A Hand Up
Jim from the edit department recounts a day of volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity.
Employees from Patagonia headquarters in Ventura, swapped their flip flops for work boots on Friday, April 27, to swing hammers and fling paint at a Habitat for Humanity project in nearby Port Hueneme. The busy work site consisted of six homes in various stages of development built by countless other Habitat volunteers over the last year. By the time our crew descended, one home had already been finished and occupied and the others were nearing completion.
Word had it the land had been “donated” by a serial slumlord who’d been taken to court for repeatedly failing to do anything about the clogged toilets and lack of running water in his farm worker rentals. Now, six farm worker families who’d put up with the squalid conditions and put in 500 hours of sweat equity each, were about to get brand new homes.
The 70 or so Patagonia employees who volunteered were given time away from their desks on the company dime. We nailed siding, caulked windows, wheel-barrowed dirt and painted interior walls. It was tiring work, but a welcome alternative to staring into a computer screen all day. It was also good to work with folks from other walks of the company on a project that, as the Habitat for Humanity folks like to say, gives people a hand up, not a hand out.
Check out Habitat for Humanity at: http://www.habitat.org/