Over this past weekend, I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. The national program’s main goal is to help to less fortunate in order to decrease the prevalence of poverty in cities, such as Baltimore. Not only do the projects of Habitat for Humanity benefit the person the house is being made for, but it helps create a sense of community. Habitat is made possible fully by groups of volunteers whose purpose is to serve others. As I was participating in the construction of the house, I felt like my time and effort were more valuable than if I had just given money to the program. Watching the teamwork of my fellow volunteers was an amazing sight to see because we were coming together as a unit for a good cause. Like the Jesuits value, experience will teach you more about yourself and helping others than anything else.
The physical labor at the house being built for Habitat for Humanity is incredible. A simple part of a house, such as a window or door frame, that many people do not acknowledge very often requires a tedious dedication and determination. My appreciation for the roof over my head increased with each task I was assigned. The whole experience made me realize how much work people put into building a house or any building for that matter.
My participation in this Habitat for Humanity event reflects many of the ideas supported by Peter-Hans Kolvenbach. In the essay we read for class, I found the following quote to accurately represent the goals of Habitat expressed by Jesuit ideals: “Saint Ignatius wanted love to be expressed not only in words but also in deeds.” It is extremely important that both service and justice are enforced in order to make change in not only Baltimore but all over the world. As I worked that day, I knew I was serving myself as well as serving others by providing a person with a home that I had been so privileged to have during my lifetime. Another example of giving to those less fortunate was prevalent in the article “Serving Up Hope” about the couple who gave jobs to recovering drug addicts at their restaurant. The opportunity of being given a second chance can not only be appreciated by those who receive it, but by the providers of that chance as well. For the man that is receiving the house made by Habitat for Humanity, he is also being given a second chance and I am glad to be part of an organization that allows him to have it.