Time to build, time to connect
Habitat for Humanity is all about people. People in hard hats, people who live in affordable houses, people who spend their hours and days working together because they share a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Getting to know those people is one of Graham Robb’s favorite things about investing time with Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia.
Since 2006, Robb has played many parts: committee member, family advocate, fundraiser, ReStore and construction volunteer. He tends to gravitate toward tasks that require him to spend more time interacting with people, like his current position on the family services committee for the Home Repair and Weatherization Program. “I enjoy that because I like getting to know the people we’re trying to help a little bit better,” he explains.
At the end of July, he will head to Zambia on his fifth Global Village trip, his fourth as a leader. He likes that the trips give him multiple ways to create camaraderie and broaden his perspective. “You’re seeing through the eyes of the people who live in that community, and I find that to be a fascinating and really enriching experience — and challenging. That’s the other thing I like about it,” he says. “It challenges you on a personal level.” As a leader, he likes helping his team members have a great experience and loves seeing “how people change their views of themselves or the world around them in such a short period of time.”
To hear him tell it, giving so much time to Habitat just sort of happened. “It’s not like I make a decision at the beginning of the year — OK, how many hours do I want to volunteer?” he laughs. “I always say I get much more out of this than I contribute to it, at the end of the day. So the reason why I do it really is a selfish reason: because I’m getting more out of it than I’m ever giving.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get close to making enough of a contribution based on what I get back from it.”