Gwinnett Habitat gets many requests from volunteers who want to help, but this particular email came from Habitat for Humanity International. The Finance Department from the international office in Atlanta wanted to volunteer with the home repair program called A Brush With Kindness. While their professional jobs may have been in nance, the volunteer group offered a variety of technical skills and were matched with a client in Lawrenceville with a variety of needs.
On the day of the project, the volunteer group showed up and some immediately started painting while others climbed the stepladders to clean the gutters before the gutters could be repaired. ere were 1-2 others who started the process of installing safety bars in the bathroom while someone else replaced light bulbs. While there was lots of laughter, the volunteer group got right to work and was ready for a break when lunch arrived.
As the group invited the client to join them for sandwiches, the conversation turned to the client. She was an elderly lady with a delightful personality who was also a widow after losing her husband years ago. This woman was no longer able to maintain her house, and her daughter, who lived 45 minutes away, was only able to help when she could make the trip. The client had lost part of her leg due to various health issues years ago, but she was able to get around in her wheelchair with relative ease. The only thing that bothered this lovely lady was that she could not come and go as she pleased. While she could usually get a ride to the store or to the doctor, church was not easily accessible. In order to attend, she had to rely on her daughter to came to pick her up and and drive her the 45 minutes to and from.
When the team leader from the Finance Department heard this, he spoke up. “Habitat is a ministry. It is more than building or repairing homes. It is a ministry in that it cares for people and many of their needs.” With that comment, he said that he would start calling around to find a church with a wheelchair accessible vehicle and one that was closer. Within a few days, the client had a regular ride to church and a new church home. This was a nice reminder that Habitat is indeed more than hammers and nails. Habitat is a ministry.