Friday, January 29, 2010

Habitat for Humanity.....Orlando

"If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble." -Bob Hope

Who will build it? If you think for one minute that Exit Real Estate Realtors only sell homes, think again......they are also building homes! On January 28, 2010 we participated in the first of several scheduled "construction days" on this Habitat for Humanity project.
"Habitat Orlando's First Multifamily Community Habitat Orlando is in the midst of constructing its most ambitious home building effort to date: Stag Horn Villas, an $8 million, 58-town home community. The community has been blessed with several generous sponsors that are making construction possible. Not only is this Habitat’s first multifamily development, it is also the most green and energy-efficient. Currently, 16 families have moved into the three completed buildings; the fourth building is currently under construction."
Since 2004, EXIT Realty Corp. International has been the proud Corporate Sponsor of ten home builds for Habitat for Humanity. Currently Exit Realty Corp. is involved with the Orlando project and several of Exit's Realtors actually had the wonderful opportunity for "hands on involvement".
How much do you need to know about construction to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity? I'm not a carpenter, plumber or painter. I don't know that I have an occupation or hobby that makes me a good fit for Habitat for Humanity. That's why I was amazed to find myself and my peers from the office using power saws and crawling on scaffolding on our first Habitat project. You don't have to be an expert. You just have to listen when they teach you. They won't ask you to do anything you can't handle. If for some reason they do, just tell them you're not prepared to do it.
Habitat for Humanity can be an amazing hands-on service project, but make sure you know what you're getting into.
To have a satisfying, productive and fun time with this organization, be prepared for manual labor. This seems like a no-brainer, but this can be quite a wake up call for inactive people.
Most people expect that if they volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, they'll be building a house. They're most often imagining the framing process -- hammering the home's wood skeleton together. Sometimes, that's what you're doing. But the home building process is much more than just that, and all under the supervision of an experienced Construction Crew. Some of the tasks
done by volunteers can be: the framing of a house, siding , window framing, cutting boards, moving dirt, painting or whatever else needs to get done, etc.
Once complete, the 3.9-acre neighborhood will provide affordable homes for 58 local families. Located on Stag Horn Drive and Silver Star Road, the community will feature 10 buildings, each of which will include four to eight town homes surrounded by green spaces and play areas. The model home is now open for viewing thanks to the help of Schmidt Design, IKEA and several other generous donors who contributed time, services and products, Stag Horn Villas is slated for completion in spring 2012.
When volunteering, dress for manual labor. Your clothes should be comfortable, layered, and ready to get dirty and stained.
As Realtors, we know, there are few things more meaningful than helping a person get a home. And because the families that are chosen to live in Habitat homes have to contribute their own time in the form of "sweat equity" (which I think is at least 400 hours), you often get to work side-by-side with the family/people who will directly benefit from your labor.
It's also the type of job that when you leave for the day, you can look and say "I did that." And whether "that" is bathroom tile, insulation or seeing a future home owner's smile, it's very satisfying.
( complete photo album available for viewing on my face book page)

"I wanted to select a charity that was close to Real Estate
and where you could see it helping people".
-Steve Morris
Founder & CEO
EXIT Realty Corp. International

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