Many years ago, I saw this quote from inspirational speaker Jim Rohn: “Whatever good things we build end up building us.”
At the time, I didn’t think much about it. I ran across the quote again, sometime after I started working with Habitat for Humanity, and the light went on.
How true it is. Daily I am blessed to see this happen. Someone decides to volunteer, or to give a financial gift. They know their efforts will help build a home for a family in need. What they don’t know is how it will build something within them and how it extends into the community as others join them.
Never has this been more visible than during the Build of Dreams, our first complete Women Build, in 2012. More than 300 women came together to build and fund a home for Darla Koloski and her five children. They were excited to make a difference in Darla’s life and to help her build a home where her family could grow and thrive.
Unsure of what to expect, but enthusiastic and willing to learn, these women took on the tasks of building a home. They hammered, raised rafters, shingled, and installed windows and doors – all during one of the hottest months in recent years!
They overcame their fear of asking and invited friends, family and sometimes strangers to make a donation to support their efforts. They bonded together in planning and building. They challenged each other, and they rose to the challenge and discovered strengths they didn’t know they had.
Three hundred women and dozens of crew leaders – building alongside each other and the homeowner. The love and laughter, together with nails and lumber upon a concrete foundation, came together to build so much more than a physical home for a family.
“Whatever good things we build (a home for a family) end up building us (new friendships, new experiences and a space inside filled by what we can do together).”
Another Build of Dreams is planned for 2014. We would love to have you join us. I can’t promise good weather or that this is the easiest thing you will do. I can promise you your involvement will be life-changing – for a family in need of a safe and affordable home, for the women you build alongside, and for you.
Kelli Wendel is the development director at Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County. To learn more about Habitat for Humanity and the 2014 Women Build, call (320) 762-4255 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.