Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity at Santa Fe College

April 7, 2017 – Santa Fe College ESL Lab instructor, Haydee Britton, recently volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to assist with the “build” at Santa Fe College. She told Habitat that there were students in her class who also wanted to volunteer. Habitat for Humanity explained that they needed volunteers to paint the house being built in Building O as part of the Building Construction Program at Santa Fe College.

Three of her students volunteered along with three of their friends and one of her students brought his dad who just arrived from China; including Haydee there were 8 volunteers. Habitat was glad to have the extra volunteers.

At the Santa Fe College build, the group was surprised to find a completely built house in a large hangar. Haydee stated that she had heard about the Construction Program, and was “pleasantly surprised at how professional and well equipped it is.” The house was split down the middle in two parts, so that it can be transported by an 18-wheeler to High Springs when completed. Once transported and set up, the new owner, Otis, will be able to move in with his family. Otis had to apply, was interviewed and then chosen among many other applicants. He will have a 3 bedroom 2 bath house, a porch in the front and a deck in the back. To complete the process, he had to agree to contribute 400 volunteer hours (200 at his house and 200 at other houses being built by Habitat).

Upon arrival, the group signed releases and started working. Tarps were placed on the floor so as not to drip paint on the Santa Fe College hangar floor. Instructions were given on how to check the ladder to make sure that it was stable before climbing the rungs with a brush and a bucket half full of paint. Volunteers were asked to paint the corners of the walls where they meet the ceiling. Haydee explained that the process is called “cutting in the corners or edging.” This was to be completed before using the rollers to finish painting the whole wall. By the end of the day, the group had painted the corners of all the rooms twice, the laundry room walls twice and some of the walls of the other rooms were painted twice, but they did not get to finish painting the whole area twice as they had hoped.

More volunteers are needed and Haydee’s group plans to volunteer again. While describing her experience, Haydee said, “We got to know each other well while we painted or rolled the walls and ceiling; we laughed and ended up with paint on our clothes, our faces and our hair. We had fun, and we learned so much from the Habitat for Humanity staff, Jim and Kory. Thank you so much!”