In honor of June being Homeownership Month, Thunder Valley CDC staff chipped in to help the families in our homeownership programs get closer to their dream of owning their own home. The Self Help Program helps low income families achieve homeownership through “sweat equity” where they use their own two hands to contribute to the construction of their home. The program allows families to have others donate hours of construction time to help them reach their quota, so Thunder Valley CDC staff from every department and every program put on hard hats and got to work!
“It was completely different from my daily routine,” said Director of Evaluation, Lilias Jarding. “Usually, I just sit at an air conditioned desk and play with numbers and words. I liked being out on site and seeing something come together that was physical, instead of just on paper.”
In one week the staff contributions totaled to 65 hours of work donated to the Self Help families. And since families have to commit roughly 23 construction hours per week to meet the requirements of the program –– on top of their 40-hour work weeks –– 65 volunteer hours can really make a difference. But the time on site also made a difference to the staff as will, giving them the opportunity to see everything that goes into taking the homes from blueprints to buildings.
“On site I was able to assist the workforce team work with framing the house,” said Social Enterprise Coordinator, Chance Weston. “I had basic knowledge but the team really helped expand that and give reasoning as to the why everything was being done a certain way, which really shows the high level of competency in which everything is being completed.”
While some of the staff preferred their air-conditioned, dust-free daily work that didn’t require facing the dizzying heights of scaffolding, others enjoyed getting to do something out of their usual routine and felt a strong sense of satisfaction after putting in some labor.
“On site I was outside all day, constantly being physically active,” said Advancement Coordinator, Billie White. “I really got to know the construction team better and learned to appreciate the hard labor they do on a daily basis. It was a great experience and I plan on volunteering on site again in the future.”