Build One: Providence, RI

The past few days have been nothing but a flurry, and better than I ever expected. Everyone on the trip is the kind of person willing to pack their bag and head out into a crazy adventure–plus, they all want to make a difference that they can see.

Today we visibly impacted the world. We had our first build day with Habitat for Humanity in Providence, RI. I was fortunate to get to the site early due to an excellent breakfast with my dad. Since I was twenty minutes ahead of my teammates, I had the opporunity to interview everyone already at the site.

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I first met Dick, a lovely 82 year old who volunteers with Habitat almost every Wednesday and Saturday–and has been doing so for the last twenty some years! What an amazing gift to his community!

Next I met four people with FHLB Boston–a bank in the area. They were SO excited to work with us, and to tell me about their institution. A whopping ten percent of their profit each year goes to affordable housing–and they even spoke candidly with me about their efforts to counteract the housing crisis banks were so heavily involved in. Beyond that, this bank donated $60,000 to Bike & Build this year! Talk about a bank putting its earnings to good use! I am blown away by their generousity and genuine passion for the cause.

After days of orientation and meeting new friends, today was so amazing because we all got to the heart of why we are here–to make a difference. Today we built a floor–for the second story of a duplex. That means that sometime in the future, two different families in need with finally ¬†have decent housing that they can actually afford to buy. Two families won’t have to worry about rent and the economic and emotional costs of constant moving.

But we also are here to change ourselves–meeting adults who stay true to their values is inspiring. I hope that when I retire, I too will throw myself into service. I hope we all do. Can you imagine a world where eveyone gave two day of their busy week to a service project? That’s the kind of world worth trying for!

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