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Many Hands Make Light Work

Now that 2017 has passed, and I look back over a year full of challenges, new beginnings. There were renovation and addition projects, new home projects, projects around the house. There are so many enriched relationships, fun family memories. Perhaps my favorite combined all of these into an event, so inspiring, that it will live with me long into the future and stands out as a remarkable example of the phrase ‘Many Hands Make Light Work.’

In August, I traveled with a group of close friends and colleagues for a service project to be built in White Sulphur Springs, WV, and to serve a community affected by a catastrophic flood, not even one year ago. We work together with the Appalachian Service Project (www.ASPHome.org) to build homes that are warmer, safer, and drier. It is here that we confirm that many hands make light work.

To prepare for this event, I worked with my favorite group of volunteer home builders, Solid Rock Carpenters (http://www.SolidRockCarpenters.org). In the weeks leading up to the trip, we gathered hundreds of good-hearted folks, eager to lend a hand to those in need.

Our local Chicago team prepared wall components, enough for nine homes, cutting them to length, marking the stud, header, and sill locations with our unique system. Doing this enables any volunteer, regardless of their experience, to build each wall just the way a master carpenter would. We shipped these pieces, including all of the pre-cut components needed to assemble the walls to their future home in West Virginia.

This particular trip was unique, in that rather than shipping assembled walls, these components were to be assembled on-site by a group of volunteers. More than 350 volunteers were assembled by the Home Depot Foundation (https://corporate.homedepot.com/foundation). This service project is the finale following a two-day retreat for vendors and suppliers at the world-famous and historic The Greenbrier – America’s Resort (http://www.greenbrier.com). On a side note, The Greenbrier is also home to the, now de-classified, Bunker at The Greenbrier (http://www.greenbrier.com/Activities/The-Bunker/Bunker-Tours). This once top-secret US government relocation facility for Congress is a piece of living history and well worth the visit.

When all was said and done, these efforts culminated with the construction of nine homes by 350+ volunteers in only three hours. Three of the homes were built to remain on-site, while the other six were delivered to a nearby town, also suffering flood damage. Nearly four million dollars was raised to support the foundation’s efforts. And a community was on its way to being restored.

Our group had the treat to be invited to be a part of this year long effort to build twenty-four homes between Nov 2016 and Nov 2017. I am awestruck and humbled to be a part of such a meaningful experience.

I embrace this new year with renewed energy and enthusiasm. My outlook and my network all have a mission to collaborate and unite with the goal that ‘Many Hands Make Light Work.’ Together we will embrace the challenges of this new year to create unique solutions, using the best talents and efforts of the team.

Find this story and others featured in our newsletter, MEBA Design NEWS – Volume 8 (https://indd.adobe.com/view/a0d0cfcc-b1a5-4cfc-84f7-1a35b071faff)