I don’t much about my work – somehow that seems to be a separate thing from what this website is about. At work I don’t talk much about the things that are here and here I don’t talk much about work. But today is different.
I’ve now been at Habitat For Humanity SF/SCV for about nine and a half months. Our particular HFF affiliate (Habitat For Humanity is not one, huge, monolithic organization) builds houses for low-income veterans. By Habitat standards, we build a LOT of them. While the average HFH affiliate might build a house a year, or do restorations on a handful a year, we’re building a tract of 78 houses, about 26 a year over three years.
Today was the Key Ceremony for our Phase Two veterans. It was a long, long day with pretty much non-stop work by everyone on staff to make it happen. Others in the company were in charge of the planning – I just had to be a glorified go-fer.
Here are some of the homes our families will be moving into on October 1st and November 1st:
I wasn’t with the company for last year’s Key Ceremony for the Phase One homes so I didn’t know what to expect. It turned out to be a very emotional day as I got to meet many of the families that were just names and lot numbers to me.
I saw kids seeing their new homes for the first time and seeing where they would have their own room, where now the entire family is living in a bedroom at a parent’s house.
I heard a little girl squealing with joy when she saw where the recreation center would be and she could play basketball.
I heard stories from families that never thought they would be able to own a home who now are ready to move into a community made up entirely of fellow veterans, people who will understand what they went through in combat.
I saw families from Phase One, who moved in last year, telling Phase Two families who throws the best BBQ and who puts on the best football watching parties.
I saw families from Phase three, who won’t be moving in for a year or more, there to support the Phase Two families even though their homes are still just concrete slabs.
It’s good to remember on the days when I’m running around like my hair’s on fire that this isn’t “just another job.” It really is something to be grateful for. The fact that I really like the people I work with is just the icing on the cake.
Finally, I spent hours and hours and hours on my feet, trying to keep up with my much younger co-workers. Yesterday I showed how my smart watch was bugging me about “falling off the wagon” on my exercise. Today, not so much of a problem.