I serve because of the friendships and connections that are created through service. whether it be connecting with your group or with the people you serve, there is something special about giving your time to others. If you have the ability to give your time I believe there is no better use. My personal experience with Washington County, VA Habitat for Humanity has been one of the best experiences of my life. Our work was important and our experience was something that could not have been replicated anywhere else or with any other organization.
Thomas Winter -Boston College'22
This week spent at Washington County, Va Habitat for Humanity has meant everything to me. I wasn't sure what projects I'd be working on throughout the week, which made me nervous. However after the first day of working with Krystal, Walt and my fellow BC students, all my fears dissolved and I felt as though this service site was exactly where I needed to be. I loved that we were able to visit multiple work sites and try out many different jobs. There was always such a high energy and positive environment throughout this week , some that I will remember forever. Leaving Washington County is a tough good-bye but I'm so grateful for this experience and the relationships I have made.
-Olivia Spar Boston College '21
Article in Washington County Newspaper
Habitat is on the rise!! After a turmoil of changes we are ready to get back on track and grow! Check out the article above for some exciting news!!
Life has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, being a single mom to three children and trying to provide a better life for them. Jessica Philippi is a hard-working CNA for the last 13 years. She enjoys her job and being able to help people with their daily activities. Also having to maintain a second job cleaning homes, the family/work life balance is tough to maintain. Her children Caitlyn (17), Autumn (13) and Alexander (9) love parks, museums and anything historical. Jessica says “We didn’t have the money to go out and do things, so we created the fun with free activities”
Living in an unsafe apartment Jessica knew she had to find a safe and secure home for her children, that’s when her sister told her about habitat. The process from application to acceptance has been a long road but with the help of our family support staff Jessica completed her application. “They walked me though everything and made it easy to understand” said Jessica. When she got the news that she was accepted into the program she cried, finally realizing her kids would have a durable and safe home. Jessica stated about the day she found out “I honestly remember that day, getting that call crying with happiness that my struggles would finally get better and we would finally have a place to call home”
Ms. Philippi is very involved, working on the job site alongside out volunteers and meeting other families on other work sites. Hearing the stories and working along side families that have been in her shoes and made it out was encouraging. Jessica and her children are extremely excited about there new home and will continue to work with Habitat after she moves in because as Jessica says, “Everyone needs love, no matter who you are and if I can give that to someone I will.”
As I wrote about in my previous post, I joined AmeriCorps VISTA to join a nonprofit that fights poverty in the United States. My colleagues work all over the United States with different non-profits like at Upper Tennessee River Roundtable and the Clinch River Valley Initiative in Abingdon or are involved in organizations like Boys and Girls Club. I chose to work with Habitat here in Washington County where I had the opportunity to oversee event projects like Earth Day and help write grants. Every day, I worked on multiple projects and helped around the office.
I got to learn about how many people need affordable alternative housing. In a Housing Virginia Report, 26% of households living in Southwest Virginia live in homes that cost more than 30% of their income. From the perspective of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, those families are housing cost burdened.
Why I’m Thankful This Year