Since college I’ve always wanted to participate in a Habitat for Humanity project. Particularly assisting with the home building activities they’re well known for. I don’t know if it was just curiosity or watching too much HGTV. 🙂 But I knew that volunteering for such a project was way up there on my bucket list. Well I finally got a chance to do it – yay!
I was thrilled going into the experience so my vibes were positive to begin with. But walking out at the end of the day, I realized that I gained more than expected.
Upon arrival I anticipated there to be a huge group of other volunteers outside. It was actually the opposite. (Typically you hear of groups signing up for these types of projects together but individual volunteers are just as welcome.) There were 2 Habitat staff construction workers. One who was in charge of the volunteer sign in came over to greet me with a warm welcome and explained the next steps. Turns out the site I volunteered at preferred individual volunteers over groups due to some logistics with that particular home. But better for me – more questions I could ask!
The staff was very friendly. Our volunteer group was pretty small (about 3 of us) so we were able to talk a great deal about Habitat’s home building projects and that specific house.
My tasks for the day were covering the floors to protect the new wood (actually harder than it sounds) and painting. I was so eager to help that they could have told me to install the plumbing and I would have done it! (Or at least attempted. 🙂 )
I didn’t realize until the day was over just how rigorous the labor was. It actually was an intense workout that I felt the effects of for about 3 days following. (Ouch!) But it was well-worth the post workout pain.
What was most rewarding was knowing this project would help give someone not just a house, but a home. The doors I painted may likely be slammed over and over again for years to come by children who will actively run about the house. The stairs I covered will one day be beautiful flooring that the family will slowly climb as they take their extended family and friends on home tours. Maybe they’ll point out their family milestone photos along the staircase. The backyard I saw full of dirt will one day be a completed outdoor space to host birthday parties or house make shift water slides (plastic tarps and a water hose included) during the summer months.
I’ve had the privilege of participating in a variety of different volunteer activities in the last few months though this has been the most rewarding by far. I’m eager to go back for the next project soon!
If you are in the least bit interested in participating in this type of project, definitely sign up and try it. Questions for me about my experience? Want to share your own experience with Habitat or a similar project? Feel free to comment below.