Building Houses And Lives MAG

By Unknown, Unknown, Unknown

   This summer I went for a two-week trip to a little town called Robins in Tennessee. There I, with 20 other teenagers, built a house with Habitat for Humanity. We built an entire house in 10 days, saving evenings and weekends for small trips, getting to know each other, and talking about issues facing our society, including race, religion, and poverty. In the end not only did we build a house but we had a strong foundation of experiences and friendships. Meeting all types of people was a wonderful lesson about this world. We had extremely insightful conversations and laughter that will forever be with me.

It may not seem like the ideal vacation - building a house - but after going through this experience I can't think of a more rewarding or exciting way to spend my summer. There are only a few times in life that one is given the opportunity to make a substantial difference in someone else's life. You may be surprised how much more valuable it makes your life. I know I helped one family whom I met and worked with on their house, and I know I have the heart and power to help more.

Some of you are probably wondering how safe and stable a house built by teenagers is. We all were worried about that at first because most of us had little experience building houses. But there were always trained professional carpenters to tell us what to do and to check our work, which soon built our confidence. There is a lot that goes into building a house and it's really exciting when you realize all the things you are capable of doing.

To all who do not know what Habitat for Humanity is: it is a nonprofit organization, but not a charity. The homeowner pays for the house completely through a no-interest mortgage. The money from the mortgages goes directly to Habitat for Humanity to help finance (along with donations) the building of more houses. It's a cycle. In addition to paying for the house, the future homeowners have to put in "sweat equity," which means they must put in time helping build other Habitat for Humanity houses, as well as helping build their own house.

Volunteers are always appreciated to help raise money, build houses, and spread the message. To find out more information contact Habitat for Humanity International at: 1-800-HABITAT or a chapter near you. fl

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i love this so much!


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