If we look around, we will find that the person standing next to us has a different story than we do. They may have taken a different path in life than we have. They come from a different family we do. One individual is the not the same as the next. Some people are very fortunate enough to have adequate housing and live a life where they don’t have too many worries. Someone else may not be so lucky and be struggling with living by each paycheck. Everyone tries to do the best with what they have but sometimes they need a little guidance. That’s where other people and organizations come in to give a helping hand. That’s what Habitat for Humanity is all about.
If you asked me 4 years ago what Habitat for Humanity did I would say they give homes to those who need it. But it wasn’t until I became an active member in the chapter at my university and started volunteering that I learned that is not 100% true. Habitat for Humanity makes housing affordable for families who just need a little extra help. For those who work hard to keep food on the table and take care of their families with what they have. For those who may be single parents, hard working individuals, and overall just someone who wants to be able to own a home to call their home. For someone who currently rents a home or apartment and who has never really had that stability of one home. Habitat for Humanity makes the mortgage lower with the helping of volunteers and the use of sweat equity from future homeowners.
I’ve always been someone who has wanted to help those who need it anyway I can. When I went away to school and learned more about Habitat for Humanity, I was able to find my place, not only at a new school, but in the world. What sparked my interest, was that through Habitat for Humanity, you can also go on build trips and travel to new places. I’ve got to learn with my eyes and hands on what Habitat for Humanity is all about. My biggest fear with volunteering for this organization for the first time was the realization that you are helping someone build a house. But I learned quickly that the fear would disappear because the workers on the sites teach you everything you need to know and don’t push you to do anything you are not comfortable with. I had to learn a lot and do a lot that I’ve never done before. I have painted walls, cut plywood with a saw, tile bathrooms, caulk walls, help put up a roof, and so much more.
I have been on 4 build trips and done a few local builds in the Green Bay area so far and each experience is different. Each time I find myself falling in love with organization a little more. I meet new people, make new friendships, and shed a couple tears along the way. I learn about families who we are building for and learn their story. I get to see with my eyes what it’s like to get back on your feet after struggling. I witness the joy on people’s faces when it is their time to finally own a home they can call their own.
I have been lucky to have a roof over my head that keeps me warm and healthy. I am forever grateful for the life I have and lack of struggle I have encountered. I see that my problems I have from time to time are nothing compared to what someone else may be going through. I learn that with this life I am given, this lucky life, I should do what I can to help someone who needs it. Habitat for Humanity has been a big part of my life for the past 4 years. It is something like this that helps me see the world at another perspective and only want to do more to make it better. If you ever have a chance to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, rather it is on a build trip or a local build day, do it. It will change your life like it has changed mine.