banner image
Essay excerpts -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Essay excerpts

Habitat for Humanity supporters from the chill breezes of the Arctic Circle to the hot sands of United Arab Emirates contributed thoughts, memories and reflections about home and Habitat in the fourth Habitat World essay contest. Below are excerpts from just a few essays that opened a door to understanding more about what makes a home, more about why Habitat matters and more about ourselves.

“I choose to volunteer for the voiceless, hopeless, poverty-stricken, who cannot cry out for themselves. For the boy who did not choose to be born in a house with no running water. For the teenager who did not choose to trade her education for a job so that her family could eat. … For the choices each of these people did not make, I choose to get my hands dirty and change one tiny corner of the world.”
Jennifer DeHerrera

Littleton, Colorado


“Yes, Habitat for Humanity chose me. But when it came knocking, I am so thankful I did not let my nervousness and reluctance keep me from answering its call. Now, I believe it my job to use my time, talent and treasure to try to call others to learn what Habitat for Humanity has taught me.”
Lesley Ann Ebel

Naperville, Illinois


“I think it could be said that you can make a house from all types of different material, but a home is not made of anything material.”
Tom Wilkinson

Albuquerque, New Mexico


“Home is not about the walls that surround us. Home is about the people who surround us. Home is about being made welcome in a community, no matter how far or how different from your own.”
Cindy Baxindine

Royersford, Pennsylvania


“When I was young, I thought all the wrongs and injustices of the world had to be eradicated immediately and thoroughly. To do any less was to be part of the problem. As I grew older, I began to realize what an impossible position that was and that whatever big changes we can achieve are rooted in an accumulation of smaller, more possible changes. And that is what Habitat for Humanity does. It contributes to those smaller but essential changes from which bigger changes will grow.”
Elaine Fuller

Montgomery, Alabama


“When I meet someone new, one of the first questions I ask is ‘Where do you live?’ Never does it cross my mind to ask ‘Do you have a place to live?’ And yet for millions of people across the world, homelessness or poverty housing is a reality and with this often comes a lack of access to clean water, electricity and basic sanitation.”
Kristin Lovell

United Arab Emirates


“I have an opportunity to work with a well-run organization to build homes in our community with other willing volunteers, in an atmosphere that is hard-working, exciting and fun; I can learn some new skills and be humbled by how many I do not possess; I see the fruits of my work each day. How could I possibly stay away?”
Emily Joy Scharnowski

Grand Rapids, Michigan