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Like most new jobs it took a while for me to settle into my role as Director of Construction at our Habitat for Humanity affiliate.
Our service area is rather large, encompassing two counties in Eastern Connecticut. Because of this there are several projects under construction and many more in development.
In addition, there have been a number of project transitions and project hand-offs that have taken place.
Currently there are two new ranch style houses under construction. One build is very close to completion, while the other is a fortified build that is in the insulation stage. A fortified build means it is being built in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity International and several life and structure saving measures are added to the construction of the home to protect it against severe weather and home break in events.
In the midst of these two new builds, the organization also has two remodel projects underway.
The first, a cape style home, is now complete. Just this past week we installed the lawn and retaining wall, painted the basement stairs, and installed the screens for the windows. This house is deceiving large with four large bedrooms and two full bathrooms.
The second, a colonial style home. The new roof, windows, framing, plumbing, and heating systems have already been installed, and electrical installation will begin this week.
I have often wondered over the past several years where my career in construction would take me. I completely enjoyed “WHAT” I did for work. The different aspects of building, creating, and transforming a home is pretty amazing. Seeing my customers’ faces when their project was complete was always satisfying, but something was missing for me. There just wasn’t enough “WHY” to keep doing what I was doing.
Working with Habitat for Humanity is a great gift for me. Now my “WHY” is in front of me everyday. It has been difficult to explain to others how I feel, but I recently watched the following video and this video sums it up for me.
“WHAT” I do on a daily basis has not changed one bit. It is still hammer and nails; saws and lumber. But “WHY” I am doing it has so much more impact, so much more purpose.
Not only are we impacting the families, but our volunteers are impacted as well. We strive everyday to be a positive influence on them. To let the impact of what we’re giving to families really sink in. It is more than hammer and nails; saws and lumber. It is an opportunity for their sweat and time to really make a difference in this family’s life and for generations to come moving forward.
Our volunteers also learn skills and are involved in projects they otherwise would not have a chance to take part in. One day recently that particularly impacted me was a “Women Build Day” sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse. It was great to have so many women working together in an atmosphere without intimidation. To see their satisfaction and sense of accomplishment at the end of the day was so rewarding.
The summer season looks to be very busy for us at Habitat for Humanity in Eastern Connecticut. Our organization will wrap up both of the ranch homes, start another new build, and begin another remodel.
I am very excited to turn over our first ranch style home in June. This will be my first home that I was involved with from start to finish. Knowing the family will now have a safe, well-built, energy efficient home to raise their children in, well, you really do not need more “WHY” than that.