Things you learn on a Habitat build site
I’ve relearned the pleasures and pains of working with my hands. Recently, a group of older volunteers, with different skills, has been rehabbing older homes in the Bath, Maine, area. I have come to appreciate seamless cooperation among us.
The Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Haiti in 2011 was a very challenging environment to work in. And when the Carter Project volunteers came, they brought this enthusiasm, this optimism, this get-it-done-ness.
That’s consistent with my experience with all volunteers, in this country and around the world. Their sense of enthusiasm, their sense of optimism, fuels so much of what we do. That enthusiasm and that optimism is really the driving force for the organization.
There is one lasting thought I have had over the years and, for the longest time, used as my salutation in closing emails: “In the spirit of building community together.” That really sums up what Habitat is for me. A community of volunteers, of homeowners, of donors, of leadership. A community that has been formed through the years, connecting all projects, volunteers, homeowners and supporters.
You get to meet new people and make connections, especially with the homeowner. This is always the most important. I would compare it to playing the piano. Some people play, but they don’t feel the music. They just know the notes. Then, others connect with the music and completely live it. This is what Habitat is: living the music and making human connections.
After working side by side with future Habitat homeowners — seeing the sweat on their brows, the hope in their eyes and the gratitude in their souls — I’ve learned that I’m the one who is on the receiving end of things more than anyone else.
When I started, I didn’t realize how big the need was. There are a lot of people in need of decent, affordable housing, but there are a lot of good people in the world that want to help them.
In the comments below, tell us what you have learned (or taught) on a Habitat build site as you help create a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Three lucky commenters will be randomly selected to receive a Habitat for Humanity drum.Entries will be accepted beginning at 9 a.m. EST on April 16, 2014, until 11:59 p.m. EST April 30, 2014. Winners will receive a Habitat for Humanity drum, valued at $5. No purchase or donation is required to win. Only one entry per person. The odds of winning depend on the number of entries. Three winners will be selected randomly and notified via email. Winners will have 14 days to respond. Unclaimed prizes will be awarded randomly to other entrants. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Must be over 18 years old to win. Contest is void where prohibited. Good luck!