Monday, December 22, 2014

Habitat for Humanity

On November 11, the boys of 'To the End of the Earth', were finally able to clear their busy schedules and make it to a Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build. A Blitz Build is a day specifically designated for the Luther College Habitat for Humanity and the Winneshiek County Habitat for Humanity to work together to finish as much on a house as possible. Since HfH is purely volunteer work, the more hands the merrier!

The morning started early for a cold November Saturday. Ben and I drove to Spillville from Luther, along with a few other members of the LCHfH, while Jonathan decided to meet us at the site since he is a competitive member of the Luther College Ballroom Dance team! We arrived there right on schedule and were lucky to find four or five regular members already working on the project. The outside of the house had already been framed, roofed and nearly completely windowed, so our projects for the day included siding the house, framing a wall which would become a hallway and installing the final, panoramic window. 

By no means are any of us expert carpenters, but that didn’t stop us from getting involved. One of the best parts for us was lunch. Not just because we are three, hungry college students, but because we were able to meet the future owners of the house. Seeing first hand their appreciation for what we were doing was a reward enough. One thing I noticed was the community created through HfH. During the time we were there, volunteers cycled in and out, neighbors stopped by and locals delivered materials and assisted the building process. The whole time we were there, there was a addictive electricity in the air; jokes being cracked, people teaching each other and of course a house being built! 

We left Spillville that day with cold fingers but warm hearts. Just a small experience like that really reinforces why we chose Habitat for Humanity to support. We contributed a small portion ourselves, but all of those small bits added together equals a huge impact on peoples lives, both for the volunteers and the homeowners. The next step for us will be the formally presenting our trip to the Winneshiek County HfH board in February. Personally, I’m so excited to where that connection will take us! 

This year’s house is being constructed in Spillville, Iowa, roughly 20 miles from our “hometown” of Decorah. I’ve done a few of these builds before since officially joining HfH two years ago, but for Ben and Jon, this was a new experience! By meeting every Tuesday and Saturday, the goal was to finish this house by the end of 2014.


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