It was 5:50 am, Sunday morning… my body felt like it had barely recuperated from the wedding we shot only 5 hours before. I could feel the last bit of ache in my legs, slight headache from not getting enough sleep, and I rolled over to look at my sound asleep husband and I asked myself…
Why did we agree to do this again?
As we dragged ourselves out of bed, put clothes on our weary bodies, brushed our teeth and headed off to Starbucks for the coveted Carmel & Vanilla lattes, we began to wake up…
Thirty minutes later we found ourselves at the Habitat for Humanity build site. The cobwebs in our brains diminished and we could feel the excitement as we joined all the other volunteers for the morning safety meeting as we prepared ourselves for BUILDING A HOUSE!
Yes, you heard that right – Zach and I helped build a house! This is my second time doing this with Habitat, Zach’s first – and we really had a great time. Zach and I are a part of a group – TWESA (Tennessee Wedding and Event Specialists Association) and the group signed up to help support and build a home for Ayalew and his two sons.
This is Ayalew!
We’ll show some pictures from the day and then share a bit more about what exactly Habitat for Humanity is/does for those who may not know.
This is a view from the neighboring house where only the foundation has been laid… so far!
Name tags for all – very important!
More safety instruction..
(the sole woman in this photo is Vicki from Branching Out Event Florist)
Getting our work aprons!… or whatever they are called. I’m sure there’s a more manly name for them… (David, owner of Blue Tone Music)
Safety first! Evan (from Evan Baines Photography) was our designated on-site Safety Coordinator. Evan has intense training from his former life as a Special Forced Medical Sergeant in the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in the US Army! Sooo if you ever want a wedding photographer/medic – he is your man!!! Evan was prepared for the worst (a cut finger)… and also made sure no one passed out from the heat :)
(Side note – Harvey to my left is 81 years old and has helped build over 250 Habitat homes. He still volunteers his time and skills to Habitat to this day!)
What a man..
(Ritch, wife of Erin who you will see coming up who works for Blue Tone Music)
(one of Habitat’s lead instructors on the site)
(Atik and his wife in the blue from Stoneybrook, if I remember correctly, Erin from Loews Vanderbilt, and Ayalew the homeowner)
(Susie from Susie’s Sweets)
(Patti from Hilton Garden Inn)
(Erin who works for Blue Tone Music)
The window installing team! Yes, we actually put the windows of the house in… amazing, I know..
(top 3 people, Pam with Ribbons of Chocolate, Ayalew, and Christine!)
And the group!!
We had a blast and are so glad that we went!
For those who don’t know, Habitat for Humanity International is an “international, non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world.” All of the homes are built from volunteer labor and donations. Habitat houses are sold to partner qualifying families at no profit and financed with affordable loans. The cool thing is the homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses.
Most importantly Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor (sweat equity) into building their Habitat house and the houses of others. Pretty cool!!
To read more about Habitat and how it works, check out their fact page.
Hope you all enjoyed the photos! If you are interested in helping out with a Habitat build (we would love to get a group together and do it again!) or want to donate, comment below or shoot us an email!
A house that love built
Ayalew pausing for a moment taking it all in.