Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Real Housewives of Habitat for Humanity!

...AND ME!

Last weekend I did something I've always wanted to do...I volunteered on a local "Woman-Build House" with Habitat for Humanity. Habitat builds lots of local houses every year with tons of awesome volunteers, but this house is very special. The REAL WOMEN of WICHITA are building it!

I joined a group of gals from my church to drive to the home site, where we found a bunch of charming already completed Habitat houses, and two homes under construction. We got a two-fer, because we got to work on them both!

After a short orientation and prayer, we spent our afternoon doing exterior siding! I was expecting a paint brush or something else that's hard to mess up. (Actually, I love to paint!) But they trusted us with the wood siding and POWER TOOLS!  No, they wouldn't allow us to use a nail gun (wise decision, I'm sure), so we spent a lot of time hammering! But we did use power saws to cut the boards, after we carefully measured. It was strangely satisfying to see those beautifully cut pieces slide ride in around the windows.

Did I mention that when you do siding, you have to begin at the bottom? Above are my friends Becky and Saundra getting a start on the lower siding.

Just in case you're concerned about quality control, there were volunteer "coaches" that helped us find a job, and taught us how to do it..and bailed us out if we were having trouble.

Our last 30 minutes on the site were like Double Jeopardy or the lightning round! They rounded up all of the volunteers, and we invaded the interior of the second home and sanded drywall.  OH MY! The place was a total fog of white dust from the generous volunteer mudding!!! The respirator things we used over our mouth and noses gave me claustrophobia (really!), so I braved it without. Thank goodness it was a cool day and the interior of the house wasn't super warm. 

Afterwards, our church ladies gathered for a group photo with the star volunteer, Jose (upper right). He's the new home owner and he's putting in hundreds of volunteer hours on his future home. He is a concrete worker by day, so he got special permission to pour his own driveway and porch...a real custom job! Can you tell we're still shaking off the white dust from our sanding adventures? That's me in the middle in the pink t-shirt.

I finished the day with a long shower and took my dusty clothes outside to shake before laundering. I was super hungry for a late dinner, even though we had an afternoon break with Dairy Queen supplying free blizzards. There are a zillion things to do on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, but this was truly an adventure to remember!


  1. What a great experience! I would love to do this and will have to find out how to volunteer here in Phoenix. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hubby and I volunteered a few years ago. It's personally rewarding as well as rewarding for the family that will be living in the house. Thanks for sharing!

  3. a good thing, even if I can't understand enough english language to know for what kind of persons these are made.

    I've just hosted a wife with her child, a good expérience