Constructing Lives This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     As the shutter clicked, theflash captured a sight that had been a long time coming for the family. Aftertaking it, I realized what I had just done - this was a couple's first photographof them in their new home. To them it did not matter that months of constructionremained, and the heat was stifling. Just a few short hours before no walls tolean against had existed.

Until that moment, I had not realized the effectthat this single day of work with Habitat for Humanity would have for so many -not just one family, but an entire neighborhood. When I arrived that morning,concrete footings had been poured and the deck was being finished by early-risingvolunteers. A few hours later, with the help of many hands, some experienced andmany new, the walls had been framed and sheeting applied.

Walking toand from the job site, volunteers were constantly met with greetings and thanksfrom neighbors. "The lot was a mess!" and "The house looksgreat!" were frequent exclamations, while honks of encouragement came fromcars driving past the work site.

Within the newly erected walls,volunteers were encouraged to inscribe messages of hope, and sketches of angelswere added to watch over the family who would live there. The experience gavevolunteers a sense of hope, and provided the critical resource of hands for thehomeowners.

After eight hours of hot, sweaty work, a family was less inneed. Strangers from almost every social class had worked together to provide oneof the most fundamental needs, shelter, for a family of strangers. A Saturday wasnot wasted as young and old teamed together with a common goal: to have somethingto show for a day of hard work. Captured on film and on the smiling faces of thefamily was gratitude for the outreaching of hands.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 9 at 10:12 pm
i love this so much!
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