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Postcards from the field (part 3) -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Postcards from the field (part 3)

‘It’s a great feeling to be able to help’



In the summer of 1998, I led my first Global Village trip to Guyana, accompanied by a bunch of students from McCallie School, a private boys’ school in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that my great-grandfather started and where I teach.

Back at school that fall, the students looked around and realized there were housing needs here at home as well. “That trip was great,” they said. “Now let’s do something for Chattanooga.” They connected with local businesses and raised funds for a house, which they built over the next spring break. 

Since then, McCallie students have built 14 homes with Habitat Chattanooga. And we have continued to go on GV trips every year.

Meanwhile, I joined the board of Habitat Chattanooga, where the GV experience has been invaluable. When we wanted to start our A Brush with Kindness repair program, I led a team to Hungary to learn the how the organization there manages home repair projects.

The great thing about Global Village trips is that they allow participants to see that they are making an authentic difference. When you’ve finished building a house, you know that it’s a good, well-built house and that a family’s life has significantly improved.

That is what Global Village is all about. It’s not about having specific construction skills or speaking the same language. It’s about helping meet a family’s needs. It’s a great feeling to be able to help, and it makes you want to go back and do it again and again.


Sumner McCallie
Chattanooga, Tennessee


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