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Habitat Multi-Faith Build Volunteer Day Report

This year a number of Fort Collins Lutheran churches were anchor sponsors for the first Multi-Faith Home build at The Habitat for Humanity Harmony Cottages site on the SE corner of Taft Hill & Harmony. There are a total of thirteen congregations involved in this project including Temple Or Hadash (reform Judaism) and the Islamic Center, as well as our own Foothills Unitarian Church. The Habitat Harmony Cottages site is platted for 48 high quality, energy efficient homes with solar PV arrays including mostly site-built duplexes and a few single family homes which are built at Poudre High School through a special student program, then transported to the site. The home being built through the Multi-Faith project is for Iman and her two children, who are refugees from Syria (photo). You may have been fortunate enough to have been introduced to Iman and her children in July when she visited our church service or at the Habitat Multi-Faith picnic in August.  

Foothills support of this project has been enthusiastic. Our July share the plate collection was for this project and collected almost $3000 which was matched by Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. We’ve had over forty members sign up for the Multi-Faith build group events & updates, thirteen attendees at this summer’s picnic and seven participants in Foothills volunteer day build this past Tuesday (Nov. 5th) (photo). 

On our Tuesday volunteer build day, we had beautiful, sunny, crisp, blue sky Colorado fall weather. After a briefing and safety talk we broke into two groups including both Foothills volunteers and a few other volunteers, each under the guidance of an experienced construction staff member.  One group (Foothills members: Jane and Anne Aspen, Kay Williams) did “blocking” and similar tasks in one of the Poudre High built homes that is nearly finished. Blocking involves installing 2”x4” blocks that fit between the vertical studs to provide attachment points for kitchen, bath and laundry cabinets (see photos). The other group (Foothills members: Tom Saults, Katy Kohnen and myself) worked on framing and also setting a large horizontal support beam on a partially framed duplex (see photos). We had the great pleasure on this team of working with Haley one of the future home owners, an extremely personable, hard working single mom with a 5 ½ year old son.  Haley is excited for the opportunity to move into and build community in a good neighborhood with other children including some her son’s age. We broke for a group lunch about noon, and enjoyed pizza provided by Sara Steen who’s schedule did not allow her on-site participation. The work was fun and rewarding. The camaraderie was great as was the instruction and supervision. At the end of the day we were tired but pleased with the progress. The consensus was that we were each able to contribute, to learn something and had a good time doing it. Also, we were all glad the work hours were limited to 9am–3pm, and all agreed that we have a new appreciation for professional construction staff that typically start much earlier and end later. 

This was truly an enjoyable and rewarding volunteer activity. If you enjoy hands-on volunteer work I’d encourage you to check it out. Group build days are booked through the end of this year but there are individual slots open and also a wait list which often has a few slots that open last minute.

On-line registration is very easy. To volunteer as an individual or small group go to https://fortcollinshabitat.volunteerhub.com/account/signin Scroll down to create a new account, log in and then search for volunteer days of interest. Click to sign up or join a wait list. Construction days are Tues, Thur, and Sat. There are also other volunteer opportunities such as helping at the Habitat Restore and as a Restore Truck Assistant. You can also contact the Habitat Volunteer Coordinator, Abby Krstulic at akrstulic@fortcollinshabitat.org or 970-488-2610 if you have questions about the login to their site or about volunteering individually.

– Dan Siegfried, Foothills Member