“Good morning lads. My name’s Tiny, and I’ll be your overseer. To start, I need one of you to haul a bucket of water over to that wheelbarrow so we can start on the cement for the driveway.” Tiny, was an enormous construction worker employed by Habitat for Humanity
who loved to set the volunteer kids into action. The summer of 2005 he directed two friends I made and me, as well as his own crew, through the process of building a house; someone who needed a home is living there now. I was kept busy from morning until afternoon during the first day or so digging quite a few rocks out of the clay near the house site and chopping weeds back for a driveway. Later in the week I was running around Tiny who was in his bulldozer to get water and sacks of caked concrete mix for the house foundation and driveway. Cracking concrete mix blocks and mixing the rubble of it with water in the middle of summer heat is actually fun when one is in good company. I enjoyed smoothing the still liquid driveway around the gutter grill and fetching wheelbarrow after barrow of rocky goo that doesn’t wash off after touching it. Finally near the end of the week the wood structure was all that was left to be built. With young and old carpenters, many well placed nails, and precise cuts of wood, it went along swiftly although from the top of the growing house, not even the farthest reaching shadow of the tallest tree could shade us. Diligence and making work a fun experience really paid off for my new friends and me as we left with a sense of deep achievement in helping the homeless.
“Those phone numbers need to be entered perfectly so we can get hold of our cancer patients quickly”, the Health Right secretary said as she left me to my job. A couple weeks ago I was working with the listing program, Microsoft Excel, inside West Virginia Health Right, a free clinic functioning to provide care for uninsured, poverty stricken citizens. I was set to the task of transcribing ink information to a data-base, as well as filing papers and other odd jobs in the office. I also made a brochure for the organization that will help future patients and volunteers learn about Health Right and how to get in contact with it. It was pleasing to know I was helping so many people by performing tasks I could do really well.
My community service experiences mostly help to build character and determination rounded off with satisfaction. I rarely miss opportunities to help people who want help as in math and science courses I help others understand new material; I am even assisting a friend in Advanced Chemistry to understand concepts although I’m not taking the class. I am very proud to be able to commit myself to work that benefits others.