Things you learn on a Habitat build site

Skills

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.

— Volunteer Gerry Brookes, Habitat 7 Rivers

“Get-it-done-ness”

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.

— Mark Andrews, Habitat’s vice president of volunteer and institutional engagement

Community

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.

— Carter Work Project and Global Village volunteer Lora Fasolino

How to “live the music”

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.

— Volunteer Bill Grun, Habitat Philadelphia

Giving is receiving

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.

— Volunteer Rolf Waller, Twin Cities Habitat and Delta Builds

Why we build

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.

— Volunteer Bob Hesaltine, Sussex County Habitat