I cannot get enough of the enthusiasm, encouraging spirit, and goodwill demonstrated by the people involved with Habitat for Humanity! Whether someone is on the giving or receiving end, there is an undeniable sense of compassion, pride, and appreciation. It’s an accomplishment that is not consistently found in other organizations. Many charitable organizations, by the nature of the issue they address, often work with clients who make it challenging for staff and volunteers to maintain their philanthropic vitality. Child advocacy groups, for example, frequently work with neglectful parents who honestly wish that you would go jump off a bridge and mind your own business. To make matters worse, most of these organizations have a terrible time recruiting and/or retaining volunteers. Conversely, Habitat for Humanity attracts a type of person in need who views the aid they receive as a miracle. They want to show their gratitude by being involved and are supported by volunteers who happily contribute a dumbfounding amount of time.
It is hard to stand for a policy or program that tries to assist a group of people who abuse or neglect the very system that selflessly works to help them (thank goodness there are those who see past the childhood baggage, poor influences, and addiction and move forward in spite of it). So, for those heavily involved in the nonprofit world, witnessing the success, efficiency, momentum, and realization of a problem solved is like the caffeine that keeps us going.
Again today, I met the soon-to-be-owner of the house I was taking pictures of. Carolyn was her name. She laughed when I asked her about the 400 hours of sweat equity she has had to put into the construction of her home. “I don’t know much. I think I sometimes get in the way.” Even if Carolyn is no master carpenter, the 2 house leaders, Donna and Chuck (sketched above), seemed happy to have her help.
Another happy Habitat day on Finzer Street.