This past Saturday, October 12, 2013, staff from our Middletown Site came together for a great cause, Habitat for Humanity! With great organization and leadership from our Middlesex County Site Director, Charise Corsino, thirteen individuals who all work within different realms of the Community Health Center, Inc. donated a Saturday to participate in something special. By 8:30am, the sunshine was spreading and our team of participants walked together to the end of Liberty Street where the house was located and prepared for our day!
I wanted to list a few facts about Habitat for Humanity and its reason of existence for those who are not familiar:
- Worldwide, some 827.6 million people live in urban slums.
- In the United States, 48.5 million people are living in poverty.
- Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has helped more than 600,000 families break the cycle of poverty and improve their lives.
- In 2012, Habitat for Humanity served a record 94,618 families worldwide through construction, rehabilitation and repairs.
- In the U.S., Habitat for Humanity lends no-profit, no-interest mortgage loans to its beneficiary families.
- This organization operates solely on volunteer labor and donations.
Our enthusiastic project leader was Manny who is a passionate and longtime volunteer with Habitat. He spoke to us about the structure of the home, the family of 4 that will be moving in (by Thanksgiving!) and a bit about funding behind the project. The house was designed as a tier 3 energy level home that will eliminate costly utility bills and allow the family to save money in other ways. Connecticut Lighting donated all the light fixtures both inside and outside the home and we were also notified that the family will receive assistance with furnishing their new space. A husband and wife from Cromwell with 2 young children will be upgrading from a 2 room apartment to a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with a lovely fenced in backyard and a front porch! Manny went over safety and let us know we would be painting, caulking and working on installing many lights. We split into small groups and were underway!
As I mentioned above, all the work done on habitat projects is accomplished through volunteers. Since the house was started in April, a small group of dedicated people have been heavily involved in the project. A retired architect along with an electrician worked with us throughout the day to ensure not only accurate work but to physically teach us about what we were doing. A group of us had the chance to work on light fixtures which was exciting and interesting to learn about!
Some staff got to use power tools, others braved the high platform to paint windows near the ceiling and a few were able to insert mounting brackets to outdoor lights! As a whole, it was nice to see the home so close to being finished and we were also informed that there was going to be a playscape built-in the backyard for the two young siblings to play on. CHC works with such a special yet underserved patient population and teaming up with Habitat for Humanity was a nice reminder of all the good that still exists in the world. Thank you to those who continue to donate their time and skills to Habitat while helping fulfill the right people deserve of having a safe and clean home to live in with their family!