Laura is an amazing part of the Habitat Philadelphia family. She volunteers on construction sites and with the Weatherization and Home Repair Program, and has helped to plan and lead a workshop for our university campus chapters.
1. How long have you been volunteering with Habitat Philadelphia? How did you first get involved?
I have been working with Habitat for over six years now – first in Dallas during high school, then in Austin during college, and now in Philadelphia during my post-grad “young professional” years. My first Philadelphia build-day was at 19th Street about a year and a half ago. Since then, I’ve also had the chance to work on Sparks Street, Stiles Street, Marston Street, and Latona Street.
2. What are some of the reasons you come out to support this organization?
As a kid, I planned to become an architect or interior designer, so I’ve always been interested in construction and design. I also didn’t know anyone when I moved to Philadelphia, so it was nice to carry over a familiar project and make new friends in the process. And above all, I want to give back because I know I’m very fortunate -- I’ve never had to worry about having a clean, safe home. I enjoy doing what I can to alleviate that stress for our partner families.
3. What’s your favorite aspect of volunteering at Habitat?
I love pretty much everything about Habitat, which is why I keep coming back! I laid a lot of hardwood flooring at Stiles Street, so that quickly became my favorite build-day project. But I love dedication days the most because the partner families, staff, and volunteers can celebrate each others’ hard work and start to turn the house we built into a home.
4. What’s a particularly good memory you have from a work day with us? Or perhaps one of the best days you’ve had at Habitat Philadelphia?
It’s really hard to pick just one, I have fun and learn something new every time I volunteer. It’s a big happy mish-mash-memory of scaffolding, giant crowbars, mouth-trumpet performances, nail guns, and visits from our partner families. And meeting Carter Oosterhouse wasn’t so bad either...
5. What kind of advice would you like for volunteers to know on their first day working with us?
The staff and other volunteers are always willing to help you learn a new skill, so volunteer for a project you have no experience with! But then be careful, because your parents will start asking you to redo their hardwood floors :)