I have always wanted to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, but, for some reason or another, I did not find the right opportunity to do so, until our Social Committee coordinator proposed that we volunteer as a company. I signed up, and "volunteered" my teenage son and daughter. They both thought it would be a great idea and agreed to participate.
In addition to this trio, several other CA members and a friend signed up.
Habitat for Humanity did a wonderful job providing us the necessary information about what we would be doing, what we needed and the location of the project.
On the work day, the CA Team showed up on time and ready to go. One of the work options they provided was "dirt work", a Civil Engineer's dream come true. Needless to say, we jumped on that one.
The regular Habitat for Humanity volunteers welcomed everyone and explained our tasks for the day. Our team was to move "dirt" from the dirt piles and spread it in the backyard of one of the homes under construction to create a well graded and drained backyard.
The temperature in the morning was still below 100, and the energy level was still pretty high. The Team, including the two teenagers, did a great job moving the dirt and grading the back yard.
Later on, Jana and the teenagers took on painting the porch.
By lunch time, we were all pretty hungry. We stopped, ate some sandwiches, and a watermelon! At that point the temperature was a toasty 102 Degrees, and the watermelon was very well appreciated.
At the end of the day, we were all having pains in muscles we did not know we had, but everyone agreed that this was a great and worthy experience and that we would definitely participate again.
The most rewarding part was to work and interact with the future owners of the home. Habitat for Humanity requires that families participate in the construction process or in other volunteer activities in order to be eligible to purchase a home. These homes are sold at no profit and with a zero percent interest mortgage. See http://www.austinhabitat.org/about_us/new_home.php for additional information and how you can sign up to help as an individual or a group.
Elias Haddad, P.E.