On Thanksgiving I was thinking about all I was thankful for. Of course, on the top of that list were friends, family, and having a good job where I’m learning a lot about non-profit work. As I kept going down the list, I realized how much I’ve taken having a good home for granted.
Originally, I’m from a suburb of Richmond, Virginia, right next to the Short Pump Mall. I lived in a very well to do neighborhood. Essentially, I didn’t want for anything. All throughout my college experience I was comfortable living in dormitories on campus and when something broke, it was immediately fixed. I studied about the world and looked at how other people lived and what they stood for, but there was and still is a disconnect between the life I live and how other people have to live their lives. I moved to Washington County as a part of the AmeriCorps Vista Program where I volunteer and work full time with Habitat.
Working with Habitat has shown me how lucky I’ve been in my own life with shelter and how many people still need help to live in safe and healthy environments. We frequently receive requests for critical home repair and housing applications. When we go on Saturdays to these houses, I share pictures on Facebook and witness first-hand how Habitat is improving people’s lives. Even though it’s hard, it’s a reminder that anyone could find themselves stuck without any way to improve, repair, or have the option to move from their home. We all have bills to pay and unforeseen circumstances take a toll on people’s lives.
The good news is that there are people who care, that get involved, are supportive in our efforts to try and give everyone a chance at building a home. I’ve seen people from Washington County come and ask what they can do to help. That is what I am most thankful for. Seeing our mission is not only about Habitat but having a community that is willing to get their hands dirty and help their neighbor.