
Vera Thomas Thankful for "Victory House"
Sumter County Declares Victory over Substandard Housing
Carters Help Reach Milestones in Home County
Fla.: Diverse Volunteers Make JCWP Possible
Carter Builds in Jacksonville
Top 5 Things I Learned in Jacksonville
A New Homeowner's Journey of Faith
100 Houses Creating New Neighborhood
Plus: The Hughleys Celebrate Their New House, Habitat's 100,001st
Past JCWP Homeowners Now JCWP Volunteers
Building On Faith Week Underway Worldwide
JCWP 2001 Heads to Korea
Remember When? JCWP 1984 in N.Y.C.
More About JCWP 2000

JCWP 2000 Sponsors

JCWP Overviews

2001 -- Korea
2000 -- N.Y., Fla., Ga.
1999 -- Philippines
1998 -- Houston, Texas
1997 -- Kentucky/Tennessee
1984-96 -- Photo History

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