The Maryland Association of REALTORS® sponsored a Habitat for Humanity build in 2003 in conjunction with the annual MAR Convention in Ocean City , Md. This was the first time I participated in a HFH build and it was truly a heart warming experience.
Another opportunity to do a build happened when NAR was the first and largest convention to return to New Orleans after hurricane Katrina in 2006. I attended the convention and participated with 3 other agents from our office. The build took place in the upper 9th Ward which was the area hit hardest by hurricane Katrina. The devastation and destruction was overwhelming and heartbreaking to witness in person as we drove to the build site in Musicians’ Village. We saw many temporary trailers set up in yards where entire homes were destroyed. When we arrived at the build site there was a car steering wheel and debris strewn every where in the yard. Our day actually consisted of tearing down a house that was under construction before the hurricane hit. The wood of the framed up house was water logged and needed to be removed before further construction could take place. Musicians’ Village was conceived by Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis, the village provides housing for displaced New Orleans musicians and other families on an eight acre site and part of 54 homes sponsored by NAR.
Construction volunteers are the foundation of the Habitat for Humanity homeownership program. The participants build the homes from the ground up, and the work day will vary depending on the current needs. Tasks range from foundation work to building walls to painting to flooring. You could be building a new home or building a wheelchair ramp for a housebound, elderly homeowner. Almost every part of home construction and repair process is done by the volunteers, making the no-interest mortgage possible for a selected family in need! A full build day lasts from about 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The two builds I participated in were very rewarding experiences and a great opportunity to meet and network with REALTORS® from all over the country.