Habitat Seminole-Apopka is grateful to have a few AmeriCorps members on our team every year. These individuals donate their time full-time to the cause of affordable housing for a full ten months of service. This week is the end of Stacy’s AmeriCorps term and she shared about her experience:
“I never thought about what owning a home truly means.
There are so many things we take for granted, and though I am aware of all that I have, I didn’t realize the many things I too take for granted. I purchased my home when I was 23, and I never truly appreciated the value in that until I started my AmeriCorps term with Habitat for Humanity. For Habitat for Humanity families this is the first opportunity they have ever had to purchase a home for themselves and their family. I often hear people talk about being a first-generation high school or college graduate, but the significance of being a first generation and first-time homeowner is also an incredible one. Building alongside first-time homeowners like Samantha- I see the accomplishment and the gift of homeownership in a whole new light.
Teaching volunteers and future homeowners home building skills on the construction site made me realize something else I have taken for granted. Growing up my father was available and able to teach me carpentry skills. Many people do not have parents growing up who have the time to pass along those important life lessons and skills. When parents are struggling to make ends meet or are not both home- kids grow up without the same opportunities as their peers. I was able to pass these carpentry skills on to the homeowners who were completing their sweat equity as a part of the Habitat program. These homeowners will be in stable, affordable housing, and will be able to teach these skills to their kids. In fact, I was even able to work alongside the older kids themselves. Homeowner Sam’s son’s Marvin, De’Shawn, Xavier volunteered to help build their mom’s home. These young men will one day teach their sons and daughters these same skills!
The main reason I wanted to commit to a year of service with a nonprofit was my growing lack of faith in humanity. It is a safe bet that my faith has been restored! I asked many of the volunteers giving their time to Habitat what their reason for volunteering was. Their words varied, but essentially their answers spoke one truth- they wanted to make the world a better place. They wanted to help another human for no other reason then to make that person’s life better. And that- that knowledge of the good in so many has made my own life better. Habitat for Humanity and the AmeriCorps program is the best place for a hurting heart to get healed.
-Stacy, AmeriCorps 2019-2020