Upcoming Global Village Trip to El Salvador: Chris

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Before leaving for his second trip to El Salvador with Habitat for Humanity, Chris shares what the experience of serving with others means to him.

It’s been a year and half since I was in El Salvador for the first time with Global Village, and now that I’m ready to embark on my second trip this month, I can honestly say I’m just as excited if not more this time!

I’ve been blessed to be a part of another Global Village mission trip with our incredible international Habitat partners in El Salvador.  The fact that we get the opportunity to work alongside (sometime in the ditches), a family to raise the walls of their home is an amazing feeling, and regardless of the language barrier, there’s always something special about the bond we have with these families.

I would also add that our interactions with the local Habitat team, including the construction team, has been inspiring.  They welcome us with open arms, as if we were family and treat us like royalty!   They take care of our every need, and always keep our safety a top priority.  And when we’re not on the build site, we’re taking in the local culture and enjoying the hospitality of the wonderful people of El Salvador.

Overall, the trip is nothing short of a life-changing experience that I would encourage everyone to consider in their lifetime!

Why I Build: Jamie

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Jamie Gardner, 2017 Women Build Co-Chair, shares why she participates in the Women Build. 

Growing up, I was always taught that one of the most important things one can do is give back to our community. I am also a proud third generation builder, following in my father and grandfather’s footsteps through a male-dominated industry. So, when I was told about Habitat’s inaugural Women Build four years ago, I immediately was all in, because how synergistic was it to combine my desire to make the world a better place with what I do every day! Plus, I am always game for the opportunity to play with nail guns!

Little did I know at the time that I would get so much more out of Women Build than I could ever contribute. To see what women can do when we come together is truly awe-inducing. We have continually exceeded the financial goals we set each year and show no signs of slowing down. My favorite part of the experience is the build days where I see my friends who were scared to use a hammer at the beginning of the day, using a miter saw to cut siding like a boss by the end of it! That feeling of empowerment is powerful to not only experience, but to see in others.

At the end of the day, we truly are making a difference in our world. We are helping a family achieve their dream of homeownership, giving them the foundation they need to build a better future for themselves. I remember Ronnisha (last year’s homeowner) telling me that she wanted to show her daughter that where you come from doesn’t dictate where you have to be in life. This year’s homeowner, Andrea, wants to give her daughters a safe haven where she doesn’t have to worry about crime happening right outside of her door. After hearing that, how can you not become invested?! I would urge all women to get involved with Women Build because the experience of giving someone a hand up (not a hand-out!) will stay with you long after the last nail is hammered in, wall is painted and flower is planted. Women rock!

Learn more about the Women Build program, how you can support the 2017 build, or participate as a builder in 2018!

The Queen of the Castle

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Tiffani opens up and shares how being a new homeowner makes her feel like the queen of her castle. 

 “Being a homeowner is like a dream that I haven’t woken up from yet.  These last two months have made me feel ultimately blessed.  Every day when I leave and come home I walk through and double check everything. I enjoy looking out of the windows and reflecting on this next chapter in my life.

I feel so happy when I walk through the house, whether I am cleaning, in my office, or cooking. This new chapter in my life is the start of something beautiful.  My favorite part of my house is my office, I spend a lot of time in there for school, relaxing, and personal entertainment. I was extremely excited to come home during the holidays after visiting my family.  It was a bitter sweet, as I am currently single.  After leaving the holiday excitement and coming home to relax was an amazing feeling.  I am looking forward to implementing DIY ideas for my house and making them into reality throughout the year. I feel like this is my castle and I am the queen. I couldn’t be happier!”

We encourage you to explore ways to Get Involved with Habitat for Humanity, so together we can provide strength, stability and self-reliance to future homeowners.

 

Global Village Trip in the Dominican Republic

By | From the CEO, Global Village | One Comment

What makes a house a home? I recently returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic, where I participated with several other CEOs from various Habitat for Humanity affiliates from around the country to learn about the impact Habitat is having in the Dominican Republic.

We had the opportunity to work alongside one of the families Habitat Dominican Republic is helping to build a home. A mom and her baby lived in what we would describe in the U.S. as a shack. It was next to her parent’s home that didn’t have enough room in it for her and her baby. Corrugated metal was manipulated, along with metal and wood scraps to form the exterior. It had no indoor plumbing or electricity. Most of us have better accommodations for our lawnmowers.

At no more than 150 square feet of space, this was her house. It kept her mostly safe from rain and the elements. She stored what clothes and possessions she had in it. She sleeps in it and is raising her child in it. Soon Habitat Dominican Republic will work alongside her to finish her block home that will have indoor plumbing and electricity, which will greatly improve her safety and health conditions for her baby and give her more space.

I had walked inside to see the interior of the house that she called home. As I exited the darkness of the house and entered the bright, afternoon sunlight through the one doorway, I discovered what made the house a home. My head grazed a small, but shiny wind chime, hanging from the top of the doorway. As I turned back to look at the full structure, I was struck by the fact that no matter the condition of her house, this mom was going to do what she could to make it her home. To me, this wind chime symbolized her effort to make it her home.

Maybe watching the chimes dance under a brisk wind took her mind off of reality. Maybe she liked how the solid shine of wind chimes glittered against the rugged tapestry of metal and wood, or even less esoteric, maybe it simply was her way of turning a house into a home.

Habitat for Humanity currently works in nearly 70 countries worldwide and has helped more than 6.8 million people with improved living conditions since 1976. Strength, stability and independence are key components to the work we do. What is at the heart of what we do is creating a better a home situation. By doing this, we are truly fulfilling the vision to provide everyone a decent place to live and call home.

Why I Build: Sheryl

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Sheryl Lesem, 2017 Women Build Co-Chair, shares why she participates in the Women Build.

What first drew me to Women Build? I had heard about Habitat for Humanity for years through a friend whose father was very active in his Texas chapter. I was always intrigued. About four years ago, I knew I wanted to find more ways to give back and decided to research Indy Habitat. I came across the information on the website about the (first) Greater Indy Women Build and knew right away that was for me. Not just volunteering as a builder for Habitat, but a women specific build, that also required financially supporting it through my own donation and/or fundraising.

How long have I participated? This is my fourth year with the Greater Indy Habitat Women Build. Fourth year as a builder, two years as a Team Leader and two years serving on the advisory board.

Why is the Women Build important to our community? Not only does it provide an affordable home to a deserving and contributing family, it provides an outlet for many women to support Habitat through the funding and building of the home. Also, empowering these women to perhaps do something they’ve never done or ever thought they could do or would be interested in doing.

A favorite memory would be working with my teams, and seeing each of my builders glow with excitement and satisfaction on the build site.

Why get involved? Repeat of answer #3: It provides an outlet for many women to support Habitat through the funding and building of the home. Also empowering these women to perhaps do something they’ve never done or ever thought they could do or would be interested in doing.

Learn more about the Women Build program, how you can support the 2017 build, or participate as a builder in 2018!