Everyone knew this was the last workday so emotions were mixed & energy ran high. Each team continued on their home with renewed determination to get the most done today, if not complete the home they had started. Team 1 slaved at their home and got to watch the blocks close to the top being set. Team 2 worked themselves out of a job since their holes were dug. Team 3 painted the interior of the house a beautiful blue.
At lunch, Steve’s team from Michigan joined us at the community center. We had a festival of sorts. Steve made his balloon animals & I printed photos of kids present. Habitat held a ceremony to give us diplomas; we sang five songs to & with the kids. It was a heart-wrenching good-bye to all the people throughout the week we had come to know & love.
I had read before we went that “most of us are accustomed to working for a reward. We get paid for a completed job, and there’s a bonus when our efforts exceed expectation.” For the most of us we had no idea how & what we would work with. Even with no money paid for a job well done, the rewards we realized after this week far exceeded what we thought we would feel. Everyone agreed we were a wonderful group—working together and interacting nicely with the kids & adults alike. We saw great attitudes amongst the people we were working with. We felt safe & loved by these people, our brothers & sisters.
—Bernita Edelman, Thrivent volunteer