Did we set the record for highest turnout, or the most onsite injuries in one day? Well, not exactly. The thermometer on August 31st reached 103 degrees, breaking the record set in 1953 by three degrees and tying for the hottest day yet of 2011.
Usually with record breaking, triple-digit temps our survival instincts dictate that we hide ourselves away in our air conditioned homes and offices. We would only brave the heat and humidity of a St. Louis summer for something special like a Cardinal’s baseball game! Well, add to that the humbling opportunity to be a part of something truly special – Habitat for Humanity St. Louis!
The Fpweb.net Crew was out in full force to lend a hand to the community. Habitat for Humanity St. Louis has been helping provide affordable homes to St. Louis families for 25 years. And after the great experience we had last year, we were eager to yet again roll up our sleeves, bathe ourselves in sunscreen and try to not hurt ourselves.
This year our team split up into two groups. Some worked on the build site while the rest worked at the ReStore. What’s a ReStore? Well think of it as the Goodwill of build products. Donations of quality used and surplus building materials are sold to the public at discount prices. The proceeds from the store help fund building projects within the community. Without the (now very revered) luxury of air conditioning, the Fpweb.net Crew began working quickly and efficiently (as we do!) and ended up leaving the supervisors scrambling to keep work in front of them. Some helped organize the donated building materials while others went offsite to pick up more items.
I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer for several events and causes and while each may have a different agenda, the recurring theme is giving of one’s time and talent to help make a difference. As the day grew long and our sweat mixed with the build site gravel dust coating us in a fine layer of muddy natural sunscreen, I overheard a volunteer supervisor on the job commenting on our great work ethic and how much we had accomplished in one day. There was a quick thank you for the compliment and a simple reply “that’s just the way we are”!
In our fast paced daily lives we sometimes get caught up in the “here and now” and can only see what personally affects us. I was humbled by the site volunteers who regularly give their time and talent to help others. At the end of that long, hot day we each left with a little more construction knowledge, and more importantly, the knowledge that a little help from each person really does go a long way. You soon find as you’re working with your team on building a site for charity, that you begin to build a stronger community within your team as well. It was extremely rewarding to know that I was a part of the Fpweb.net team who spent a record breaking day making a difference in our St. Louis community.
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” – Albert Pike