I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, I like to come up with a couple things I want to focus on for the year. For example, trying not to spend $100+ at Target every time I go in for ONE little thing, and calling my grandmother more often.
In 2014, Brian and I both wanted to make a more concerted effort to give back. Between starting a new job and a blog and all my other obligations, I hate to say that this goal kind of fell to the wayside this year. While we have donated money to our alma maters, contributed to local charities through events, given away bags of clothes to Goodwill, and supported friends who are running/walking/jogging for a cause, sometimes writing a check isn’t what it’s all about. With our crazy schedules, it can be hard to actually find the time to volunteer our time. So, when Flynn asked us to sign up for a Habitat for Humanity build forever ago, I immediately said yes and we marked November 1st on the calendar to participate.
However, when we signed up over the summer, I didn’t realize we were committing to do the build the day after Halloween and the day of the Ga/Fla game. But, we were committed, so we met in the parking lot of the local church at 7:15am on the dot (Chick-fil-a biscuits and Dunkin Donuts coffee in hand!). Of course that day happened to be the coldest day yet of our Atlanta fall, which didn’t make getting up and out the door any easier.
Once we met the young woman we were building the house for – the cold, wind and early morning wake-up were all forgotten. All of the sudden it was so very worth it to be there helping to build this woman and her son the house of their dreams.
Brian volunteered to work on the roof (heights and all), while Gary, Flynn and I quickly made our way to the indoor job of insulating the house. I am now in charge of all of our home insulation needs should we run into any problems 😉 Can I just tell you that the hardest part of my job was using the staple gun? I almost blew out my hand trying to staple with that thing and it didn’t get any easier once I got the hang of it. I finally realized I had to put all of my body weight behind it to make the thing even work – not an easy feat, especially with cold hands.
After a long cold day full of manual labor (and a yummy lunch provided by some lovely volunteers), I was very thankful for my desk job and a hot shower. I was also grateful for the opportunity to volunteer my time for Habitat for Humanity. It is still amazing to me that everyday people can help build houses for people in need and they don’t fall to the ground! The trained experts who oversee the volunteers definitely had their work cut out for them with me onsite, but by golly I am now the master of the staple gun should they ever need my services again!
And as for my goal to give more of my time to volunteer efforts – this was just one small step in that direction and I plan to dedicate even more volunteer hours in 2015. I have SO incredibly much to be thankful for and giving up a sliver of my time is the very least I can do for others.