Changing Lives with Habitat for Humanity
On a beautiful sunny day in early June, I was able to participate in the Milton Habitat for Humanity build, along with a number of other folks from Whirlpool Canada and the Habitat for Humanity build crew. While rain was expected in the afternoon (but thankfully didn’t happen!) we all came excited about the day and looking forward to having a great experience. We weren’t disappointed!
At the site were signs with the information on the two families we were helping – one family had a mom, dad and two girls, while the other was a single parent family of four consisting of a mom, two boys and a girl. Having these signs with an overview of each family really personalized it for me – you knew every time you were cutting a board or hammering a nail who you were doing it for.
While no one from either family were able to be there that day, the site supervisor explained that the father in one of the families had been at the build almost every day for weeks and his family asked him to stay home that day as they hadn’t seen very much of him! Those who get homes have to put in a minimum of 500 hours of “sweat equity” split between Habitat ReStore (which stocks gently used items for resale) and the build site – the first family had already put in their 500 hours and were continuing to add to this total! It motivated our team when we saw the enthusiasm and commitment the participating families have in the end result.
In addition to the work itself, we were also able to show we care by writing messages of hope and support on the wooden parts of the structure (which would be covered by flooring, wallboard or siding, depending on where the writing was placed) – it felt great that our comments would always be a part of the home and, in a way, would be a part of the lives of the families while they lived in these homes.
What made the day even more special was my 17 year old daughter stopping by in the afternoon while riding her bike on the way home from visiting a friend. I could tell she was affected reading the information on the two families and personalizing how life-changing these two homes were going to be to them. It was also nice for her to see what Whirlpool Canada and Habitat for Humanity are doing to improve the lives of others in our own local community.
It was a very fun day. We enthusiastically learned new skills including safely and properly using a chop saw – every team member tried their hand at it, (even if they were scared), which helped to bond the team together. The Habitat team and the Whirlpool team had great camaraderie over a terrific BBQ lunch. At the end of the day, I think many of us were sad it was over, but pleased with what we had accomplished and the fun time we had.
That evening, I was on Twitter and found the Habitat for Humanity crew lead for my team had posted how great her day was and how nice it was to work with Whirlpool people. She had also posted pictures of the day. It was great to see the support Habitat has for Whirlpool and the other organizations participating in Habitat builds.
In summary, I worked hard, had fun with others from Whirlpool Canada and from Habitat for Humanity and returned home sweaty and tired but with a smile on my face. I’m looking forward to the next time I get to participate in a Habitat build and to showing those in need that “we care”!