Working towards achieving their vision of “a world where everyone has a decent place to live,” Habitat for Humanity operates in communities across all 50 states of the U.S. and worldwide in 70 countries– and counting. Though I’d heard of Habitat before, this was my first time volunteering with the organization and really getting to see the wonderful work they do.
Mitch and I were lucky to be in Pagosa Springs during the groundbreaking of Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County’s 27th build. We volunteered during the phase of the project when the foundation for the house was being prepared. Though we had no construction experience, we were welcomed by Habitat staff, volunteers, and the new homeowner. We learned that when Habitat partners with a family to help build them a home, the new homeowners are required to contribute sweat equity, working alongside staff and volunteers through every step of the build.
When we arrived at 8:30 am, the team was already hard at work shoveling rock fill into the trenches that outlined the perimeter of the 4-bedroom home’s foundation. After quick introductions, we suited up with hard hats and gloves and got right to work. The construction supervisor and volunteers we worked with were all so knowledgeable and genuinely seemed to enjoy their work, which made working with them very rewarding and a lot of fun. Throughout the day they shared their expertise with us explaining what needed to be done and why. We also learned how to control and conquer the monster known as the “Rammer,” a gas-powered machine we used to level and compact the rock fill. If you look closely at the picture of me with the Rammer below, you can see the workboots of a few onlookers in the background, admiring my skill no doubt!
It was a long day and a lot of hard work, but we felt motivated by the enthusiasm and morale of the team. We had such a good time volunteering with Habitat, I wanted to learn about how we could do more. I found out there are a TON of ways to get involved with Habitat as a volunteer. The organization has volunteer programs locally in every state and abroad including special volunteer initiatives for women, veterans, youth, and even RVers. I’ve already submitted our application for a 2-week build in the spring. Stay tuned for more and visit Habitat’s website here to see how you can get involved.