Saturday, March 29, 2008

Habitat For Humanity

Jake had an opportunity today to give back a little bit to the community. He participated in building a Habitat For Humanity house.

Habitat For Humanity is an international, ecumenical Christian, non-governmental, non-profit organization devoted to building "simple, decent, and affordable" housing. Homes are built using volunteer labor and are sold at no profit, with no interest charged on the mortgage. Homeowner families are chosen according to their need; their ability to repay the no-profit, no-interest mortgage; and their willingness to work in partnership with Habitat. Homeowners are usually expected to put approximately 500 hours of "sweat equity" into their own or other project homes.

This of course wouldn't be a good Pohick story, without telling you about the details of Jake's adventure (or should we say misadventure). This was the first time that Jake has participated in a habitat project. He was invited to do so by members of his church. When Jake showed up at the work site, he saw a big sign that said, "Habitat For Humanity" and it listed a bunch of churches that are supporting the project. Jake reported to the site foreman and was given a job painting walls. After about two hours, Jake noticed that he had not seen anyone else from his church. He had met and chatted with a bunch of other really nice folks though. Jake was surprised that no one else from his church was participating that day since they had all been talking so much about the project. Finally, during a break, Jake looked at the sign-in list and came to a realization. He was at the WRONG work site. He looked up the street and saw another house under construction. Sure enough, that was the house he was supposed to be at. So, Jake went to the correct house and after a little (well, more than a little) good natured ribbing, Jake was put to work putting the roof on the house. All is well that ends well!

If you have the opportunity to work on a habitat project in your area, I recommend that you do so. You don't need any special skills except a willingness to help. You may even pick up a new trick or two on how to fix things in your own home. Just like those classes at Home Depot, except it won't cost you anything except a little bit of time.

If you would like to read a nuts and bolts book on the process Habitat For Humanity uses to build its houses, check out Habitat for Humanity: How to Build a House. It is written by Larry Haun, a veteran crew leader who has led the construction of hundreds of habitat for humanity homes.

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