As a newcomer to Habitat for Humanity, I did not know exactly what to expect out of the 2017 Habitat for Humanity International’s Global Conference. My experience with Habitat for Humanity had been solely with our affiliate in Indianapolis before traveling to Atlanta. Seeing the scale and diversity of the organization globally was powerful. From the moment I arrived at the convention center, I could feel that I was a part of something much bigger than any one person—much bigger than myself. The excitement and friendliness of the attendees and my fellow coworkers made conversation easy and the exchange of ideas unavoidable.
I was brought on board with Greater Indy Habitat to help them develop a homeowner repair program, and I was going about this task in what I thought was the only way of doing it. Attending sessions at the conference did not just expose me to new ideas, tips, and advice on how to run an efficient and successful homeowner repair program. It also made me realize how unique each affiliate’s approach to their community is and how in order to be successful, we have to tailor our services to the communities we serve.
Overall, my Global Conference experience inspired me. I know that reading this may come across as inauthentic, but I absolutely mean it. I was able to make international connections with people who have been working in the organization for decades. I bonded with my coworkers, and I even made a few new friends. I think the most important thing I left with, though, was a sense of excitement for the future of our program and the inspiration to create something meaningful for our community.