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home : opinions : letters to the editor July 20, 2017

7/15/2017 7:28:00 AM
Reader shares experience with Habitat for Humanity

To the Editor:

It happened at a time in my life when I was searching for a positive and rewarding hobby to fill a creative void.

Ask and you shall receive. The idea was placed on my table. It was introduced to me at church. Building a home for someone in need. I had some carpentry skill but that did not include building a house and I wanted to learn as much as I could. I signed up and fought the apprehension until I was on the worksite armed with a hammer. The other early bird was Kevin Eggers who volunteered to share his people skills, caring heart and his experience in the carpentry and building trade. He was the team leader and an excellant one at that. It was the second day for framing walls and sheeting. In a very short time we were joined by volunteers. This was the Fourth of July and here I was watching a construction safety video with a great friend and past fellow officer. Once the safety was addressed, Kevin began teaching and leading. Names were exchanged and hands shaken. Two-by-sixes and two­-by-fours were laid in order to Kevin's pencil markings and the nailing began.

The frame was squared and sheeting nailed. The team lined shoulder to shoulder and laid hands on to put it in its designated upright position. The next time or day we met, the trusses were lifted on top of the walls by volunteers and the new home owner joined in hands-on with this labor of love. The roof was ready for papering after one day. That day I went home and took two Advil and then cut out a "Home Sweet Home" sign on my scroll saw. I went back to the worksite and was met by the new owner and friends who were cleaning up. My sign split when pounding it in the ground but it didn't matter because the owner shared her excitement and pride that she felt when visiting the worksite each day and her surprise to see the large amount of work that had been done from her last visit. She shared with me the meaning of the words. "Home Sweet Home."

I shared this pride of accomplishment as I took one last look at the end of the day when backing out of the driveway. Hands-on experience is a wonderful learning tool. Habitat for Humanity always keeps the nightlight burning and the welcome mat in front of the door. I would like to give a bouquet of roses to the volunteers that provided a picnic smorgasbord for the noon meal. Barbecues and Blueberry pie. Wow!

Habitat for Humanity board members are usually on-site to share safety issues and to apply experience from numerous buildings. But what was really noticeable was their enthusiasm and excitement over building progress. That was contagious from one volunteer to another. The gift shared by all was a memorable pride of accomplishment.

Craig Strid


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