ONU Students Make a Difference at Habitat for Humanity
Volunteering at the ReStore: Changing Lives and Making Connections
What can happen when you come to volunteer at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Lima? Well, here is a story about three volunteers.
Ohio Northern University has a Habitat for Humanity Student Chapter that has partnered with the Lima Area Habitat for Humanity. On the week before classes started, two Habitat officers gathered almost 50 ONU students to give generously of their time and volunteer at the ReStore, as well as with our Habitat Repair Program. These students came to work Monday-Friday, August 13-17 for 6 hours every day.
The two ONU Habitat Chapter Officers are Megan Torbeck (Workday Coordinator) and Jillian Sugden (Fundraising Chair). They are both sophomores majoring in Pharmacy and Business, respectively. The two officers met a year ago when they, as first year students, came to volunteer at the ReStore. At Habitat for Humanity they started what developed into a strong friendship together with a third friend, Hannah Smith, also a sophomore majoring in Business Management and Law. Two of them now room together and the other is just down the hall. You can see the close bond they have as they interact with each other.
All three see the volunteer process as a way to make a difference. Jillian commented that she “loves volunteering and helping people. Right now time is easier to give when other resources aren’t as plentiful.” Megan talked about the joy of seeing a tangible difference. She loved, for example, how a piece of furniture that she helped build was put on the showroom floor and then sold the very next day. And Hannah stated how “it is a blessing to see all the ONU students partner together.”
Interestingly, three first year students commented how glad they were to be volunteering at the ReStore. Not only is the work helpful to those in need, but now they know other students and have made new friends. And the cycle continues.
So, volunteers at Habitat do change the lives of people needing decent, affordable homes. For example, volunteering at the ReStore helps raise fund that then go to help build a new home. But the lives of the volunteers are changed as well, creating a better and broader community. It has been a joy to see the work of these wonderful young people! Their energy, commitment to their work, polite attitude and generous gift of time and effort has been greatly appreciated. They really changed the ReStore (and the people) in just one short week.
A Habitat Homeowner
As I arrived at Doug Goodman’s home, I was welcomed in with warmth and a smile. Doug is one of Lima Area Habitat for Humanity’s Homeowners, or as we call them “Partners.” His house was built in 2013 and dedicated on July 21. He enjoys his quiet neighborhood and the space outside that allows him to have four furry friends, his dogs.
If you have ever talked with Doug, you know him to have a great sense of humor and the ability to converse on about any subject. That gift of conversation was one thing that made his time volunteering at the Habitat ReStore so memorable for the many customers he helped. He especially enjoyed working in the electronics area, using some of his expertise in that area. Since Doug was unable to do much of his sweat equity in the building process, he gave his hours to the ReStore. (Habitat homeowners are required to put in a large amount of sweat equity – work hours – into the process of building and preparing to be a new homeowner. They also take classes to help prepare them for this venture.) As he reminisced about that time, he said, “I really enjoyed working there. I especially enjoyed the food surprises that sometimes happened on Fridays when people brought in a treat for the volunteers. And the people were great to work with.” Doug also enjoyed being at the construction site and conversing with the other volunteers as he watched his home go up.
He learned about Habitat for Humanity from one of his friends. He recalls the initial joy of being able “to live in my own home, which was built specifically for him, which was wonderful.” His goal now is to get the home paid off and be able to leave something for his daughter. He wants others to know about Habitat for Humanity and the great people that work in the Lima Area Affiliate. He has felt truly blessed by God and the people that have been there to guide him.
Visit from Habitat Guatemala
On May 10, 2018, the Lima Area Habitat for Humanity hosted one of their international partners, Habitat Guatemala. Representing the country was Executive Director, Victor Velazquez and Director of International Resource Development, Makensie Brown. They brought greetings to us from Guatemala and shared valuable information about the country and its needs, especially in decent, affordable housing.
Lima Area Habitat has been a partner with Habitat Guatemala since 2005. During this 13 year partnership, the Lima affiliate has tithed $98,882. This tithe has impacted over 79 families in Guatemala through the construction of 13 homes, and 66 smokeless stoves, water filters, and hygienic latrines. The Lima Area affiliate gives 10% of its unrestricted income toward international Habitat for Humanity work.
To find out more about Habitat Guatemala or to donate to their volcano disaster work, visit http://www.habitatguate.org/eng/donations/.
Flooring Refurbishment in the Lima ReStore
began on Saturday, February 17, 2018. On that day 92 volunteers, plus about 25 staff moved all the ReStore showroom inventory into storage for a week. 325 total volunteer hours were generously offered. Semi-trailers and storage pods were filled. Immediately after, Elite Concrete Creations began repairing the showroom floor and laying down a new surface, which will offer a safer environment for our shopping and a needed facelift for the look of the ReStore. Then on February 24, 71 more volunteers, plus numerous staff members moved all the inventory back into place. In total we had 167 volunteers give 718 hours to the project. This was a major undertaking for the Habitat and ReStore staff. We are appreciative to the many sponsors and volunteers who helped us make this possible. On Tuesday, Feb. 27, the ReStore re-opened its doors at 10:00am. Then on Saturday, March 30, the official unveiling of the new floor culminated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Completion of House #54:
The Lima Area Habitat completed its 54th house this fall in Delphos. The home was dedicated on Sunday, October 22. Roger Calvert was the Construction Manager for the project. Many volunteers, staff, sponsors and partners gave of their time, resources and energy to make possible this wonderful day. Note Executive Director, Bruce Hilty (far right), commencing the dedication service for new home owner, Monica (far left), while other family and friends look on.
For those of us who are able to give more, this is the perfect opportunity to get involved in the community and help spread the holiday cheer this season.
If you want to join in and celebrate National Write a Friend Month during this wonderful winter season, here are a couple writing ideas to get you started.
If you want to live a more altruistic lifestyle, help give back in the upcoming season by checking out these volunteering ideas for cold weather months.