As a newer CallRail employee, I have been trying to immerse myself in all the events and activities the company offers. So, when I saw an email come through from our Office Coordinator, Chelsea, that there were open spots for the CallRail Habitat for Humanity build the upcoming weekend, I actually pulled over into a parking lot to sign up right away. I’d participated in Habitat for Humanity builds in college in Tennessee, and knew how collaborative, fun, and life changing they can be.
The weather that day was perfect for working outside — a cool spring morning with clouds in the forecast. When we arrived, other companies and groups from across Atlanta had joined us to put finishing touches on the build.
With most of the bigger jobs completed already, the lead builder rounded everyone up and told us the tasks that had to be completed that day: cleaning up inside the house, touching up the paint on the front porch, adding house numbers, installing the mailbox, laying sod, planting two new trees, and finishing the landscaping.
As soon as we had our assignments, we got to work. Some CallRailers helped with painting; some planted shrubs and other small plants; others worked with the Master Gardeners to dig giant holes and plant large trees. We worked for about four or five hours, shifting to smaller jobs as we finished our main tasks.
I started the day by working with a few other volunteers to add the last layer of paint to the porch railing. Some of my fellow painters were students from Georgia Tech. We were joined by a couple from a neighboring suburb who started volunteering with Habitat with their daughter, and kept doing it after she graduated from high school and moved away to college. It was beautiful to see people from all across Atlanta come together to help this family build their home.
According to Habitat’s website, families must demonstrate a need for housing, the ability to pay, and the willingness to partner with Habitat. This last requirement means Habitat homeowners also put in “at least 400 hours of sweat equity towards the building of Habitat homes and attend required workshops for success in homeownership.” A highlight of our day was meeting the family to whom the home was being dedicated that day. They helped us paint, dig, and landscape every step of the way.
Because we were there on the last day of the build, the CallRail team also got to be a part of the Habitat for Humanity tradition of dedicating the home to the family. After the finishing touches were complete, everyone gathered around the house, sitting on the freshly laid sod, eating boxed lunches that were donated by Honeybaked Ham. Groups from past build days joined us, as well as members of the Atlanta Habitat for Humanity Board and Advisory Council.
The Board and Advisory Council members and the lead Habitat builder spoke to us all from the porch as we sat on the lawn. They presented the family with a homeowner’s toolkit to help them hang pictures and curtains, assemble furniture, and make the house their home. The family then spoke and thanked us all for helping them work toward their dream. They told us this was their first time owning a home, and they were so proud of what the community accomplished by coming together.
After the ceremony, we took part in pictures, and everyone went their separate ways. I was definitely dirty and tired after a long morning of work, but I can’t wait until CallRail’s next Habitat build!