I noticed this years ago while catching an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I know it’s a supposed to be a feel-good show, but, Daffy Duck flashbacks aside, I’ve never really been much of a fan. For whatever reason, it rubs me the wrong way; They take a family that’s down on its luck, make a spectacle of them, invite the whole city in on it, demolish or blow-up the home they all lived in, ship them off to get pampered or meet Mickey Mouse and then do a big public reveal of The House That Pity Built. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to see good people get nice things (like new homes), and this is way better than Extreme Makeover: Face and Body Edition, but …. ehhh.
On the other hand, I love Habitat for Humanity. If you’re not familiar with it, today’s a great day to learn because it’s World Habitat Day! Habitat for Humanity works with people on all levels – government, corporate, non-profit and everyday folks to put housing issues in the news, revitalize neighborhoods and take a hands-on approach in creating affordable housing – an issue that has worldwide relevance.
One of the biggest difference between it and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (besides not having to hear Ty Pennington yelling ad nauseum), is that the project family works side-by-side with the Habitat team and volunteers – something some people suggest is actually a more dignified and pride-building way to go about the issue. Habitat also doesn’t just build a single home for a single family. It focuses greatly on neighborhood revitalization. In a broad effort to help communities fulfill their aspirations, Habitat will be expanding its housing programs to include repairing more homes, rehabbing more vacant homes, and improving the energy-efficiency of homes.
Check it out:
Awesome, right? If you’re interested in pitching in, there’s a number of ways to do it:
In addition to building homes in partnership with people in need, Habitat advocates to address the causes of poverty housing. Advocacy activities always include a specific request, such as asking supporters to sign a petition, send a message to an elected official or take part in a rally.
Have some change to spare? Every bit helps!
Renovating your home? Sometimes we end up throwing out perfectly good appliances and building materials just because they don’t suit our taste, space or design. Chances are, someone else can use them.
Shop with Habitat
Some of the materials and appliances donated to Habitat can’t all be used for a home project – but maybe YOU could use it? Consider buying from Habitat’s RE-Store then next time you’re updating or redecorating your home.
You can volunteer as an individual, or for an even bigger impact, talk to your employer about working together as a team on a Habitat project. There are a number of different opportunities to join in – just take a look at Habitat’s Volunteer Information.
If you’ve had experiences with Habitat for Humanity, share it with us here and keep spreading the good word! You can also help by sharing this article on Facebook or Tweeting/ReTweeting it on Twitter.