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Habitat for Humanity?

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Old 02-05-2012, 09:20 PM   #1
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Default Habitat for Humanity?

Has anyone volunteered with them? I'm signing up with a friend but I'm a little nervous about the amount of physical labor involved. I'm just over a normal BMI right now so I'm not hugely overweight, and I'm late 20's, healthy, but I'm not amazingly strong or in good cardio shape. Am I going to get killed by an 8 hour shift?
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:23 PM   #2
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I've volunteered with them a few times and have never been asked to do anything very taxing (especially as a woman - the men usually take the tasks requiring brute strength). You usually sort of get to volunteer for one task for another, so just pick something you find appealing that won't tired you out too quickly.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:39 PM   #3
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I've volunteered with them before and uhh I weighed 350 lbs at the time. It was fun. Bring water with you. We did it during summer so it was pretty hot.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:44 PM   #4
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I'm a total wimp and I'm thinking I would not do it in the summer here.. it gets VERY hot.. but right now it's a balmy ~60 degrees which should be very pleasant.

And I'll definitely bring water - thanks guys! This has made me feel a bit better.

And sunscreen! I walked outside for 45 minutes last week and got a sunburm. Oy. So pale.
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Minigoals:
217 lb - 10 lb. lost - Achieved! 6/30/11
208 lb - BMI 29.8 (no longer "obese"!) - Achieved! 7/31/11
199 lb - Onederland! - Achieved! 9/11/11
190 lb - where I hope to be for Christmas - Achieved! 10/23/11
180 lb - what I weighed in college! - Achieved! 10/7/12
173 lb - BMI 24.8 (no longer "overweight"!) - Achieved! 12/6/12
160 lb - my lowest former weight! - Achieved! 7/11/13

150 lb - final goal weight!! - (target: 10/1/13)
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:57 PM   #5
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I have never worked on a home built by them but my daughter has, several years ago....maybe 8 or so....

she said it was a rewarding experience but also was a little bummed that the family moving into the home all had cell phones (she didn't at the time) and drove nicer cars (hers was her first car) than she drove....

I am sure that is not the case in all of the situations.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:55 PM   #6
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You can't judge someone else's situation that way. A family plan is cheaper than a land line, that car may have been from before they hit hard times. If you're only willing to help someone who is "poor enough" by your own standards, maybe there's a different kind of volunteer work out there for you.

I think it's a great organization. I have seen all kinds of people volunteer - they will find something for anyone to do!
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:18 PM   #7
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Yeah I agree that what you see on the surface may not be the whole story. I was recently reading about a program that provided cell phones to homeless people. I think they would have places for them to charge the cell phones but it was a way to help them get the services they need, look for jobs, etc.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:04 PM   #8
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If you're doing it out the kindness of your own heart, it can be very rewarding.

I haven't helped this organization specifically, but I do what I can with others. The tasks required isn't strenuous at all. Just know your own limits.
Little effort goes a long way! You're doing a great thing!
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:17 AM   #9
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Just to check back in - I had a really good time. I wasn't sure what to do, but I volunteered with roofing and turned out to be pretty good at it! I also tried siding but was pretty crap at that (I couldn't hammer hard enough to get the nail in without losing precision and smashing my thumb... which I wasn't willing to do), but it was ok since I did roofing for most of the day and apparently we got it done a lot faster than usual.

My first ~10 minutes on the roof were kind of "oh ****" since I'd never even even been on the roof and it was pretty pitched. I was convinced I was going to fall over at first. But I got used to it faster than I thought and was pretty comfortable up there after awhile.

Also surprised myself by being more "in shape" than I expected (I don't workout). Some people had trouble squatting along the roof, or hammering, but I was able to keep the squatting up throughout the day without significant trouble. My legs ARE killing me today, and they were so tired they vibrated/shook when I came down the ladder (I think the guy holding the ladder thought I was terrified of heights because he kept trying to talk me down "It's ok, almost there, there you go").

Anyway had a good time and feeling good about myself too.


Edited to add - one thing I learned about them too is, the houses they 'give away" aren't free. They give them to families who do meet certain income requirements (above a certain threshhold but below another threshhold) who wouldn't be able to afford a standard house/mortgage and have some sort of need (usually a family). The main thing the families get are a 0% mortgage that has low labor fees, but they do actually pay for the house. They also have to help build their own house and 5 other people's houses, for 8 weekends per house, and go to classes for the first year on topics like financial management, caring for a home, being a good neighbor, etc. So it's not really just a 'free house', and it was pretty cool to get to meet a lot of the families there helping out.
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Minigoals:
217 lb - 10 lb. lost - Achieved! 6/30/11
208 lb - BMI 29.8 (no longer "obese"!) - Achieved! 7/31/11
199 lb - Onederland! - Achieved! 9/11/11
190 lb - where I hope to be for Christmas - Achieved! 10/23/11
180 lb - what I weighed in college! - Achieved! 10/7/12
173 lb - BMI 24.8 (no longer "overweight"!) - Achieved! 12/6/12
160 lb - my lowest former weight! - Achieved! 7/11/13

150 lb - final goal weight!! - (target: 10/1/13)

Last edited by my2cats : 02-12-2012 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:21 PM   #10
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Good for you, I'm glad you went! I think it's a fantastic system!
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