by Henry Hawthorne, IV (Age 16)
On Saturday, June 13, eight volunteers from First Presbyterian Church met with volunteers of all ages and churches across Wilmington who gathered on 8th Street to assist in construction of a Habitat for Humanity home for a needy member of the Wilmington community. Volunteers (including three from First Presbyterian Church) had already completed a cinder-block foundation for the house for future volunteer groups to continue to build on.
Our group’s first task while at the site was to level the dirt in and around the foundation of the house and partially fill the foundation with sand. After completing these surprisingly physically demanding tasks, the next step was to begin constructing floor joists. For the next few hours, the constant noise of a saw blade and hammering nails resounded through the neighborhood. Following the construction of the floor joists, a few finishing touches were made to the house in preparation for the inspection of work done so far.
Before the workday on the site of the Habitat home, I was expecting to simply work on the jobsite for a few hours and leave relatively unchanged. However, during the build, witnessing and experiencing the hard work of the many volunteers and the future recipients of the home made me feel that I was actually making a positive change in this Wilmington community. Helping a family start fresh with a new home did not only bring on a happy feeling, but also gave me a desire to continue working to improve the lives of those around me. Despite hard work on the build site, I feel ready to continue serving the community in as many ways as I can.