On May 20th, our two AmeriCorps members, Sarah and Whitney, flew to Raleigh, NC for the annual AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon event.
Joined by 350 other Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps members from across the country, they spent the week working with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County helping to build 12 new houses and repair an additional 10 throughout the city.
The new houses were all located in the same block of a development called Crosstowne in southeast Raleigh. Before members arrived to the build sites, the lots were prepped with a concrete slab, and had varying degrees of framing completed.
Sarah says, “physically seeing the houses being built from the ground up in just one week made me feel that we had created true impact, and helped me to realize the effect we have when working together towards one common goal”.
However, the message at Build-a-Thon was much more than that; it was also a powerful reminder of the work that still needs to be done, and the hope these members bring to our mission.
One speaker at the event was Habitat’s first ever volunteer, Clive Rainey. Speaking on the overall vision of Habitat, he reminded everyone that although we have come a long way from Habitat’s beginnings in Georgia, we are still fighting a battle to make this a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
In spite of completing 22 houses, Habitat for Humanity of Wake County estimates 91,000 families to still be in need of affordable housing in the Raleigh area. As Build-a-Thon came to a close and the 350 AmeriCorps members flew back to their homes across the country, it dawned on Sarah and Whitney that every AmeriCorps member would be returning home to a similar need.
Picturing how great and widespread the issue of affordable housing is, brought to life the need for them to keep Habitat’s mission going. And in the request of Clive Rainey, the need to share with others the stories from their service year, and to ask then a simple, but tough question, “And you, what are you doing?”