Monday, November 11, 2019

Week 12: Constructing a Community


Week 12! Can you believe this Kindness Countdown to my 45th birthday is already 1/4 complete? Time surely does fly when you're having fun! And this week was no exception!

I spent an afternoon volunteering with my local chapter of Habitat for Humanity this weekend, lending a hand to build a duplex near my home.

I've been gifted with quite the arsenal of handy talents over my 44 years of life. I grew up working on house projects alongside my father, who is a very talented woodworker. He completed all house projects on his own and since renovating my childhood home, has built two houses for him and my mom in his "retirement."


My husband and I are currently renovating our third home and are in the middle of a complete kitchen remodel, which we are doing 100% ourselves. I'm fortunate to have chosen a curious and smart man to marry who has taught himself all things electrical, plumbing, automotive, etc. He has continued to amaze and teach me new skills over the years, skills that have come in handy as a real estate agent who sees all sorts of scenarios in the houses I work in each day!

And so, with this background, I walked onto the construction site Saturday afternoon, ready for work. And while all of the middle-aged men who were there were all super nice and accepting of me from the beginning, I'd be lying if I said they appeared confident in my abilities; here was this girl (who people kindly say looks younger than her 44 years) walking up the driveway, asking for a job to do on an active site with no finishing work to speak of.

After signing the waiver and being handed a helmet and safety glasses, I was first assigned the task of cleaning up a couple of areas around the site. I happily got to work loading myself up with discarded pieces of wood and tossing them onto the burn pile, wrapping cords, and easily maneuvering around different stations.

I must have proved myself because once the wood was sorted and stacked, I was assigned to assist on constructing the electrical box for the outside of the house, including drilling through loads of metal, switching out bits, using a hydraulic cutter, and more.

Towards the end of my shift, the men working didn't think twice about asking me to lift heavy things, relocate large ladders, walk through the oozing mud to fetch tools they called by their real names and not some silly descriptions, and joke around with me like one of the guys.

I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel great having them all tell me I did a great job after we put everything away for the day, and invite me back to help again next week on such a great project in our community. I wasn't just the token female to photograph working...although I happily played that role as well (anything to encourage more women to join in the fun!).


No matter your abilities, your local chapter of Habitat for Humanity would love your help!

  • Cleaning up a site keeps everyone safe, it's an important job! 
  • Organizing food donations to feed those working construction keeps them motivated and energized!
  • Working on communication for volunteers keeps the projects moving ahead!
  • Picking up some tools and helping to build is a no-brainer necessity for every project!
Whatever your experience, no matter your talents, I feel confident volunteering for HFH would be fun and appreciated! And you're sure to meet some awesome people who just might be down for grabbing drinks after the work is over! At least they usually are here in Wisconsin. ;)


Visit habitat.org to find a volunteer opportunity near you! Get constructing your community today! 


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