In two days I will take part in my first ever house building experience. I am helping to build a home in our very own city with Habitat for Humanity.
Last fall I witnessed a close friend celebrate her birthday by showering her favourite charities with home-baked goodness. This inspired me - how could I also celebrate the day I entered this world by giving back? By making this world a better place? As I like to do, I left the questions to marinate in my brain and one afternoon while posting something to Facebook a post from Habitat for Humanity popped up on my News Feed. Women's Build. In less than ten minutes I was signed up as a fundraiser.
Helping to build something, in particular a house, has been something that I have wanted to do since I was a little girl. I can remember hearing stories at church of people who had gone away and helped build homes - this was something I knew I wanted to do. "Finding the right time" has always been the challenge. When could I go? Take the time from work or family of life in general. And as I have grown and become so much more aware of my love of community I have shifted my desires of where I am helping. And while I would still jump at the chance to build somewhere else, I feel like helping close to home is so important. How quickly we can loose sight of the people so close to us that need our help.
Choosing the Women's Build actually had very little to do with the women only aspect. At first I wasn't entirely sure why we needed our own day to build a house but I have learned more about the housing challenges facing our local friends. I have learned that the majority of people in need and most likely to be affected are women and children. As a mother, I truly can't imagine not having a safe home for my boys. I know you have likely read that a few times from me now, but it is just so very true.
Having a house is so much more than walls and a roof. It is stability, it is safety, is it comfort. It is where love can grow, where kids dance in the living room to their favourite songs, where mother's cook meals, where parents cuddle their kids to sleep at night. Where parents comfort each other through tough times, and celebrate the good times. Where one day, someone is bound to break a vase because they were being too rambunctious, where a son might tell his mom that he has his first job, or made the honour role at school. So this weekend while I gear up with a group of amazing humans to build, I will remind myself that we are building so much more than just a house - we are building the foundation for a family to grow, love and thrive.