For those of you who have not had the experience, allow me to share with you the magic of doing a “build” with Habitat for Humanity. First, while most everyone has heard of this organization, many may not fully understand what it does and how it works. In short, Habitat is a non-profit that helps families and improves places to call home. But this includes more than simply building new residences (both homes and town-houses), but also helping renovate homes for the disabled and those in need.
The scope and benefits that Habitat provides extend beyond the family living in the houses served, and include improving the surrounding communities. I have seen this firsthand as a member of the board for the local Habitat chapter here in Los Angeles.
Three years ago Habitat built houses in a distressed area of Long Beach. Having the new homes, and owners that took good care of them, has really turned around that community. Not only did we build new homes in Long Beach, we also made cosmetic and capital improvements to others in the surrounding areas, in houses where the owner was disabled, senior, or otherwise unable to do the work. This area now has playgrounds, parks and a sense of community.