I am not a big fan of waking up super early, especially at 5:45 a.m. on a Saturday morning. However, I recently decided to do something I had never done before — volunteer for Habitat for Humanity (HFH). Lawrence Group was set to have its “build day,” and I figured I would give it a shot. So after convincing my fiancé to join me, a group of LGers young and old made our way to North St. Louis to work on a series of small houses for the local community.
Upon arrival, it was easy to see how grateful the Habitat staff was for our help. Not only were there many HFH volunteers there that day, but the future homeowners of these new houses were there to help as well. We all gathered around the home we would be working on that day and came to learn that we would be installing some James Hardie Lap Siding. So here we were, a big group of architects, installing siding that we’ve specified for many of our own projects back in the office. We knew how to draw the detail views and information in Revit, but actually installing…that was a little different.
We split up into three teams, each taking a separate façade, and began working away to install the siding. While pretty straightforward, by the time you measured once, measured again, cut, tested, set up and nailed each piece of siding into the wall, it was an extensive process. After spending over an hour on our first piece and cutting it out around an air vent and in between two windows, it was time for an HFH-mandated break. (Seriously–it took over an hour for us to get our first piece installed!) Not to be denied progress though, we immediately got in a groove after our break and began installing pieces more effectively and efficiently. Over the course of the afternoon, we installed about 20 pieces of siding and were grateful to make some headway on the south façade of this new home. It was really gratifying to look back on our progress of where we started and where we ended up.
Reflecting back on the weekend, it is so easy to see how we can get so caught up in our daily lives, moving on from one thing to the next. From waking up, to lunch breaks, to that three o’clock cup of coffee, to being ready for bed at 8 p.m., our lives can sometimes get jumbled into one big work week time and time again. I was very happy I was able to take the time out of my busy week to go serve our community and work alongside some of my fellow Lawrence Group colleagues and at least feel like we made a difference one odd Saturday afternoon. It may have been only one Saturday for now, but I will surely be getting up early on a Saturday this upcoming fall to go help on another Lawrence Group Habit for Humanity Build Day.