Sunday, November 8, 2009

Things I've Learned

Some background:
A few years ago at Christmas the kids were talking about everything they wanted; computers, ipods, phones, clothes, etc. It was out of control. Hubby and I decided that the girls needed a good dose of reality and they needed to see how fortunate they are and hopefully learn to have some compassion for others. Then hubby and I looked at each other and realized we were just as bad as the kids. When we wanted something we went out and bought it, and we were doing nothing to give back to the community.

We talked about different charities we could get involved with but there was really nothing that spoke to both of us. Shortly after that I noticed that our community was starting a new chapter of Habitat for Humanity. That was one that spoke to us both.

This weekend I attended a Habitat for Humanity International conference in Champaign, Illinois. It was so great to see so many people focused on a common goal: helping the deserving poor find adequate housing. It was motivating, energizing, and yes, even fun. I thought I'd share a few things with you that you might not know about HFH.

DID YOU KNOW:
  • that adequate housing is a basic human right? In 1948 the United Nations defined housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living.
  • that HFH doesn't "give houses to the homeless?" HFH families pay a mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc. 
  • that having a Habitat house in your neighborhood does NOT decrease the value of your home? In fact studies show it is the opposite. 
  • that there is no county in the US that a person can work 40 hours a week at a minimum wage job and afford even a one-bedroom apartment at the local fair-market rent?
  • that an average HFH family makes too much money to qualify for government housing, but not enough money to purchase a house on their own?
  • that joining your local HFH affiliate is a fun way to meet new people while feeling good about giving back to the community?
  • that not all HFH volunteers have to know how to use power tools? There is about a bazillion things you can do: help with fundraisers, chair committees, pound the pavement, get a group of friends together and have a build day, make lunch for the construction people, etc
  • that you can get a pink hardhat and a raspberry tool belt?
  • that you can make life-long friends, have fun, do something worthwhile?
  • that you can change the lives of others?


 

29 comments:

willow said...

I agree, kids, as well as adults need to be involved in giving back to the community. Ours helped out with our local food pantry and nursing home. Habitat is a great program. Thanks for sharing, Bams.

(I lived in Champaign for several years as a girl, btw)

otin said...

And that is why you are so beloved by so many, including myself!!!

An Open Heart said...

Bravo! I LOVE the hat and toolbelt!


S

Green-Eyed Momster said...

How cool! One of the main reasons I want to put a house on our lot is because I'm pretty sure that our trailer is decreasing the value of homes in our neighborhood! ;)

What a wonderful cause. We have a store here and we can get some wonderful stuff for not a lot of money. Come to think of it, we've found some great stuff there!
Thanks for caring and all you do for your community!

Hugs!!

kristine said...

sounds great. love the hat!!

Little Ms Blogger said...

What a wonderful cause. I know so many people involved in HFH that really love it.

CatLadyLarew said...

HFH rocks! Awesome way to give back!

...mmm... said...

HBH is a fantastic org. Glad you enjoy it.

Barb said...

A raspberry tool belt! Could you also have gotten a raspberry beret?

tale of many cities said...

awesome! loving the tool belt!!

thanks for the anniv. wishes! :D have a great week!!

McGillicutty said...

Maaann that could so be the answer to my ass problem. Hubby is already involved in H4H and I could be too!!! Why have I never thought of it before??? I just let him go off and merrily wield his tool without a thought of me going too.
This my friend is why I keep you around and you make the big bucks.
Toodles.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

I would think the raspberry tool belt and hat would have everyone flocking! Amazing statistics...short of the hat and tool belt. With the current economic crisis end everyone saying we're coming out of a recession, the normal family who works a 40 hour week can't afford even a one bedroom apartment. Kudos for you & all you do!

Matty said...

This is why I admire you. Life, work, family, blogging......and you take the time to volunteer for this.

Hats off to you.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

HFH is something we have wanted to get involved with for awhile but we have put it off. Thanks for the inspiration. Now that I know I can get a pink hardhat....I am so there.

KIKI said...

You have inspired me to become a member of our local HFH. :)

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

I'm totally going to look into it in our area. Such a worthy cause! And since I can get a pink hardhat and raspberry toolbelt, I'm SO there! ;)

Brian Miller said...

very cool...i have worked on houses with HFH in most places we have lived...its always been an amazing experience. thank you for all you do.

Jay said...

I volunteered once for HFH in San Antonio. It was a great time. I think HFH is my all-time favorite charitable organization.

Jaime said...

nice hard hat :)

the guy i just finished writing my article on left law school for a term and drove down from michigan to new orleans after katrina and spent 4 months down there with HFH building homes for people. to hear him talk about it gives me chills

Kitty said...

i love your pink tools. you need a white hard hat though; white is the supervisor's color!

Gaston Studio said...

Good on you both for giving back and for teaching to do the same. HFH is a great cause, for sure.

Goose said...

When I was in college H4H did a funraiser with student groups on campus where we would build cardboard houses and then stay in them all night. It was actually really fun. You should see if the local U has any fundraisers for it.

Barbara said...

I'm so glad you posted this. I have always wanted to do a habitat for humanity house and this is great information. But hearing that someone who works a 40 hour week at minimum wage and cannot afford an apartment, is shocking. Minimum wage is shocking! I'm so glad to hear you're introducing your kids to a little of the reality out there. Good for you.

We all need to do more for each other. Sometimes, this country feels like millions of separate little islands. We just wave to each other from our little plot of earth, but rarely build anything together.

I'm following you now! Thanks for following me on mine!

Mrs4444 said...

I love that last shot!! So funny!! We've never done habitat, but we have had a lot of fun volunteering at our church and at school events. Getting involved feels so great, and you get to meet so many go-getters, which is inspiring.

JW.BW said...

What a great post!! Thank you for sharing that!! I have never done HFH, but there are lots of opportunities to in the Navy, most commands participate in it locally. Seems great!!

Lisa E said...

Great cause. People need to be more aware of this agency. They do so much good and funny, in W. PA, there is not even a waiting list. The word needs to get out.

BTW you are looking hot in that hat and toolbelt!!

Loredana said...

After reading this I've decided I'm really going to look into it. I always wanted to volunteer and do SOMETHING but like you I never found a charity that spoke to me. This instead sounds like something I can totally get into.

Thanks for sharing!

Otter Thomas said...

Good for you for giving something back to the community.

Concord Carpenter said...

Awesome cause! Nice post!