If you’re like me you’ve thought: What do I know about building a house? And even if I did have the knowhow, how the heck can I find the time to help? How can I really contribute Habitat’s mission?
Well, one way is to volunteer for Habitat’s A Brush With Kindness (ABWK) program. ABWK volunteers work alongside homeowners to revitalize a home’s exterior, including painting, minor repairs, landscaping, weatherization, and clean-up. (The program includes limited indoor work to address safety issues and small repairs.) Last year we did six ABWK projects, this year we hope to double that number. The need is there.
ABWK provides a win/win. It allows us to serve a greater number of needy homeowners in the community and it also provides Habitat valuable community exposure. It allows homeowners, as well as potential Habitat volunteers, to see Habitat volunteers in action serving the community in-between our major home building and fundraising efforts. You don’t need building skills to participate either. If you can pick up a hammer, a paint brush, or hold a rake, you have all the skills needed for a typical ABWK project. And we are respectful of your time, too. We try to limit the length of the work day to four hours, usually on a Saturday morning, so you can still get your necessary chores and errands done. You can choose to volunteer as much or little as you want.
So next time you feel like you want to contribute, but don’t see how, consider ABWK. For more information on ABWK, contact the Habitat office. I think you will be happy you did!
The ABWK initiative complements the core new home building program by helping low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities repair and preserve homes they already own and occupy. Those who receive assistance through the ABWK program must:
Own the home
Have a demonstrated need
Meet income requirements
Be willing to partner in the project
Complete an application
A typical Habitat project is short term. A group of volunteers works alongside the partner family to complete the work. The following are examples of ABWK projects.
Exterior scraping, caulking and painting
Window and screen repair
Porch, step, railings and ramp repair
Door repair and replacement
Non-routine landscaping (pruning, trimming, weeding, etc.)
Yard cleanup, brush and junk removal (1 time per home)
Why it matters
A Brush with Kindness ensures that families live in safe and well-maintained homes. The program is designed to revitalize the appearance of the neighborhood, encourage connections within the community, and most importantly, help preserve affordable housing stock.
For more information, please contact our office at 209-966-7444