If you are looking for a worthy way to fill your time, take a moment to investigate this amazing opportunity to do good work, expand your heart and stay in shape.
I started volunteering with Habitat in 1991 at the international headquarters in Americus, Ga. The experience changed my life. My proudest contribution was helping to organize the Women Build Program, including serving on the Women Build Steering Council from 1997-2007.
My single most memorable moment, however, was during a 1991 Christmas Build in Plains, Ga. It was late in the afternoon, a day or two before Christmas and in another part of the house holiday music was playing on a country radio station. I was on my knees in the back bedroom pondering where to begin laying tile when I heard a familiar southern voice ask if he could help. Soon former President Jimmy Carter was kneeling on my right, lining up the first row of tiles. On my left was the home owner, a share cropper and amputee. In that moment I was overcome with joy. “Wow,” I thought, “where else would I rather be? This is what Christmas is all about.”
Years later, in 2009, when Jimmy and I started extended-time RVing, we volunteered as RV Care-A-Vanners with the Las Cruces, NM, Mesilla Valley Habitat affiliate on a December build. (See picture above of the painting crew.)
To learn more about volunteering with other amazing RVers, read the RV Care-A-Vanners newsletter by clicking here.
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Photos: (Top) RV Care-A-Vanners painting on Mesilla Valley Habitat’s 7th Street House. From left, standing: Steve Blythe, Barb Oliver, Mike Oliver and David Draves. Seated: Julianne G. Crane
(Bottom) Highlands County Habitat for Humanity construction crew working on House 7 in Sebring, Fl., on Friday, Dec. 17, 2010. From left: (seated) Habitat crew leader Robert Shotts, (standing) volunteer Joseph O’Neill, construction foreman Frank Nelson, House 6 homeowner Ariel Madden, volunteer Larry Larsen and RV Care-A-Vanner Jimmy Smith. (Julianne G. Crane)