Tales From The Ipe!

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Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity

Our Habitat for Humanity house today

On Tuesday, through my company, I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity at a site in Somerset.  I signed the waiver and showed up for my first ever Habitat event.  I’ve wanted to do it for years, and finally took a shot at it.

After fighting annoying traffic jams, and parking the car far away on a blustery cold (25 degrees) morning, I showed up at the house around 8:45am.  Another of my colleagues came as well.  We all stood around for a while waiting for instructions, and they started about 9am.  We were putting up drywall today, which I’ve never done.  It was pretty neat.  They broke us up into 4-5 person teams, and I was paired up with more experienced volunteers.  I helped with all the measuring, lifting, and sanding.  Best of all, I spent a lot of time working the powered drywall screwdriver, securing the drywall into the studs.

It was so cold in the house.  I had 3 layers on and gloves, and yet my fingers and toes were freezing.  They had a large diesel-powered space heater, which I took trips to visit in order to warm up my frozen extremities.  Dumbest part was when I was warming up my fingers (with gloves on), my fingertips started to get too hot.  I took my hands away, and my fingers were still burning.  Then I noticed the ends of my gloves had melted together.  I quickly took the gloves off. 

I'm happy to volunteer, but I wish it wasn't freezing!

Two women showed up later in the morning.  Turns out, they had benefitted with housing from Habitat for Humanity.  As a requirement, you have to put in, from what I heard, 500 volunteer hours at other HfH sites, so they were putting in their hours today with us. 

We went out for pizza at lunch, and I chatted with my small group for a while about the state of the company and the economy — what else should we talk about? By the afternoon, on the whole, we finished drywalling most of the house by the end of the afternoon.  I also did some odd jobs, such as taking down and moving scaffolding, and nailing a sign back up.  Good event, I’ll have to do it again sometime.

1 Comment

  1. Lucky you (too bad about the gloves though)!

    I have always wanted to volunteer for H4H!

    Put in enough hours and you’ll be able to do your own remodeling 😉

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