Habitat For Humanity

Yesterday my wife and I volunteered to help out Habitat For Humanity with some of her coworkers. It was pretty much awesome for several reasons.

Number one, I like working on stuff with my hands. I am a decent carpenter and yesterday, I cut and built the moldings around the front and rear doors, as well as cut and installed the baseboards in the whole house. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to be able to do something with my hands, but to be able to do that for someone else really makes me feel like I spent my time well. Plus, home improvement is great exercise, as is pretty much any time spent off the couch!

Number two, H4H is a pretty cool organization. There is a misconception that they simply give away homes to people that cannot afford them. Not true. What they do is get the initial money for materials/lots from donors, and then build the house using mostly volunteer labor (i.e., us!). Then the person getting the house has to be employed for two years, make under a certain amount of money, live in less than good living conditions (the woman whose home we worked on shared a bedroom with her toddler son in her parents’ house, who were also working on the build), and be able to make the payments on a 0% interest mortgage. So when they get the keys, they are in fact paying a mortgage. They are just not paying interest to a bank, but only the principle. The recipients also have to attend classes AND must help out with the build whenever they can. It’s a great system, and one that has worked all across the country for many many people who otherwise might not ever get the chance to be homeowners.

Number three, it’s just fun to work with friends and family and get a sense of accomplishment that not only did you get to hang out and get dirty with people you like, but it actually helped someone. And really, would you have done anything better with your Saturday anyway? We wouldn’t have.

Check it out and volunteer at Habitat For Humanity’s website. You won’t regret it, and no experience necessary.


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