11.01.2011

Rock the Block: A Habitat For Humanity Event

On September 29th, I took a volunteer day at work to participate in Rock the Block which is a one day event sponsored by the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity.

Rock the Block is focuses on helping low income homeowners with basic repairs, maintenance, weatherization and beautification of their homes.
A targeted neighborhood is chosen where Habitat homes already exist or are being planned.

I was located in a neighborhood north of Drake University. I had never participated in Habitat before and was interested to see what it was like.

(yes this an awful picture and my eyes are closed...but you get the idea- I have a HARDHAT on people).

Here's another one.


(Notice the people just sitting around in the background? More on that shortly...)

The house we were assigned to had a bunch of overgrown weeds and needed some yard work done. We pulled weeds, tore down a fence and raked and trimmed bushes.

We also tore down a 'shed.'
Here is the 'shed' before demolition.






They hooked up a skid loader with a chain to the 'shed' and pulled it over. Then we piled the pieces up for the dumpster.




When we were finished, the house looked so great!



It was fun to meet other people that I don't normally interact with on a regular basis. I also really enjoyed helping someone beautify their home.

However....
It was a little weird.
The homeowners were there while we were working but they didn't even pitch in to help. One of them was clearly disabled but the other two just seemed....lazy. They sat around and smoked cigarettes and just watched us work. They also invited friends over to stand around, smoke and watch us!!
That part of it gave me mixed feelings. I'm glad that we cleaned up some things that could have been an eyesore to others in the neighborhood but I was disappointed that the homeowners weren't taking the same pride in their property.

Regardless of that, I will definitely do another Habitat event.

Have you ever volunteered with Habitat for Humanity? Was it a positive experience?