This last Saturday, I finally had the opportunity to do something I’ve wanted to do for years – volunteer on a Habitat for Humanity project.
I’m not sure what I expected to find when I got to the work site, but it sure wasn’t this…I knew the project was almost done, but really? Manicured lawns? These duplexes looked just like any other nice suburban housing tract in Orange County. This was low-cost housing? Volunteers did this???
Well, yes they did. And other non-profits helped too. Almost every garage had a banner hanging up. Some were for non-profits that helped with donations. Some were from for-profit companies that donated time, money and goods. It was amazing to see the number of groups involved. No wonder they managed to get so many homes built!
I was there as part of a group of volunteers from the USGBC’s Orange County Chapter. We were excited to be there, and eager to get going, but what was left to do?
Turned out, plenty! I got on the door and trim painting crew. That’s our fearless leader, Ted, trying to demonstrate the art of painting a door to our all woman group, some of whom hadn’t painted much before.
Once Ted felt we’d gotten the basic technique, we all grabbed putty knives, sandpaper pads, buckets of paint, brushes, and applied some muscle and a whole lot of attitude to our task. It’s amazing how funny a bunch of tired, paint splattered women can get by the end of the day. Lorraine, Clara, Lisa, and all the other ladies on our crew – you rock!
So how did it feel by the end of the day…?
There are eleven veteran’s families so far, moving into these 18 homes once completed. A few of them were there volunteering as well, and not just on their own future home, but on everyone’s. It was a really wonderful experience working with so many dedicated people, and I think I might just have to make this a new habit.