As part of Metro's community outreach efforts, we recently volunteered for Habitat for Humanity (this was our third time participating). Seven of us headed to Church Hill bright and early on a beautiful Wednesday morning while the remaining Metro employees held down the fort in the office.
We arrived at the assigned site and were introduced to our Habitat leader, Ron, who kind of looked like a longer-haired, older version of Bruce Springsteen. He is probably the only man besides Ryan Gosling that can pull off a tank top. Ron rattled off a list of instructions and safety precautions before handing out gear. We all looked incredibly dapper in our hard hats, protective eye wear, gloves, and tool aprons.
Three Habitat regular weekday warriors rounded out the Metro team. They were all super nice and knowledgeable. Ron explained that our task for the day was to frame and build walls to transform an empty plot into a new home. We quickly got to work. About thirty minutes in, two of our group members joined a different Habitat crew to help build roofing materials for a house on the neighboring plot.
It didn't take long for me to realize how awful I was at manual labor, which really shouldn't have come as any surprise given my lack of hand-eye coordination (this might explain why I missed a nail at one point during the day and hammered my thumb instead) in addition to my inability to lift heavy objects. At one point I was trying to hammer a nail into a piece of wood (it might have been a header? Or a jack? I got all the construction terms mixed up. I'm sorry, Ron!) and someone took one look at me and just handed over the nail gun. What took the rest of the group five seconds to complete took me five minutes. Luckily, everyone was incredibly patient and supportive.
After a long but very rewarding and fun day, we successfully completed one and half walls for the house, which was more than we expected to do! Go us. It was time to clean off our hard hats, turn in our hammers, and bid Ron farewell. We headed home, dirty, exhausted, and happy. We're already looking forward to our next Habitat volunteer experience! Thanks to everyone who volunteered.