Emergency responders partnered with Our Towns Habitat to give back to the community in a way they never have before. They worked on a build site in the hot sun alongside Women Build members and other volunteers as part of Our Towns Habitat’s 911 Build Days initiative.
Michael Stanford, operations manager for MEDIC 911, a Mecklenburg County EMS agency in Charlotte, was glad to have this opportunity to get involved with Habitat for the first time.
“It’s important to give back to the community,” he said.
MEDIC Deputy Director Jon Studnek, also a newcomer, commented on the importance of affordable housing and how it impacts employment and financial stability.
“It’s a worthwhile mission,” Studnek said. “It gives people a leg up.”
Those who have donated their time and talents to Habitat have seen an improvement in their own quality of life as well.
Mindy Weldon, a regular build site volunteer who secured employment outside of Habitat to be an IT project manager, fell on hard times before she decided to give her time to Habitat. She felt that the organization blessed her just as it has blessed the new homeowners she’s built alongside.
The fellowship on build sites has been both a “lifesaver and a Godsend,” Weldon said.
Locals weren’t the only ones who showed up to help this afternoon. George Wilkerson, a teacher in northern Virginia, had been to Habitat for Humanity builds in other areas before coming here.
Wilkerson volunteers at Habitat builds during his free time over summers because it’s a great opportunity for him to support and give back to communities, he said.
Our Towns Habitat is offering 911 Build Days through September to encourage local first responders to volunteer in support of affordable housing. These special build opportunities are sponsored by the Leon Levine Foundation, Wastequip, Kewaunee Scientific Corporation and the Mooresville Rotary Club. For information about scheduling a volunteer opportunity for your group, please call Volunteer Program Manager Cathy Petriano 704-896-8957, ext. 108.
About The Author: Madison Seals is a rising sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is majoring in Editing and Graphic Design. She has been a volunteer with Our Towns Habitat for Humanity from a young age, supporting the organization through fundraising efforts before she was even old enough to volunteer on a build site.