Giving a Hand Up
Yesterday morning, we had the pleasure of joining M’s dad Sandy at the day’s welcome for Habitat for Humanity‘s volunteers in Bridgeport, CT. (M’s dad is very active with HFH, and recently served as the interim-president.) It was frigid in the warehouse, and we were very impressed with the number of enthusiastic volunteers gathered–organized youth groups, individuals, and future Habitat homeowners–where Sandy welcomed everyone before they dispersed to different work sites (future homes, their ReStore warehouse, and the warehouse itself for assembling wall panels, etc.). Most touching were the personal introductions of the three families that would benefit from the home builds–three of the families working on their 500 hours of ‘sweat equity.’ Habitat’s philosophy is that they help give a hand-up, not a hand-out. Their dedication and commitment to the team effort is unmistakable.
Following the welcoming words, we mingled a bit over Dunkin’ Donuts’ donation of coffee and donuts before Sandy took us on a tour of some of the homes,future, in-progress, and completed. The first was a 12-condominium conversion of an historic brick building–a huge project that would benefit 12 families. This is the largest multi-family projects the HFH affiliate has taken on, and we observed how it would likely benefit the neighborhood as a whole to have such a community of driven and invested families take root. Following this, we stopped at a number of completed homes, from recently finished, to some several years old, including a whole street full of Habitat homes, all impeccably maintained.
Habitat for Humanity aims to provide simple, decent, affordable housing for families in need, who, together with volunteers, demonstrate a commitment for building a better life. It was amazing to witness what a tremendous impact many hands can make on an individual, a family, a neighborhood, a community.
Check out the website to find your local affiliate, and see how you can volunteer/donate to help give others a hand up: Habitat For Humanity.