We have all seen some new changes this Fall with the leaves changing and the crisp, windy weather, but this season kicked off a new adventure for Habitat Chesapeake as well! On November 3rd we launched our first-ever Friends & Family Build, an initiative to re-engage corporate volunteers, their families and friends who have experienced the joy of working with Habitat and longed to return to a build site.
Congregating in the 700 block of McCabe Ave. where Habitat Chesapeake has built and renovated 15+ homes, more than 20 volunteers arrived promptly and ready to work in the brisk 40 degree temperatures. The days goals included digging in and sprucing up Glenwood Recovery Garden; weeding, seeding and strawing the communities new green space; and demolishing a large fence to make room for a future project in the neighborhood.
Crews got to work alongside our experienced construction team, all the while learning the history of the neighborhood which borders the historic York Road. In the Glenwood Recovery Garden our volunteers worked hand-in-hand with a few of our partner families and a group from Loyola University to maintain raised garden beds, lay and rake mulch, and remove large weeds making an instant change to the area and making an impact far greater that any volunteer could imagine.
As our (now expert) gardeners continued, another hand full of volunteers were demo-ing away at a massive paneled fence that once housed many of Habitats building materials and equipment to make room for what will be a beautiful green space. This project also included unloading, moving and reloading a 15,000 lb. storage container.
As the sun began to shine through the grey clouds, volunteers quickly gathered for lunch, taking time to meet and greet Habitat homeowners and staff and got right back to work, ensuring that their goals for the day would be met. All in all the determined volunteers accomplished:
- 8 raised garden beds weeded
- 1 community garden beautified
- Multiple bags of mulch raked
- 20+ fence panels demolished
- 15,000 lb. storage container unloaded, moved and reloaded – in preparation for a move to a local community garden
- Entire field hand-raked, seeded and strawed (perfect for this week’s rainy weather)
- Surplus of materials gathered, loaded and ready for resale at our ReStores!
We’re calling this Friends & Family Build a complete success! Already, we have heard many words of gratitude from neighbors about the clean, green spaces they now have to look on – all thanks to our volunteers and their generous donations of time, energy, and talent. We look forward to holding this event quarterly to invite past volunteers to our build sites to further their impact. Interested in joining us? Keep an eye out for the next Friends & Family Build next spring!