On Monday, November 17th, Muncie Habitat had the joy of taking an evening to celebrate the numerous volunteers who make the work of Habitat for Humanity in our community possible.
We paused to think about the vision of Habitat for Humanity… a world where everyone has a decent place to live. It seems so simple and so ordinary… a decent place to live. A place to wake up each day and know that your things are where you left them and the roof doesn’t leak. A place where the kids don’t forget where to get off the bus, and you don’t have to wait on the landlord to fix the broken stove. This is the place to lay your head each night. But what we know to be reality is that many families don’t have this ordinary life. They don’t experience a decent place to live.
We paused to think about each of the 150 guests celebrating with us that night at the annual volunteer banquet. We thought about each person in the room and the part they are playing in creating that world.
Each person was challenged to look to the person beside him or her and share what they could do to push the vision into reality. The person beside them might have been Anita Kishel who has served on our Board of Directors for over ten years, or Kirk Miller who directs our ReStore, or Kevin Davis whose house is being rehabilitated right now, or Marty Kendrick who has lead teams on Global Village trips to South America, or Pat Freeman & the Marys (Pointer and McClellan, respectfully) who show up every Tuesday and Thursday to caulk and paint and do whatever else is the task at hand, or Lisa Ayers from Vectren who organizes their employees to volunteer on construction sites, or Pat Jefferson who is enjoying a roof free of leaks for the first time in a long time, or Alex Morton who is spending this year serving through the AmeriCorps program, or Mary Coffman who leads a Women Build team every year, or Delaina Roberson and her girls who are about to spend their first Christmas in their new house, or Ron Hoopingarner who gathers a crew to deconstruct items to be sold at the ReStore, or Amy Moudy who prepares volunteer lunches and helps with mailings. The list goes on and on.
What we were all reminded is that Habitat is truly a place we each get to bring the things we can do-which are sometimes quite ordinary tasks-like cooking or painting or taking things apart or offering our opinion-and when combined with everyone else’s ordinary tasks, we get closer to creating a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Our volunteers at Habitat really do bring the ordinary things they know how to do, and when added together it sounds pretty extraordinary. We now, more than anything, just want to simply say, ‘Thank you.’ Thank you for volunteering over 13,000 hours so far this year. Thank you to the ReStore volunteers who make up 40% of that total. Thank you to our CARDS Crew who have volunteered over 3,000 hours collectively this year. Thank for bringing the ordinary skills you have been gifted with and making something extraordinary happen.
Remember, Habitat surveys show improved grades for children, better financial health for families, and parents who are more sure that they can meet their family’s needs. What volunteers do matters. It matters to the nearly 120 Habitat families enjoying the holidays in homes that they own.
Thank you especially to Tim Shipley our Cecil Thomas Volunteer of the Year Award winner, Bob Haupt our ReStore Volunteer of the Year winner, and Eric Scherrer & Rick Rowray our Richard Artes Distinguished Service Award winners. Thank you to all of the Habitat for Humanity volunteers who truly change lives in our community.