I don’t believe we were meant to be alone. We need other people. We need family and community. The ironic thing is, we have more people around than ever, yet we can be so alone! Each in our own homes, secluded from the community around us. I want my kids to grow up with a desire to be involved in their community. To care about their neighbors and have a love of offering a hand to others, whether they know them personally or not.
This post was sponsored by Charter Communications as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
I love to support organizations that share this ideal, give back and offer help to people, so I was thrilled to be invited to attend a Charter Our Community rebuild event!
Charter Our Community and Rebuilding Together
Charter Communications partners with nonprofit organizations focused on rebuilding such as Rebuilding Together to improve living conditions for people right in our own communities who are low income and have no other means to make certain repairs on their homes. Charter is dedicated to providing educational resources and financial support to improve 25,000 unsafe and unhealthy homes by 2020. This national program encourages us all to make a positive impact to low-income homeowners and families in our communities. They have already improved more than 1,100 homes.
Charter our Community invites volunteers to paint, repair, clean and restore together in the hopes that each family in our community has a safe and comfortable home.
I couldn’t bring my kids along to participate, unfortunately, because they are under 16. But, by being an example to them, explaining what I would be doing and why and showing them photos later, they could learn from my experiences and I could ignite that drive to give back to their community that I want them to share.
Labor for a Neighbor
When I arrived at the home in Morgan Hill, California, that was chosen to be improved, there was a team of people setting up for the rebuild event. I could tell the home was in need of paint and the railing on the front steps was loose. Volunteers began to arrive, there were a lot of us, and all were enthusiastic and excited to get started!
The homeowner came out to welcome us. She was overwhelmed by the amount of people who had come to help her and by the warm, friendly, giving atmosphere of the people there.
After the leaders welcomed us all, we each introduced ourselves. Many of the volunteers had come all the way from southern California to be there! They had flown in the previous day. Then we were informed what needed doing and we signed up for jobs on the to-do list and quickly got to work. There was a lot to do in one day. Some much more handy people had the tasks of replacing the fridge and shower head inside, building a gate for the deck, and replacing the front stair railing. The rest of us grabbed paint brushes and rollers and got to work on painting the entire exterior.
I’d never painted the exterior of a house before, but I recently had some practice with painting the interior of my own home. I was glad to have just done that so I felt confident to jump right in, taping off windows and painting away. The team spirit and motivation was contagious! Everyone was happy to be there and all willing to do whatever work needed to be done. We spread out around the house and started where ever we found room. I began in the back of the house and worked my way around the side. Someone got some tunes going and time passed quickly.
Here I am, hours later, working on painting the deck railing. I was covered in paint by the end of the day!
I really had a blast with the team I was part of. The organization catered a delicious lunch and we could take breaks as needed throughout the day. We managed to accomplish it all by 3pm and everyone pitched in to get cleaned up.
We left a safer, more beautiful home for a very grateful person to enjoy.
Reflecting on giving to my community
I was so inspired by the people I worked with, coming from such a distance to give their time and energy to a complete stranger. I felt honored to be there and be a small part in making this person’s life a little bit better. I could relate to her struggles of getting by on low-income without family nearby that could help. I have been there and I know what it meant to me when anyone reached out and offered a helping hand, without asking for anything in return.
We hear so much negativity in the news and around us each and every day. It’s easy to forget that there are many truly caring people around us. We shouldn’t have to look so hard to find them, which is one reason I’m so glad I heard about Charter Our Community and Rebuilding Together. I plan to surround myself more often with selfless people and search for more ways to get involved and give back as they do. What a wonderful thing to be reminded what it feels like to be part of building someone’s life up, part of something worthwhile that brings nothing but joy to all those involved. I hope you are inspired to get involved as well.
For more information on Charter Our Community and Rebuilding Together events in your area, and how you can volunteer, follow both on Facebook.
What are some ways you give back to your community or teach your children to care about their community?