Today we worked with Habitat for Humanity as a continuation of yesterday’s work where we had been putting up drywall in place of the old walls that had been damaged by the water.

In the morning I worked on painting wood trims, among a few other odd jobs around the Habitat warehouse. After a lunch of rather delicious pizza, we jumped in the van to finish up what we could at the house we’d been working on. Initially I was on floor duty, but after a few minutes I was put to cover any screws and holes in the wall with spackle so that they were uniform with the rest of the drywall we put in. I did it in various rooms, occasionally needing help from the self-proclaimed drill team to push in some screws just a little bit farther.

The owner of the home checked in frequently, and it was really nice just to talk to her. She seemed to enjoy telling us about her life and her pets, including a dog named Cola who she occasionally brought along to give us a little boost to our enthusiasm. We ended up giving her a card as thanks for her generosity that had a way to contact the Foundation to tell us when her house was finally finished.

Working on the house made me realize that people from all walks of life were affected by the hurricane. I’m not sure what I expected, but the difference from those expectations was a welcome one. Learning new skills like putting up drywall and spackling was amazing too, and I’m sure it’ll help me later in life, especially if I decide to to more volunteer work within the realm of rebuilding.

Overall, the experience with Habitat for Humanity was truly spectacular, and I hope I can do it today. And while today was the last of our volunteer work in the keys, I’ll certainly miss it. There’s just something about getting down and spackling some screws with your friends that really brings you all together.

– Emelyn Harvey