How Habitat For Humanity Captured My Heart
Have you ever wondered which charity is the best; the one most deserving of your hard-earned money? Which one feels like the right fit for you? There are soooo many charities out there—really good ones—we’d be lucky if we could send a penny to each one and still manage to keep a roof over our heads. I’ve realized that I can’t save the world as an individual, but if I try to do my small part—if everyone does—the collective effort will have an impact. So I looked, and I found Habitat for Humanity.
I had initially avoided Habitat because I’d heard they were a Christian-only organization, and I wanted to give to a charity that would help all people, no matter their religious beliefs (or lack thereof.) But I found out through my brother, who, at the time, was a minister and is now a district superintendent for the Methodist Church, that they offer to help anyone of need regardless of race, religion or any other distinction. My brother and my niece have both worked on Habitat homes.
My niece especially loves working on the houses. She not only loves to strap on her tool-belt, roll up her sleeves and work like Rosie the Riveter, but I think she also loves the feeling she gets of helping someone attain the dream of owning a home. She doesn’t get to do it as much as she’d like; after all, she, like the rest of us, has a job to keep. Yet she still makes time to contribute her part, and I greatly admire that sort of dedication.
My career in animation just didn’t offer me the time to give. I’m not sure that I would be much help on a construction site, although I can wield a pretty mean paintbrush! I wanted to give my spare time to my husband and family. So, for me, doing my part meant giving back some of what I earned.
“Earned.” That word resounds with me. I take pride in what I’ve earned in my life—my career, my home, my family, my friends. I worked for them. I made an effort and was rewarded—in abundance.
That is what Habitat for Humanity does. Habitat helps people work for their homes, homes they would not be able to have if Habitat didn’t offer help with labor, materials and land. People work on their own houses, and they can work on other people’s houses to earn their home. They can take pride in their home and themselves once it is done. How great is that? It’s the sort of pride that resonates deeply within me, and makes me grateful for organizations like Habitat for Humanity that are empowering both the people they help, and the people who selflessly give of their time and money.
If you’ve worked on a Habitat build before, I’d love to hear about your experience. Leave me a note in the comments!
Image via Habitat for Humanity