Service Project: Deliver water to a Habitat for Humanity build site
Prep time: None
Duration: 1 hour
Lesson(s) learned: You can help build a house for someone in need, even if you can’t swing a hammer!
How we did it:
A long term friend of mine, Sue, sits on the board for our local Habitat for Humanity organization. If you haven’t heard of this fantastic organization, I highly recommend that you spend some time familiarizing yourself with your local chapter (they are a global nonprofit).
Here is the mission of our local chapter, taken from their website;
“Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter condition" (http://habitatgreatersac.org/about-us/mission-and-vision/).
Sue told me about an ‘all women’s build’ that she was participating in and I jumped at the chance to expose Addie to this great event. My head was spinning from all of the great things that Addie could learn by participating in this. Well, then I had to remind myself that she’s only 2 years old! Hmm, okay, time to reel in my day dream (just a little!). According to their website, in order to be a member of the build team, Habitat of Sacramento requires you to be 16 years old or older. If you have younger children, don’t worry, there are numerous other ways to help this organization. Find your local chapter’s website and check out their volunteer page. [See below for ways that kids can help the Springfield/Eugene Habitat for Humanity]
Addie and I decided that we would contribute by delivering a flat of water to the build site. Even if Addie was too young to swing a hammer and help build the house herself, she could make sure all the hard workers stayed hydrated! Note: Ensure that you coordinate with a Habitat representative before you enter any build site.
This is what we saw when we pulled up the build site. Despite it being a drizzly day, everyone was hard at work! Even though Addie didn’t understand the significance of the sign (yet), she loved the Rosie the Riveter poster.
Prior to stepping foot on the work site, I talked to Addie about being extra cautious and to listen to Sue about where she could safely go.
We met Sue at the worksite and she escorted us to a safe corner to hand out water from. Not only was the water much appreciated by the hard workers but I loved how Addie was able to see a group of women covered in sweat and dirt. They were literally digging in to get the job done!
Here’s Addie and Sue flexing their big muscles! Use those guns to get it done!!!
We can do it! On our drive home, I talked with Addie about the significance of this sign. If you are not aware of the meaning behind it, I encourage you to do a Google search for Rosie the Riveter and learn a little bit of the history behind it. If you have a daughter(s) I believe that it will be especially interesting to you.
I’m grateful that Addie has so many people in her life that model how important it is to give back to the community. Getting constant exposure to kind, caring, and giving people will surely have a positive impact on her now and in years to come. Getting your children involved in an event like this, even though they may not be building the house themselves, provides them an opportunity to not only help (in their own way) but to witness the hard work that other people put into helping others.
Thank you Sue for showing her how to be all of these things as well as how to be a strong female that isn’t afraid of a little dirt!
Have fun handing out water!
Kelli worked in the technology industry for 20 years before taking time off to raise her daughter. She has an 18 year old son and a 2 year old daughter that have taught her how to appreciate every moment with them.
Are you in Springfield/Eugene? Here are 4 ways to help our local Habitat for Humanity chapter, taken from a flyer specifically for kids (Feb 2016):
1. Bake cookies (or prepare a lunch or snack) at home or at church, and deliver it to volunteers at a Habitat build site.
2. Collect used jeans and donate at the Habitat ReStore (1210 Oak Patch Rd). The jeans are reused by Levi's as denim insulation, which goes into Habitat houses.
3. Collect coins and donations for Habitat, in the house-shaped boxes. Or organize a bake sale or other fundraiser at your school, church, or neighborhood.
4. Learn more about Habitat. Attend a house dedication and tour a completed Habitat house!
Contact Amy (firstname.lastname@example.org, 541-741-1707) for more information or go to www.sehabitat.org.