For the second year, Linn Area Credit Union helped support Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Project. This program challenges women to devote at least one day to the effort to eliminate poverty housing. Eleven of our LACU family members were a part of this day and we also provided lunch for the whole crew. Laura from our Mt. Vernon Road office was kind enough to share her experience with all of you guys! Take it away, Laura!
I was lucky enough to have the privilege to work side by side with not only these ladies but with Kyle, the soon to be homeowner, and many others from Habitat for Humanity. Kyle is a single mom with two children who has worked on multiple Habitat homes and when the time was right she decided to apply for her own Habitat for Humanity home. Once an applicant is approved for the home, the work begins right away for the new homeowner. Homeowners are required to put “sweat equity” (build time) into their house and today was one of those days.
While Kyle has a lot of experience building, this was my first time working on a Habitat home. I was feeling a bit nervous about what I would be doing especially when I heard that our group would be siding the outside of the house and rough framing inside. When I arrived, the buzz of saws and pounding of hammers filled the air. I wasn’t sure where to start or what to do but quickly found a spot to help. My first task was to hold boards while Kelsi, one of my fellow Linn Area teammates, sawed them for the staircase. I was good with holding the boards. Quite frankly the large circular saw scared me a bit and I wasn’t feeling the need to visit an Urgent Care that day.
After we got the boards ready my teammates Jeni and Bobbie placed them on the stringers for the staircase. As I watched them, I knew that the stairs had to be just right. The carpet would need to lay smoothly over each one. Details that I had never really thought about, but now realized the importance of because one day soon a family would make many trips up and down those stairs.
I then made my way outside to join the large group of ladies who were starting to put siding up. Let me tell you, you can’t just throw that stuff up there and – boom – it’s done. There’s measuring, cutting, “where are the studs”, how do we get around the utility meter, and that’s all before we even put one piece up! One of the Habitat team members came over and asked Bonnie and I to cut a piece of siding to go under the window at the back of the house. Yes, we could do this! We measured twice and cut once, crossed our fingers and started to put it up.
Did I mention that this was a split level house and the window we were doing this for was not on the lower level?
Needless to say, we did a heck of a job and got it up there on the first try.
As the day came to a close there was a sense of accomplishment, empowerment, and joy. Laughter was shared and deeper friendships were developed through this experience. This wasn’t just about building a house. It was bringing the dream of home ownership to reality for a family, and in the process a special place for the Habitat for Humanity project was built in my heart too.