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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Volunteering, and Seeing the Results

Back in the spring, when I was still with Coldwell Banker, they finally invited us to work on a Habitat for Humanity build in Fairfield. Since I joined CB in '06 I worked tirelessly to raise funds for H4H. There were builds in Sacramento and other counties to which I was invited, but I prefer to put my energy in my backyard, in a city/county in which I work. Finally, Fairfield was chosen for 2 builds.

I showed up on work day with 3 fellow CB agents. We were offered electrical, exterior painting, and post-hole digging. I chose the latter -- I'm the stronger of the 4 of us women who volunteered, and I don't mind physical labor. Also, I dislike electrical, have painted enough, and have experience digging post holes.

There are experienced contractors who are also volunteers who provide teaching/guidance on whatever level is needed. The recipients of the homes have to put in a minimum of 500 hrs. of sweat equity, and Jean (a Gallagher descendant; I believe we have a relative or two in common), checked us in, made sure we had hard hats and gloves, and distributed lunch at the appropriate time. Her unwavering dedication and loyalty is inspiring.

I ended up digging 3 post holes, mixing concrete for them, and planting the posts that day. Legs were fine, upper body hurt the following couple of days.

A couple months later I read that the houses were vandalized by thieves stealing copper. So wrong!

Saturday, Aug.24, I attended the dedication of the houses to their recipients. I was the only former CB agent there -- none of my colleagues attended, and I know they received the invitation. When I signed in it was as the NSCAR President, to match the name tag I wore.

It was a big  deal. Our local state senator was present, as was our local state house assemblymember. I'd just seen them recently, so I didn't take up much of their time. Local officials were present as well, and there was a fair amount of speechmaking.

Finally we got to the part where the homeowners spoke -- and that was amazing. Hearing their stories, their history, their gratitude -- humbling and inspiring.

I'm grateful to have seen the results, to hug the new homeowners, and to have given my time and talent to help the hardworking, deserving women their homes.

By far, this is the best part of my real estate career.