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.
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.