Sunday, June 21, 2009

Habitat for Humanity

In the deathly heat on Friday, I went down to Huntington, West Virginia to help with Habitat for Humanity. My company, along with several other regional business sponsors a house in the Huntington area and I volunteered to leave the office for a day and help with the build. The email asking for volunteers made it sound like the house was almost done, and only needed some general things like paint, door and other odds and ends. I guess they changed houses on us because the house we got to didn't have a roof.

The overcast clouds gave some shield against the sun during the morning. After a few minutes of organizing, the main builder climbed a latter and put down a few slabs of plywood on top of the rafters. When two pieces were nailed down, he asked if anyone wanted to work on the roof. I'm afraid of heights, but apparently not as much as I thought because I was the first volunteer up. He showed us what to do, and we started making a roof. He soon went to another project and we finished half the roof before lunch break.

We only ended up working for about an hour after lunch. The temperature spiked over 90 and the humidity climbed to 85% or so and they called off the rest of the build for the day. Even though we only finished half the roof, it was great to work all day and feel like you accomplished something. So many times at my work, there are no tangible results to my work. I just do the same thing every day and then go home. The work I did Friday was going to an end, and was helping someone get a home to live in. I also learned that the people who get those houses have to finish a certain number of hours with Habitat to get a house at all. If you haven't helped with Habitat before, you should. There is nothing like manual labor to make you thankful for your air-conditioned office and it feels good to help people.

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