About 3 weeks ago, David and I were laying in bed on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, nursing epic hangovers from a Happy Hour that lasted far too many hours. After eating an entire pizza and deciding we were too lazy even to go rent a movie, we channel surfed, trying to find something we could both agree on. Naturally we settled on a marathon of Flip This House (can anyone ever get enough of Armando Montelongo? C’mon, just saying his name puts me in a great mood).
Anywho, while watching, we had our usual conversation about how awesome it would be to flip a house. All the demolition and repairs (and interior decorating, hello!) almost had us salivating at the idea (or maybe it was just the leftover pizza crusts, hard to tell). We both agreed that it would be incredibly cool to flip – nay – build a house from scratch. But who in their right mind would allow two completely inexperienced college kids masquerade as architects/carpenters/interior designers?
Enter Ty Pennington. Well, kind of. An Extreme Home Makover: Home Edition marathon was starting on the next channel, and after crying intermittently for 2 hours, David suggested we volunteer to build a house. This way, we’d get to help a family in need and if we screwed anything up while building, we wouldn’t have to actually live there (he was kidding. I think).
I Googled Habitat for Humanity and found our helpful, super easy to navigate local site. Not even 5 minutes later, David and I were both signed up to volunteer on a build day for June 12th.
We were so excited about the prospect of helping others in such a cool way. David and I have always been huge supporters of helping others, but mostly it’s been through philanthropies with our respective fraternity and sorority. We were so psyched to find a new way to help our community (especially in a way that didn’t require any donations, cause we’re totes broke). Habitat seemed like the perfect venue for our charitable energies.
The day of, we were pumped and ready to go. We slathered on sunscreen, got dressed and grabbed baseball hats. David’s mom had surprised us with heavy duty gloves the day before (the website suggested we bring them, but I hadn’t read that part), which was so sweet and turned out to be a lifesaver once we got to the actual build site. Well, for David at least.
Once we found the build site (Mapquest must have a personal vendetta against me, at the rate it gets me lost), signed in and found the coordinator from Habitat, we were immediately separated. David was sent outside to dig for the irrigation system, and I got assigned to work inside caulking the baseboards of the entire house.
I got to stay inside all day, which was pretty sweet, not to mention that I found out that I am an excellent caulk-er. Add to this the amount of “caulk” jokes an elderly lady volunteer taught me that day, and the experience was already proving to be priceless. David got to get incredibly sweaty and really, really filthy, which he loved and I found freaking hot.
After our shift was done, volunteers from another non-profit group brought lunch for all the volunteers on the site, and we got to meet the family that was moving into the home. They were so grateful and sweetly appreciative. We took pictures, they thanked us again, and we got to see first-hand what a big difference those few hours had made in someone else’s life. It was a great experience, and David and I were so happy we did it. It means so much to me to know what a caring person David is, and how readily he agrees to helping others. We’re volunteering again soon, and we hope to be part of the volunteer group to finish the house-we can’t wait for the dedication ceremony!
After this experience we decided to make volunteering a bigger part of our lives. There’s so much we can do to help make our community (and the world) a better place, even if it is just the two of us. And volunteering together definitely made us appreciate the altruistic side and love each other way more than dear, sweet Armando ever could.
How about you guys? Do you and your boo ever volunteer? What’s your favorite part about it?