On Saturday, November 15 at 8:00am, cars began to arrive at the Habitat for Humanity home site for the first A Brush with Kindness project for the Blanco County Chapter. In the crunchy cold of a windy morning, Jan Booth set up the registration table in the front yard to process volunteers. In the back of the lot, David Hamm hauled tools from his truck and lumber from his trailer as he set out provisions for the various phases of construction. Betty McNallen began creating a hospitality area by making coffee and setting out breakfast snacks and water in the guest house kitchen. Those three sets of tasks indicate the type of work that is done by a Habitat for Humanity crew.
By 8:30am the majority of what ultimately became a 15-person crew was on site and beginning to do various tasks. Some scraped paint to ready the front porch for a facelift. Gail Rushing, Faith Ray, Cerice Spivey and Danny Campos focused their attention on the front porch and by the end of the day it was scraped, primed and painted with a fresh coat of white paint, the porch supports painted in forest green.
Others set up a sawing table in the backyard for use in cutting the boards that would soon replace those damaged by weather or age. Michael Young, Bobby Rushing, Keith Michal, Steve Spivey and Ernest Hoffmann worked with Mike Kelley to stabilize the carport, replacing posts and beams where needed. David Hamm, Steve Spivey and Michael Young worked on the back wall of the little guest house replacing rotten boards.
It was amazing to watch a Habitat crew as they c a me together for a job. Although they had not worked together before, it didn't take long for them to project an air of professionalism as they got the various jobs accomplished. Homeowner Stacy Kamas worked alongside the construction crew by dragging aged timbers away to a burn pile.
Blanco High School Leo Club members, Callie Faurie and Chelsea San Miguel, collected rocks on the property that they used to create water diversion dams in a driveway near the garden. There is no sight more beautiful than teenage girls working in the cold and wind in early morning hours to help a complete stranger have a better home.
The Habitat workers were treated to a delightful lunch by the women of New Hope Lutheran Church of Blanco. Ruth Johnson, Helen Knoll and Connie Granberg brought five kinds of sandwiches, brownies, a variety of chips, sodas and water to treat the workers. Cheryl Foegelle and Susan Marshall, who could not be present on site, also contributed to the lunch.
Habitat for Humanity is an important organization because it works with people to give them a hand up, not a hand out. Working on a Habitat project makes you feel good because you know that you are making our county better, one home at a time by helping one family at a time. We at Blanco Habitat recognize that there is a lack of housing for people who live in our community. We think that sound communities need to have many different kinds of lifestyles. Part of the Habitat credo is that everyone needs to have a decent place to live.
It is one thing to have a good idea, it is far another to act on that idea. Nothing will energize you and lift your spirit like working with a group of people at a Habitat site who believe as you do. Come join your neighbors in this county-wide endeavor. If you want to volunteer as an individual at the Habitat House, give me a call at 830-868-4571. You do not have to be part of any particular group or church team. The next work day is November 22. Be advised that there will not be a work day on Saturday, November 29. We determined that all of our volunteers need to be with their families on that day. We will work again on Saturday, December 6.
Blanco County Habitat also welcomes donations in the form of financial contributions that can be sent to PO Box 1375, Blanco TX 78606. Another way to help is to provide drinks, water, snacks or lunch for one of the work days. If this form of service appeals to you, please call Betty McNallen at 868-4571.