Helping Build Homes with Habitat for Humanity

Habitatgrouppic

For June’s activity, we did something that’s been on my list for a while – spent a whole day helping build affordable homes for those in need! It was also a great way to celebrate the first DE Day of Service, where DEs around the country volunteer and do something to improve the lives of others.

This outing came about through a great connection. Valerie Johnson (2nd from left above) is the CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, and is also a DE, having worked at the World Council of Credit Unions prior to Habitat. A year and half ago, I worked with her to get our group to help with their ReStore, but I’ve always wanted to do an all-day outing like this.

Why? Habitat does great work. Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County builds and rehabilitates simple, decent homes with the help of our partner families to provide affordable housing. Habitat partner families provide labor and make monthly mortgage payments on their homes at a 0% interest rate.

We had perfect weather and worked on the southwest side of Madison on a few houses that are close to being finished. Four of us spent the day thoroughly cleaning two of the houses that are very near completion, while two of us (Scott and I) helped another volunteer put railings on the front porch of one of the other houses. In addition to Habitat staff, a few AmeriCorps volunteers and others, a family member who will be living in one of the houses was there helping as well. It was a nice day and we all felt like we accomplished a lot!

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